View Full Version : Switching New Mouthpieces

07-01-2011, 01:37 AM
Hello Everyone I'm new to this site and this is my first post :) I'm expecting a Vincent Bach 1 1/2 c mouthpiece in the mail and I'm wondering what is the best way to get accustomed to a new mouthpiece. Should I make a gradual change or abruptly change. Also I'm currently playing on a Vincent Bach 3c, if that matters.

07-04-2011, 11:28 AM
I think the process is slightly different for everyone. I used the same mouthpiece ( Bach 1 1/2 C )on every occasion for over 30 years, through a number of different horns. I get a real big, focused, nice tone from it, but on any given day, anything above Bb above the staff might just not be there ... period. So in the last six months or so, I started experimenting with different mouthpieces.

What I did was just warm up well, before playing hard. Do long tones, scales, etc., just to make sure you're flexible. Now I have mouthpieces (all Bach, simply because they're easy to find and easy to determine the change from one to the next) ranging from a 1X to a 10 1/2E and half a dozen in between. I can play any of them, and I can go back and forth between the ones that aren't too different. None of them has been much of a range expander. I hear a difference in tone on the smaller, shallower cups, but not much difference in range.

At one time, I thought I would never be comfortable on any mouthpiece other than the 1 1/2C, but I see now that's not really true. Still, though, it's the one that gives me the biggest tone, the loudest volume, and the maximum dynamic range. I can't play hard on the shallow cups because I get too much lip into the cup and it halts the vibration. The smaller diameter cups are just less comfortable for me. I think the big thing is just make sure you're warmed up, loose, and no stiffness.

I know lots of guys that can play trumpet and trombone on the same gig. I can't. I think your embouchure, whether you have thin or thick lips, the horn you play, and the type of playing you do all determine what mouthpiece is optimum for you, but alternating or changing mouthpieces is something you can do just by warming up properly and practicing. Don't play hard until you're warmed up and comfortable. I think if your embouchure "works" for a particular mouthpiece, you only need to be properly warmed up to use it ... or to tell if it's going to be a good change for you.

Just my $.02

jeffry s.
07-22-2011, 08:28 PM
Great advice!!! Thanks!

07-28-2011, 04:11 PM
I would suggest that on the first day you warm up on your regular mouthpiece and then spend some time going back and forth between the new mouthpiece and the Bach 3C to see if the new shows potential. If you think it is possible that it could work for you based on initial impressions I recommend putting the 3C away for several days if possible in order to let your face adjust to the new piece so that it feels "normal". It may take some time to decide if the new size is going to work. Too much switching back and forth may only confuse the issue, so try to spend most of your time on the new one so it becomes home base.

Many players are able to play different mouthpieces for different types of playing. However, that is somewhat different than trying to adjust to a new mouthpiece for a potential switch. in the end you might settle on the 1-1/2C for some applications and the 3C for others, but until you have had a chance to fully assess the new size I would recommend that you play it as much as possible and avoid the old one.