Mouthpiece Selection is Critical for Success
Most musicians are playing on the wrong mouthpiece or choosing incorrectly when it comes to playing a specific job. Ultimately, it is a personal choice! My current setup consists of many different mouthpieces. These allow me to effectively play many styles of music. I've bought over 60+ different mouthpieces over the years - here are some that I've selected that will help you play different styles of music. They are not in any particular order - different mouthpieces for different jobs.
Yamaha 14B4 Trumpet Mouthpiece This is a great everyday mouthpiece that you would use for 60-80% of your playing. It has a nice tone, the flatter cushion rim (size ‘4’), combined with the medium smaller cup (size ‘B’) allow versatility between the octaves without sacrificing sound on the low notes. Nice flexibility capability. This might be your end-all mouthpiece, or at least a nice place to start your exploration. Order this mouthpiece
Bobby Shew Lead Trumpet Mouthpiece Bobby Shew is one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time. Equally at home in a variety of genres, he has played a powerful lead in many of the world's top bands, but is equally revered for his expressive solos. This mouthpiece gives that extra sizzle and high note clarity for playing lead parts. It features enough air compression for high range playing, but still allows a big open sound. Characteristics: Inner Diameter 16.54mm - Semi Round Rim - Shallow Cup - Throat 3.65mm and Narrow backbore. Bobby is a great guy and I got to meet him in Chicago at one of 'Tooth's (Frank Mantooth) recording sessions. Great player - great mouthpiece. This is also a fine mouthpiece for 2nd part player in a jazz/rock group. Order this mouthpiece
Schilke 12a4a is another favorite of mine - went through college jazz band and into the rock band with this one. it is a little smaller than the 14a4a listed below. This is a standard mouthpiece to explore stage work, lead playing, rock music, pop or jazz band or any kind of music where you want the trumpet to ‘cut’ through a group. It has a VERY bright sound and is designed to play in the upper register. The smallest size cup (size ‘a’) makes playing in the upper register much easier, it has the nice cushion rim for the lips (size ‘4’) and the smaller ‘tight’ (size ‘a’) backbore will give you that extra push needed for the upper register. This is also a fine mouthpiece for 2nd part player in a jazz/rock group. Order this mouthpiece
ALLEN VIZZUTTI is one of the most amazing trumpet soloists of our time. Equally at home in a multitude of musical idioms, he has traveled the world performing with a rainbow of artists and ensembles, ranging from Chick Corea to the Royal Philharmonic. In addition, for many years he was one of Hollywood's leading studio artists; he can be heard on more than 100 movie soundtracks. His extended playing range and incredible technique require a perfectly balanced mouthpiece. The Vizzutti mouthpiece offers a warm focused sound, accurate and centered intonation, and incredible flexibility. This is a PRO level mouthpiece. I really like this one. It is one of my favorites. Mr. Vizzutti is known for his amazing technical abilities. He clearly practices in a methodical fashion with goals and benchmarks that he sets for himself. This is a good idea for anyone! Order this mouthpiece
Bach 1c - This is also a mouthpiece that more refined and practiced players gravitate towards. It is has bigger cup and bigger sound. Order this mouthpiece
Schilke 17D4 - BIG Sound - Trumpet Mouthpiece I really like this mouthpiece. When you need to play a controlled - loud - forceful - (but not blasting tone) this is for you. This can also be played delicately as the air stream is 'forgiving' This is a little bigger mouthpiece, and a bigger cup size 'D' You might find use for this mouthpiece in a church, or in an orchestra - but don't let the musical choice sway you from using this one. I should of course mention - it has my favorite '4' semi round - cushion flatter rim ;) Order this mouthpiece
Yamaha 14a4a Lead Trumpet Mouthpiece This is a standard mouthpiece to explore stage work, lead playing, rock music, pop or jazz band or any kind of music where you want the trumpet to ‘cut’ through a group. It has a VERY bright sound and is designed to play in the upper register. The smallest size cup (size ‘a’) makes playing in the upper register much easier, it has the nice cushion rim for the lips (size ‘4’) and the smaller ‘tight’ (size ‘a’) backbore will give you that extra push needed for the upper register. This is also a fine mouthpiece for 2nd part player in a jazz/rock group. Order this mouthpiece
'Standard 7c' Trumpet Mouthpiece This is the mouthpiece that came with your trumpet. If you are looking to replace your first mouthpiece with a newer, non dented, non tarnished or scratched version :) this is the one you want. (see 3c also) Order this mouthpiece
3c Trumpet Mouthpiece I often play a 3c - just a nice all round mouthpiece, sharper rim than the 14B4, and a bit bigger cup than a 'standard 7c' this is a very nice mouthpiece - those returning to the horn might want to consider the 3c over the 7c. Order this mouthpiece
Trying different mouthpieces is an educational experience. It is also a necessary step for discovering how you can sound your best. Have fun!