A Tale Of Two Mouthpieces...

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Gtrom, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. Gtrom

    Gtrom Member

    Anyone who saw my last thread knows that there comes a time when your favourite mouthpiece needs replating and so my Bach 1G Bass Trom mouthpiece has flown the nest and been sent to the UK. Consequently prior to my Band practice I was feverishly contacting my twin bro and fellow Bass Trombonist (Arniesarnies) to beg him for a substitute. When you have played through the same mouthpiece for about 20 years you dread a public practice with a substitute and so I found myself very nervous and apologising in advance to the MD and Baritone players sat infront of me.My bro came up with a Bach 1 1/2 G mouthpiece, freshly out of the boiled water.

    Suffice is to say I attempted to play in the same style as I always do, relaxed agression, putting through the piece my usual volume of air to attain my usual sound....oh dear.

    It was our Bands first read through of the 1st Section National Area Testpiece " Mountain Views" and I was looking forward to doing the piece justice. In the quieter passages I found the mouthpiece ok in the higher passages and in the lower parts adequate. Unfortunately when I needed more volume and some edge I found the air I was putting in seemed to be restricting the flow and almost circulating in the cup resulting in the sort of noise you expect to hear prior to Christmas when strangling turkeys or when gargling tcp. I have always strived to produce a nicely balanced warm sound with a little edge when necessary but found this almost impossible on the 1 1/2 G. I do realise I haven't practiced with that mouthpiece anywhere near long enough to produce anything like my best sound but am contemplating dodging my next Band practice until my old faithful 1G comes back to me re-plated.

    Does anyone else have a similar tale to tell??

    I hear a few of you saying.."Bah any real musician should be able to make a nice sound on any equipment..." but I don't mind telling you I struggled.
     
  2. pbirch

    pbirch Member

    In Walt Disneys film "Dumbo", the elephant could fly only if he was holding his "magic feather". He did eventual learn that the ability was within him all the time and nothing to do with the feather. I sometimes wonder if we experience the same thing with our mouthpieces. I am in no way suggesting that you are making excuses, nor that there is no difference between the mouthpieces, but it sounds more like a psychological thing to me.
    I would say don't dodge the rehearsal and don't do anything different, ignore the 1/2 on the mouthpiece and don't give it another thought and see what happens
    When my tuba went away for a service recently, I had to play the bands Sovereign, it did feel different and I didn't like it (the valves were different, the lead pipe was in the wrong place etc) but I tried not to let it affect my performance, and was really happy when my instrument returned.
    As for the real musician line, well, a real musician wouldn't say such a thing
     
  3. pbirch

    pbirch Member

    In Walt Disneys film "Dumbo", the elephant could fly only if he was holding his "magic feather". He did eventual learn that the ability was within him all the time and nothing to do with the feather. I sometimes wonder if we experience the same thing with our mouthpieces. I am in no way suggesting that you are making excuses, nor that there is no difference between the mouthpieces, but it sounds more like a psychological thing to me. <br>I would say don't dodge the rehearsal and don't do anything different, ignore the 1/2 on the mouthpiece and don't give it another thought and see what happens<br>When my tuba went away for a service recently, I had to play the bands Sovereign, it did feel different and I didn't like it (the valves were different, the lead pipe was in the wrong place etc) but I tried not to &nbsp;let it affect my performance, and was really happy when my instrument returned.<br>As for the real musician line, well, a real musician wouldn't say such a thing&nbsp;
     
  4. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    we heard you the 1st time !!

    :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
     
  5. pbirch

    pbirch Member

    I don't know how it happened, but I didn't mean to duplicate it :)
     
  6. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Two points -

    1) A 1-1/2G does a lot of people very well as a bass trombone mouthpiece. In fact, it's the classic design. It's used at the highest level in brass bands and professional circles alike.
    2) But if you're thoroughly acclimatised to playing on a 1G, it's going to feel restrictive at first - in exactly the way you describe. There's something of a step difference between the way you need to blow a small (i.e. 1-1/2G or smaller) vs a large (i.e. 1G or larger) bass trombone mouthpiece [1-1/4Gs can go either way, depending on the individual mouthpiece and the player]. To make it work successfully, you need to back off on the air - it's like driving a car with a different biting point on the clutch, and the problems you're having are equivalent to stalling when you forget what car you're in and lift your left foot too quickly...
     
  7. arniesarnies

    arniesarnies Member

    Just splash out on a nice doug yeo signature mouthpiece mark. You know it make's sense. Oh and by the way don't have a curry before band practice again. Phoot, ha ha...
     
  8. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    buy a stainless steel mouthpiece. They never need plating.
     
  9. Gtrom

    Gtrom Member

    Hi again guys and thanks for your responses. Well the Band practice I was thinking of dodging I attended and the MD gets out Malcolm Arnolds "Four Scottish Dances". If you know the piece you will also know about the Bass Bone solo in the 2nd movement, typical. It isn't the most demanding of solos and not the lowest either, it came out alright but I could've done it more justice with my olde faithful mouthpiece back. Still waiting for it to come back and feel a bit lost without it.
    On a more positive note curry wasn't required to fuel me up for the odd bottom burp...in our Band you can rely on the Trombone section to add depth and personality to the acoustics...a bit of aroma therapy never hurt anyone...I wonder whether it's a trombonist thing??
     
  10. pbirch

    pbirch Member

    It will be interesting to see if your mouthpiece feels any different when you get it back
     
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  12. Gtrom

    Gtrom Member

    Hi guys and thanks for your replies.

    Well I've had the replated mouthpiece back now for almost 2 weeks. At first it certainly did feel different, it had never been gold plated before, and I needed to "screw" it into place, if I just placed it in the leadpipe as before it would rock from side to side.

    The "rocking" has subsided slightly ( I guess this is from the plate on the shank being virgin) and I'm getting reacquainted with the size of it.

    In the recent past I had thought that due to the corrosion of the mouthpiece it wasn't allowing the column of air through properly and somehow re-circulating it, well now I think it's time to go to a larger mp from the 1G to maybe a Rath Frosty. I find in the way MoominDave described that I'm having to "back off" blowing to free up air from being strangled, if i go at it with the relaxed aggression style I have always used I just stifle precisely what I'm trying to produce.

    I'll let you guys know how I get on once the investment is made and Rath have relieved me of £125.
     
  13. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    The Rath Mark Frost piece is surprisingly well balanced for something so big - but then all of the Rath mouthpieces are well thought out. Other off-the-shelf options in that size bracket (without going to a contrabass trombone or a tuba mouthpiece) that spring to mind are:

    Schilke 60 - the original toilet bowl mouthpiece; design feels a bit 'old-fashioned' these days i.e. hard work.
    Schilke D6.0 - their updated version (haven't tried it).
    Schilke 61 (Custom) - as made for Charlie Vernon (haven't tried it).
    Laskey 93D - Scott Laskey's substantially tweaked Schilke 60. Feels too huge for control on my face.
    Laskey 95D - slightly bigger than the 93D - Charlie Vernon's favoured piece.
    Griego .5 - their equivalent to the 1G - but feels larger on the face to me.
    Griego .25 - bigger than the .5 - felt very hard work to me to keep the sound focussed.
    Greg Black 1G - a bit bigger than the Bach 1G, I believe (haven't tried it).
    Greg Black 0G - a size up (haven't tried it).
    Josef Klier P02 and P03 (haven't tried).
    Wick 00AL - feels designed specifically for bass trombone monsters... Way too big for me all over. Oddly, doesn't join up with the rest of their bass trombone range very coherently.

    Also worth considering is investing in a modular mouthpiece - Doug Elliott can supply you with a bass trombone rim/cup/backbore setup that you can get your ears into if that's what you're after.

    Have fun - there's getting on for £2000 worth of merchandise there if you purchase new... Maybe better just to stick with the Frosty!
     
  14. agent006

    agent006 Member

    Dave, do you have any experience or opinions on the Yamaha Doug Yeo mouthpiece?
     
  15. euphoria

    euphoria Member

    I have just returned to playing 3 months ago after a decadelong break where I have just been conducting. I used to play euphonium, but wanted to try something completely different so when they had a bass trombone vacancy in a band I used to conduct I thought I would have a go.
    The band supplied a bass trombone and it came with a new Wick 0AL mp. Having played a 4AL on my euph, I thought that it would be way to big for me, so I ordered a variety of different mouthpieces to test - Bach 1 and 1½, Wick 2AL and the SMEAD version and a couple of others but to my surprise I ended up with the 0AL.
    In order to learn the positions on the trombone I played a lot of the slow euph solos I had from my euph days, and they were all quite high so I slowly got a fairly decent high register on the 0AL - the bottom register is way better on the 0AL than on any of the others I've tried.
    What I have found is, that it is quite unforgiving if I take a couple of days break, but I am still in the honeymoon face of my relationship with my trombone, so that has only happened once.
    In fact I havened enjoyed practicing like this since I was a kid.
    /Erik
     
  16. arniesarnies

    arniesarnies Member

    Doug Yeo Signature mouthpiece

    Hi guy's,


    Just read down the thread again and have noticed agent 006 asking about the Doug Yeo Signature.
    From personal experience i can highly recommend the Yeo Signature. Ive tried a Schlike 60, Yamaha 58, Bach 1.5 and briefly a Bach 1G. All these mouthpiece's are fine weapon's and you can make every one of them work for you with time and patience. I was in the market for a new baby, mainly because i didnt feel comfortable with either low register or high register on all of the above mouthpiece's. They all lacked an overall range. I did a bit of research and found myself looking at the Yeo Signature.

    This mouthpiece took 6 year's, yes 6 Year's to develop. It's been painstakingly tried, adjusted, lengthened, fattened and thinned to make it fantastic throughout the whole register.

    Ive played on mine now for about 6 month's and find it really comfortable and very responsive. You can put the power down when needed but also play very quietly with no back washing or break up.

    The rim of the mouthpiece is a bit narrow compared to the Schilke's and Bach. I think this help's with your upper register. The base of the mouthpiece is very deep which make's those low pedal's pop easily, again with plenty of power or pp.

    That's why i took the plunge and went for a mouthpiece for every occasion. A mouthpiece that took that long to develop has to be a good choice.

    I suppose i'm lucky because ive found a mouthpiece that really work's for me.

    I hope this has helped.

    Good luck in your search agent man.

    Arniesarnies.
    Bass plugger.
     
  17. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    It's a nice mouthpiece, but you need to have decent bass bone chops and like large bass bone mouthpieces to make it work for you. It's basically DY's (much) improved version of the Schilke 60 - but is rather smaller at the rim, which is why I didn't include it above. I personally feel that it lends my playing too dark a tone, but that's a very personal assessment.
     

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