An odd pairing cos as far as I know Ed Kleinhammer never played in a brass band contest, although its quite possible he did some marching band stuff whilst at college. Anyway, I know the subject of what constitutes cheating/getting the best musical performance crops up regulary on here (Mods please feel free to move this if you think it needs moving but I couldn't find an on-going Thread on this subject). Opinion seems to be split between the "Every note should be played as written on the score" camp and those who believe " As long as its sounds right anything goes". I came across this in Ed Kleinhammers book "The Art Of Trombone Playing" and thought it was worth sharing the experience of a top proffessional bass trombonist. "The write had occasion once to play the Schubert Ubfinished Symphony under extreme pianissimo conditions. Woodwinds and brass were having difficulty throughout the symphony with tones not "speaking," and with anxiety I awaited the passage near the end of the second movement where the bass trombone plays the bass figure ppp for five bars along with only two clarinets and two bassoons. It was an extrememly nerve-shattering experience, to say the least. By the next rehearsal the problem had been solved by cutting a three-inch square of cotton from an undershirt and placing it over the mouthpiece receiver before inserting the mouthpiece. The passage could then actually be played louder technically and yet sound very soft. This safety margin can be increased by doubling the cloth before inserting the mouthpiece. A small tuning slide adjustment will overcome the fact that the mouthpiece protrudes a bit farther from the instrument." Any thoughts?