TRUMPET MOUTHPIECES

Using the proper mouthpiece is essential in order to realize your potential as a trumpet player. For almost as long as there have been trumpet mouthpieces, there have been trumpet players on a life-long search for the right one.

So, which mouthpiece is the right one?

The short answer would be the one you feel most comfortable with. By that I mean one that feels comfortable to play and provides you with the best combination of tone quality, accuracy and facility in the upper register.

Here is a brief description of the components of a mouthpiece.

  • The CUP DIAMETER represents the size of the opening. While a smaller cup diameter tends to make life easier in the upper register, it is best to think of this component as kind of a shoe size, which will correspond to the size of your lips.
  • The CUP DEPTH generally affects aspects of your playing, including overall tone, accuracy and upper register ability. A shallow cup is more conducive to upper register prowess at the expense of tone and possibly accuracy, while a deeper cup tends to lend itself toward a fuller tone but often makes it tougher in the upper register.
  • The THROAT is that part of the mouthpiece that comes right after the cup, and narrows way down. The diameter of the throat can affect the quality of tone and ability to play loud. For beginning and intermediate players, this component is not as important as the cup diameter and depth.
  • The BACKBORE is the section at the back of the mouthpiece. The diameter and shape of the backbore can also affect the overall tone. Like the throat, this component is of somewhat less importance.

Many beginning trumpet students are first given the Bach 7C (including me over 40 years ago). This is a kind of middle-of-the-road mouthpiece in terms of cup size and depth. In my case, I played this size mouthpiece for the first 5 years and then moved to a larger cup (Bach 1C) as my lips became heavier. In the years since, Iíve done a bit of experimenting with other mouthpieces but in the end came back to my trusty Bach 1C.

Personally, I donít recommend excessive experimentation unless you have really done your practicing and are extremely unhappy with your mouthpiece. The reality is that any alternative mouthpiece you try will have pros and cons associated with it. For example, a mouthpiece with a shallower cup may well make it easier to play in the upper register, but may also compromise your tone. Be particularly careful in terms of the cup diameter since, as I mentioned earlier, this is best viewed as your shoe size, based on the size and structure of your lips.

If you really feel you need to try other mouthpieces, please be patient when you do. It generally takes at least 2 months to fully adjust to a new mouthpiece and make an informed decision whether the new mouthpiece is a better choice.

Here are links to more information about the most popular brands of trumpet mouthpieces:

Bach Trumpet Mouthpieces icon
Yamaha Trumpet mouthpieces icon
Schilke Trumpet Mouthpieces icon




Powered by BLUEHOST