Trumpet players, as well as musicians that play any brass instruments, always tend to come across the issue of picking the right mouthpiece. If the wrong mouthpiece is being used, even the best trumpets in the world can sound horrible. With each having a different effect on the trumpet sound, there are many different things to consider when shopping for a mouthpiece. The type of playing that you plan on doing, the desired tone quality, the strength of your embouchure, and your facial structure (teeth, jaw, and lips) all need to be considered.
When you arm yourself with the right information, you allow yourself to make a more informed decision. After all, finding that perfect mouthpiece can be a never-ending quest for brass players. You need to pick the right cup, rim, backbore, and throat (or bore) in order to get the most out of your horn. Here is a helpful guide to consider before going shopping:
Each having different qualities, there are many different shapes and sizes of cups available. You can have a deep cup, a shallow cup, a bowl-shaped cup, or even a V-cup. If you’re looking for a rich, dark sound you will want to steer yourself towards a deeper cup. The sound you get from a deep cup is good for jazz combo, symphonic, or concert band music. If you are looking for a bright, piercing sound with an easier upper register, you may want to look for a shallow cup. You don’t want too shallow of a mouthpiece, though, as it tends to let your lips bottom out in the cup which stops your lips from buzzing. A good compromise for some people would be to use a V-cup, as it allows you to play with a darker tone and with an easier upper register.
the bite (or inner edge), and inside diameter all need to be considered when deciding on a rim. As musicians progress in their playing, they tend to attempt to go with a larger diameter rim, but this isn’t necessarily the right thing to do. Playing on a large diameter rim can actually reduce your endurance. The thing to do is to find a rim diameter that fits your facial structure and then build the rest around that. The most comfortable bite is a softer one, but a sharper one will give you cleaner attacks. The right one depends on what you are looking for, and the type of playing that you will be doing. A middle-of-the-road rim width is usually ideal. If you get one that’s too narrow your endurance can suffer, but you will find that it is better for flexibility, while a wide, flat rim tends to cut off the circulation to your chops.