Throughout the past ten years at Edwards (and in college) I've continually worked on two playing issues that have continually driven me mad: 1. Endurance problems when playing long concertos, or other long performances. I would experience fatigue even when I had been practicing like crazy. 2. High range problems on tenor. I have always been strong as an ox up to C but then C sharp was the breaking point. Making Bolero tough. With my job I am able to try many different horns throughout the day and the same consistent problems were there. I have been able to try every manufacturer's trombone while at the shows and doing this was enough to point the finger back to me, not the horn. Also having many pro's come through Edwards has been enough to show me that it wasn't our horns; it was...unfortunately me (at least I thought). I am not an equipment junkie and so I have only switched mouthpieces a couple of times in my career. I have been able to try a lot of mouthpieces due to the conventions that I attend, but have found few and far between that made me want to play them for any extended amount of time. Playing the mouthpiece game has become something that I've readily tired of and this finally led me where I am today and G.S.I.
I have been looking at mouthpiece development for some time but lacked the initial spark, or idea on which to start. No mouthpiece had been able to come close to fixing my problems so I had nowhere to start. One day while looking through a home salvage store that always has interesting antiques I came upon two old trombones in terrible shape. Within one of the cases were a couple of mouthpieces that intrigued me more than the trombones themselves. I bought the horns and the mouthpieces thinking I could always fix up the horns and sell them later on ebay. I had found a New York small bore mouthpiece with an interesting outer blank that I had never seen before. After cleaning it up I played a few notes on the small bore mouthpiece and decided to play it on the upcoming Saturday night gig. It was a typical big band gig, with four hours of forte blowing and not enough rest. Usually this type of gig leaves me fatigued in the fourth hour and with stiff chops the next day. Strangely this was not happening with this mouthpiece. It played unlike any Bach mouthpiece I have ever played. I began to wonder if I could I transfer this New York mouthpiece into a large bore mouthpiece with the same results? Was it the rim, cup, throat, or the back bore? So many questions raced through my head. I was going to attempt to make a mouthpiece that would fix my problems. Either it would end up being a total waste of time and a lot of money, or I could find something really great.
After getting clearance from the tower (wife) I started dumping any gig money and extra cash into this project. Nine months later I have found what I believe to be two great tenor mouthpieces. The 5 and the 4.5 are the large shank tenor mouthpieces. I'm currently on the 4.5 and my high range has improved dramatically. I think that within a year's time I might actually be able to play literature that was before impossible. Two mouthpiece models have quickly grown to become a complete line of tenor/bass/small bore trombone mouthpiece line. It was easier to transfer the NY technology into the small shank mouthpieces and I've come up with a great line of mouthpieces for the small bore tenor and alto trombone.
The bass mouthpieces have been field-tested and are receiving rave reviews. European players gravitate towards the model 1.25. These players had been playing Schilke 58's or 59's and Bach 1.5's or 1.25's. American bass trombonists that were playing on Schilke 60's or Bach 1's gravitated quickly to the 1 and .5, many commenting on the sweet dark centered sound and ease of response in all registers. I feel most companies have neglected the bass trombonist in mouthpiece research. In order to be able to fit more bass trombonists to the correct size the Griego bass trombone mouthpiece line sizes are a lot closer together in dimension then other lines. This enables most everyone to be able to find a mouthpiece that might have been “in between sizes” in other lines.
When you purchase a mouthpiece from G.S.I. you can rest assured that the mouthpiece has been through rigorous testing by myself and other professionals There is something very good within the sound of my mouthpieces and I invite everyone to try them at upcoming shows. I've already had a lot of success with pro's that have tried the mouthpieces and have given valuable input into the development of the mouthpiece. From a personal standpoint I am excited by my own daily playing improvements on the 4.5 in areas that were once untouchable.