Archive for December, 2019

Midwest Recovery Post

Monday, December 23rd, 2019

Chicago this time of year is tough.  It’s cold and the wind seems to tear through your body when you step outside.  We setup the booths on Tuesday morning starting after 8am and we’re normally done by 2pm.  We have people arriving all day and we get our schedules organized for the exhibit booth starting at 9am on Wed-Friday.


It’s not tough work per se, it’s more the standing on your feet and the constant barrage of sound hitting your ears that makes you exhausted.  Jonathan over in the Yamaha booth lost his voice from all of the yelling over the noise.  Personally my voice survived, but is still a bit ragged 3 days later.

There were a ton of people that visited our booth to try instruments and Griego Mouthpieces.  It was nice to hear people play and help them find mouthpieces that fit their instrument better than what they were on before the show.


Marshall Gilkes and I did a tongue and cheek video on how to test instruments at the event.  While it was meant to be funny, the more I thought about it I think it wasn’t all a joke.  You should play something articulate like la gazza ladra, something legato like rochut or bolero, and even Tuba Mirum.  Some people thought we were making fun of them, but it’s not, it’s making fun more of the environment and many interesting conversations we have.


You need to make sure your equipment can play these different styles so while our video was tongue and cheek, it may have been more serious than we meant it to be.    Hope everyone out there has a great and safe holiday season.  See you in January.

Custom Mouthpieces

Saturday, December 21st, 2019

There is a lot of business that we turn down and it’s generally when it comes to custom mouthpieces. I work at Edwards during the day and we make our mouthpieces at Griego Sound Inventions which is about 7 minutes away from where I work during the day. I go to GSI in the morning before Edwards, at lunchtime, and after 4:30pm which is when my day ends at Edwards.

This doesn’t allow me a lot of time to do design work which means that I have to do this during family time or on the weekends. My main machinist Chris knows our designs in and out and he produces our mouthpieces every day. In order to do custom mouthpieces it takes about 3 hours of production time away from our machines. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but with all of the models we produce it does hurt production overall.

It’s hard for me to say no to someone, and there are times when a custom alteration is easy and we can accommodate the request within our production without too much disruption.

If we can’t do your custom work I would suggest calling Hammond in Chicago who is set up to do custom work more efficiently than myself.

Greg Black also does a great job, but I’d suggest visiting him rather than ordering by phone in order to get exactly what you are after.

We appreciate your business of course, but there are only so many hours in the day. I’m trying to maintain some balance within my work and personal life, not only for myself but for everyone at GSI that works so hard.

Congratulations on your Engagement!!!

Thursday, December 19th, 2019

If you’ve watched my masterclass you know what I’m about to talk about.  How deep your mouthpiece goes into your leadpipe.  It is all the rage to diminish the gap between the end of your mouthpiece and your leadpipe’s venturi.


“It’s so free blowing” sells instruments.  Why?  Because it’s easy to fall in love with one aspect of an instrument.  Being free blowing will allow you to play loud, this is absolutely true….  in the middle register.  The problem comes in the upper register when you need to have some (correct amount) of  compression to lean against to play loud.  Without any compression in the instrument (or if your mouthpiece goes in too far) this can cause an issue.  You may have to provide the compression yourself, with your aperture, which can cause tension to come into the sound and the size of the sound to diminish or even backup into your body.    Does this make any sense?


This doesn’t mean that you should choose a mouthpiece that sticks way out of the leadpipe.  It does mean that it’s part of the overall equation that needs to be assessed carefully.  If you’ve chosen a large mouthpiece and it plays smaller (tighter) than your previous “smaller” mouthpiece it is quite possible the you should make sure the engagement is the same, or check to see how it varies….


We once checked a manufacturer’s mouthpieces engagement.  Four different mouthpieces from different time periods all the same brand.  They all had quite different engagement which caused them to play quite different.  When we design a mouthpiece we find the optimal engagement and then make sure all the mouthpieces we make are the same.  It’s not rocket science, but if you were aware of all the variances out there you’d think it was…



New Oft Mouthpieces

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

Sometimes it takes me a while to get a new product up on the website. Part of it is that it takes time to get to the paypal buttons made, content written, and our webmaster updated to get all of the new products up.

The other side of the coin is that after developing a mouthpiece I want to make sure that it’s 100% ready and no changes need to be made before offering to you.

These Oft mouthpieces, for example , have been tested in BSO for the past year and we know they’re working the intended way. No alterations were needed for Toby on his last trip here. I know you don’t want to know all the details of manufacturing, but we do properly test all of our products in great length before putting them in the public eye.

Hope you love em.

Upcoming Shows

Monday, December 16th, 2019

It’s time to get out and show the world what we’ve been up to.  Next week we load up the shop truck to go to Chicago and Midwest.  Drop by the Edwards/Getzen booth to say hello and try some fun equipment.

In January we’ll be in Florida for FMEA with Getzen/Edwards.

After FMEA we’ll be in Anaheim for the NAMM convention.  It’s predominantly a dealer show, so if you have a local dealer that doesn’t stock Griego products tell them to drop by Getzen/Edwards booth and talk to us about becoming a stocking dealer.  We’re always looking for good dealers in your region.


February brings on TMEA in San Antonio,  a great show for us and we’re excited to get somewhere warm by this time of winter in Wisconsin.


March is ATW (American Trombone Workshop) in Washington DC.  Get your competition chops up to date and go to the nations capitol to participate in the bonefest that’s arguably the best trombone workshop in the nation (tip, it’s free).



Dave Taylor Mouthpieces

Sunday, December 15th, 2019

The mouthpieces of Dave Taylor are unique to any other bass trombone mouthpieces I’ve ever played or made. How so? Well they are fast, how fast? JJ Fast? Seriously fast is the answer. 0-60 db in .002 seconds.

When I read a mouthpiece brochure it says pretty much the same thing for every mouthpiece. Let me guess, quick response, improved upper register, improved lower register, improved….. insert your own description here.

I try to work with artists that have something unique to offer to the marketplace. David Taylors contribution is derived from the disco era. Speed of response was necessary in order to get the front of the notes where they needed to be. Don’t be found behind the beat, play something fast. Develop those notes quickly so your articulation isn’t an issue….

Onward to 2020

Saturday, December 14th, 2019

We’ve been working on a few projects in 2019 and we’re launching them all here at the end of the year.

1. Toby Oft’s mouthpieces have proven themselves under the gun for the past year and so we’re letting them be available on our shopping cart, or through our dealer network that offers trial periods.

2. Brian Bowman mouthpieces are now available again from our dealers and on our online shopping cart.  We are excited to continue manufacturing this mouthpiece to the exacting standards the line is known for.

3. Alessi 6 series small shank are just now coming off the machine and will be available as well shortly. If not on our cart they will be available through our dealers/distributors. We will be working toward getting them on our shopping cart as well.

4. Our Cleaning rod that was light and small will be available again in January of 2020. Keep checking back on our website for all these updated products.

5. Classic Bousfield line, the Bousfield line will be offering a deeper cup for those that demand it. We will be shipping these in January to dealers/distributors everywhere around the world.

There’s a ton of things we’re working on still so make sure to keep in the loop by following us on the FB’s, and wherever else you can find us.

See you at Midwest next week if you’re going.


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