Archive for the ‘ Tips ’ Category

Active vs Passive Players

Friday, February 23rd, 2024

I’ve noticed there are two types of players, active and passive. Active=engaged, passive=relaxed. You will need to be both passive and active to an extent but successful professional players have learned how to remain passive throughout all registers. As always every player is different and has different needs, therefore will need different mouthpiece designs to have resonance and endurance during an entire performance.

Mouthpieces For Each Stage of Your Career

Friday, February 16th, 2024

I sat down with Craig Mulcahy, Principal Trombone of the National Symphony Orchestra. We were able to take a look at what mouthpieces he played on depending on what position Craig had in the orchestra. We also discussed why Craig buzzes and how he does it. Everyone has their own opinions on mouthpiece buzzing and I love hearing all the different feedback.


Practice Rims | Why You Need Them

Friday, February 9th, 2024

So many people have different opinions about buzzing vs not buzzing. We believe in buzzing and feel if done correctly, it can aid in increasing the beauty in your sound. We make individual mouthpiece rim sizes so that when you buzz it’s the same rim as the mouthpiece you play on, without the compression of the mouthpiece.

This rim tool strips away all the compression and allows you to hear exactly what the lips are doing. This practice tool can help you discover the muscle memory needed to stop missing the center of the notes. Once you are in the center of the pitch with a nice buzz you will be amazed at how much better your sound will become. Be very aware of body tension as this is the enemy of good sound. Try to get out of the way and relax so that what is happening is more natural.


Jon Whitaker | Finding a Balanced Mouthpiece

Friday, January 26th, 2024

Sitting down with my good friend Jon Whitaker, Professor of Trombone and talented photographer, Jon brings up one of the key points when it comes to trying mouthpieces and trying to find the best one for you. Trying a mouthpiece for an extended time period is key-your mouth changes from your first note to after 30 minutes of playing. Understanding the components of a mouthpiece: rim shapes, cup diameters, throat sizes, the backbore, and the engagement, are all important when finding a mouthpiece that will work best for you.

Katie Thigpen | The U.S. Army Band

Saturday, January 13th, 2024

I sat down with tenor trombonist Katie Thigpen of The U.S. Army Band, Pershing’s Own”. It is a huge accomplishment to earn your spot in this band. Katie talks about what she looks for in a mouthpiece and what rim shape and cup diameters work best for her.

Discussing Rim Shape

Friday, December 15th, 2023

As with every part of the mouthpiece, it is never an easy concept to explain and there are multiple factors to look at. The rim shape is personal to the players mouth shape and playing techniques. Learn what rim shape works best for your face shape through trial and error. But keep in mind, a mouthpiece may feel great for 5 minutes but won’t work for you during an hour long recital. If you’re testing mouthpieces be sure to really put it through its paces.


Mouthpiece Throats

Friday, December 8th, 2023

In our attempt to break down all the complex components of a trumpet, trombone, and euphonium mouthpiece, we take a look at the throat of the mouthpiece. The throat in relation to the backbore has a lot to do with air flow. Restricting air flow too much will compress your sound, but overcompensating and going too big you won’t be able to play softly and resonant.

Take away? Teeny tiny baby steps to adjust the throat size to find the best fit for you.


Explaining Backbore

Monday, November 27th, 2023

I sat down to go into further detail about mouthpiece backbore. What it is, what it does, and the effects changing a backbore can have on all mouthpieces. The sound comes from the cup and the throat but the flow of the air comes from the backbore. All key components when designing different mouthpieces for different playing styles, playing techniques, and players.


How to fix compression issues

Sunday, November 19th, 2023

I answer one of your questions on fixing a compression issue.


Why your mouthpiece doesn’t sound good

Friday, November 17th, 2023

Christan explains the importance of checking for gaps with your mouthpiece and leadpipe. It’s the crucial first step in developing your sound with equipment.


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