These models are on the larger side of the mouthpiece spectrum creating a deep, vibrant sound with a well-focused center. They have comfortable rim shapes that provide a nice clarity in attack. They are offered with a standard cup depth or a deep bowl shaped cup. The mouthpiece affectionately known as the “fluffy” has a flugel style cup and trumpet stem with the same rim contour and feel as the other models in this series. This has been a very popular custom choice for quieter passages where a cornet sound is desired without losing the control and focus of the sound. This series can be made in a two-piece set up adaptable to any rim.
The symphony series fit into our standard line as an option more conducive to “legit” performance. The cups of the M1, M2, and M3 are shallower ‘C’ cups because players have said our standard ‘C’ cups were too deep for the orchestral player. The cups on the D1, D2, and D3 are deeper bowl shape cups for players needing more depth in their sound, but not too deep for lack of control. The throats on the ‘M’s are a 24, and the throats on the ‘D’s are a 25. The backbore on the ‘M’ models is a Schmitt style backbore for a full sound to balance the shallower cups. The ‘Md’ models are the same as the ‘M’s but have a tighter Schmitt backbore. This has been described as a good Bb trumpet mouthpiece and also for some piccolo trumpet. The ‘D’ cups have the same smaller version of the Schmitt backbore, tighter to balance the deeper cup. Players in need of a quiet, mellow sound but not projection utilize the ‘F’ cup mouthpieces. This has been popular for Schumann, Beethoven, anything that requires trumpet, but not in a predominate role. Also popular for solos like Wagner’s Parsifal, Mahler Post horn. You can play at your full capacity, but the sound will be dark and mellow.
Karl Hammond directly at the Schilke factory at 708-343-8858 or firstname.lastname@example.org for custom mouthpiece consultation.
by Karl Hammond
When a mouthpiece is to “open and free”, the net musical result is usually a loss of control with poor attacks and “cracked” notes. When there is too much resistance in the mouthpiece, the center of the note may be hard to find resulting in a “squirrelly” feel. The components of the mouthpiece that help create this balance are the rim, cup, throat, and backbore.
One critical performance variable to address regarding custom mouthpiece work before discussing the various mouthpiece components is the “gap” size. The gap refers to the distance created within the trumpet mouthpipe receiver occurring between the end of the mouthpiece and the beginning of the lead pipe. A smaller gap can raise the pitch of the trumpet compromising a player’s accuracy and control. The notes don’t “lock in” or “slot”. If an instrument is playing flat consistently, the gap could be too large resulting in poor attacks and a lack of focus to the sound. The trumpet shank or stem can be altered to penetrate further into the mouthpipe receiver to raise the pitch rather then alter the inner characteristics of the mouthpiece. Knowing what brand and model of instrument a player intends to use the mouthpiece with is essential information to start with to create a custom mouthpiece.
The rim creates the ultimate feel for the player and is the connection between the equipment and the body.
• Wider Rims=more comfort/less flexibility. If a rim is too wide the player may experience a “pinched” sound and the loss of attack definition.
• Narrow Rims= more flexibility/less comfort. The placement of the rim high point is critical. A more pronounced high point on the rim provides greater flexibility. If the high point is closer to the cup entrance, the rim may feel smaller in diameter to the player, even with a larger cup volume.
The balance between comfort vs. flexibility and ultimately, feel vs. sound is vital to a player’s success. Finding a rim that gives the player the longest amount of playing time resulting in consistency, comfort, and resonance is desired.
• Deeper Cup=richer, darker tone. More core with less highs in the sound.
• Shallower Cup= brighter, more brilliant. Higher overtones sound.
Regarding cup shape, bowl cups tend to have more resistance because of the flatter bottom of the cup. The net musical result is a more aggressive sound. The V-cup shape will have a freer more open feel. In order to find a balance between blowing freedom and resistance, V-cup mouthpieces tend to play better with some resistance in the backbore.
Regarding cup diameter, this is the one aspect of the mouthpiece that players use to compare one piece to another based on personal feel and manufacturer measurements. The diameter will be determined by many variables that pertain to the individual player including embouchure, experience, strength, instrument, and musical style. Wider diameters require more strength to maintain the balanced characteristics of the mouthpiece. The narrower diameter may produce a strained sound without focus and control if a player needs more room.
The throat of the mouthpiece is crucial to the mouthpiece freedom vs. resistance equation. The player needs to understand how resistance impacts their performance. A tighter throat will increase the resistance greatly and lessen the amount of air getting through the mouthpiece. Opening the throat will reduce the resistance in a more extreme way then opening the backbore. When the throat is opened, the amount of air (blowing freedom) will increase therefore darkening the sound creating a larger center to the note.
The backbore is essentially an extension of the instrument’s mouthpipe. The tighter tapered backbore will produce brighter, more aggressive sound. A larger backbore will create a darker, thicker sound with greater depth. The backbore is the final variable we work on creating a custom mouthpiece because it will ultimately balance the top part of the mouthpiece (rim & cup) to achieve that “fine line” of blowing freedom with a balanced resistance.
Symphony Series Custom Trumpet Mouthpiece price… $100 (silver) or $125 (gold)
Please indicate the make and model of the trumpet when ordering. Our standard delivery quote is 4-5 weeks for delivery. Please contact Karl Hammond directly at the Schilke factory for custom mouthpiece consultation.