The sound of the trumpet has a unique range that it can drown out other instruments in many bands most of the time. The trumpet mouthpiece plays a considerable part in helping a beginner player perform flawlessly. Its importance is quite similar to that of other instruments in what a bow is to a violin or a set of drumsticks to a drum set.
Choosing the right mouthpiece is essential to playing the trumpet, but there is no such thing as the perfect trumpet mouthpiece that will suit every player. It is important to remember that not all mouthpieces are created equal. Some are made with high-quality materials, and others are poorly made. There are also several sizes offering different functions.
Know Your Trumpet Mouthpiece
There are about four parts of a trumpet mouthpiece: Rim, Cup, Throat, and Bore. Each size and depth of these parts can affect the sound that comes out of the trumpet. A trumpet beginner should understand its individual function to be able to choose well from a wide selection of mouthpieces in the market today. While most brass instruments share general functions of the mouthpiece, they still have differences that their mouthpieces cannot be interchanged.
1) Mouthpiece Rim
It is the most essential part of the mouthpiece with its round edge, where the lips are placed to play the trumpet. The form and design offer different functions and effects to the sound that emanates from the instrument.
A wider and thicker rim with a flat top offers a more prominent lip placement where a player can easily reach high notes. The extra cushioning increases endurance when playing, but the tonal flexibility is a little bit compromised as it is limited.
A narrow and thinner rim with rounded top renders maximum flexibility as well as control when running through a wide range. Still, there is a decreased in endurance, limiting the player and can eventually cause pain if there is too much pressure with the sharp contact area.
The Cup of the Mouthpiece
The width of the cup pertains to the size of inner rim diameter of the mouthpiece. The depth of the cup refers to the distance of the exterior walls of cup from one another. The definite shape of the cup would not be distinguishable from the outside form, but it pertains to the way the metal was tapered inside to form the cup.
Cup Width – Generally, if the inner rim size is smaller, the player can easily create high notes with increased endurance but loses flexibility, and sound would be restricted. The less muscles being used would mean longer endurance. If the inner size is bigger, the player can produce lower tones with much volume, but endurance will suffer. There is more space for fitting the lips to the mouthpiece, which would force more muscles in the mouth to work and decrease the endurance.
Cup Depth – If the cup has a shallow form, it provides a way to make higher and brighter tones, making it harder for the player to create low tones. When it has a deeper form, the trumpet player can easily create lower and darker tones, but it would be harder to create higher notes.
Cup Shape – Basically, there are two shapes, the “U” and the “V”. There are other cup shapes that would combine the two shapes, such as beginning with the “U” shape and the metal tapers into a “V” shape as it gets deeper into the mouthpiece. Using a “U” shaped cup would give out a brighter and higher sound, whereas using a “V” shaped cup would result in lower and darker tones.
It is the smallest part with limited space in the trumpet’s mouthpiece as it starts from the cup’s bottom going deeper until it reaches the backbore. The length, as well as the size of the diameter, has an effect on how the sound will play out. The narrower and longer the throat of the mouthpiece is, the brighter and higher the tone register will be. On the other hand, wider and shorter throats would result in lower register of tones demanding more effort from the player.
Backbore of the Mouthpiece
The backbore starts from the point where the narrow part of the throat expands and up to the end of the trumpet mouthpiece. Like the other parts of the mouthpiece, its size and shape affect its sound. The narrower the space, the higher the notes, and if it has wider a space, expect lower and darker tones.
Things to Consider in Choosing Proper Sizes of Trumpet Mouthpiece for Beginners
Knowing how a trumpet mouthpiece works make it easier to choose between different mouthpieces offered in music stores.
If you still have no idea what works best for a beginner, here are the things you need to consider before purchasing a mouthpiece for your trumpet.
1) Trumpet Music Tone
Know the tone of your music to match the type of mouthpiece you need. A trumpet player should choose something based on his or her preferred music genre and ideal tone. A shallow cup is best for jazz and solo performances, while a deeper cup is best for orchestral playing with lighter sound. However, if you are a beginner, a single medium-sized mouthpiece trumpet 7C is an appropriate size to learn your way into playing the trumpet. Let it guide you to achieve your ideal tone.
2) Your Music Playing Style
If a generally accepted medium-sized mouthpiece for beginners is not suitable for your playing style, then choose something that makes your ideal tone comfortable. Make sure that you do not make the same mistake that most beginners do, which is choosing a smaller rim solely for the purpose of reaching the higher tones or, the wider ones, just to be able to produce lower tones.
3) Mouthpiece Material
Please choose the right material of the mouthpiece as it can affect the sound that would emanate from the trumpet. Universally, the best material for your trumpet would be brass as what most horn instruments are made of, but it would be great to know the difference between these materials. Stainless mouthpieces would do wonders, especially during lead performances. The silver ones are best for lower and dark tones, but they are not fully compatible with brass instruments. Titanium mouthpieces offer a stable bright sound and best for those sensitive to allergy but expect lighter sound. Plastic does not have a solid sound but makes up for a colored, fun, and festive collection.
Best 3 Trumpet Mouthpieces for Beginners
As we have discussed and reviewed before, The 7C medium-sized mouthpiece is the best trumpet size for beginners.
1) Bach 7C Trumpet Mouthpiece
This silver-plated innovation created by Vincent Bach, an acclaimed trumpet soloist, and engineer, is one of the most popular and widely used mouthpieces for beginners, particularly by students. It has a medium cup with a diameter of 16.22mm and rounded outer edge medium-wide rim shape. The backbore is size 10 and oftentimes used in marching bands. Even professional trumpet players use it for its solid sound and flexibility in range.
2) CO-RODE Gold Plated Metal Trumpet Mouthpiece, 7C Golden
Beginners will enjoy using this CO-RODE Gold Plated Metal Trumpet Mouthpiece, 7C Golden, not only for its affordable price tag but most especially for its design. It has an appropriate sized cup with a wide rounded rim edge that would help trumpet players create stable solid tones while continuously learning to play the instrument. The length is about 8.5cm and is generally compatible with most trumpets but is particularly suitable to Bach, Conn, and King Trumpets.
3) Glory Silver Plated Bb Trumpet Mouthpiece, 7C
It comes highly recommended by students, teachers as well as professional trumpet players in Amazon. This is a confirmation of its quality along with an affordable price tag to match. It is specially designed for intermediate players, but beginners can adapt to this mouthpiece easily. The Glory Silver Plated Bb Trumpet Mouthpiece 7C has a smooth silver finish and provides superior tone quality. It is generally compatible with most trumpets as it will give a new sound to an old instrument.
It is recommended not to purchase anything that is too small or too large and too narrow or too wide to put pressure on the player to make immediate adjustments instead of learning to do it naturally. Professional trumpet players would often have a specific mouthpiece for specific performance, but it is recommended to look for something that will suit your trumpet playing skills as a beginner.