Claude Gordon Brass Camp 1990 - Claude Gordon on Mouthpieces and Equipment

Transcript Summary

Today we're going to talk about a subject that I really get mad at.
For a long time I didn't even discuss it with you guys.
You can talk about it, and talk about it, talk about it,
and still you guys will laugh at each other.
And that's how it pieces.
The most dangerous subject in the whole brass thing is mouthpieces.
It's the most misunderstood.
No one knows much about it.
Mouthpiece makers make mouthpieces according to what you tell them
or what they think.
Most of the mouthpiece makers are not brass players.
And those that I played with, they never became fine players.
They became mouthpiece makers.
And we have some very fine mouthpiece makers around.
They handle a lathe well, they do beautiful work.
But you don't go to a mouthpiece maker and say, what do I need?
I think I need a little more out of here.
I need a little cut out of here.
A smaller drill so I can get high notes.
That's the worst fallacy there is.
A small mouthpiece does not get high notes.
It will choke up and stop on you, and you get a certain point.
And it will play out of tune.
Now, somebody will say, well yeah, but you get the small mouthpiece,
and it projects you, and you hear your way out.
That's not true.
One of the most powerful trumpet players in the symphony field
was Bud Herson from the Chicago Symphony.
If he had had one of those little tiny mouthpieces,
the conductor couldn't have heard him.
He'd get lost in the orchestra when they came up to a big crescendo.
But he had an open, real open back wall mouthpiece.
I don't use the word big unless I slip out,
because that has an entirely different meaning.
Open is the word we want.
You talk about big in a mouthpiece, what are you talking about?
Well, what do you mean?
Somebody says, well, you need a bigger mouthpiece.
What do you mean, bigger mouthpiece?
Open is the word.
Diameter-wise, that depends on how you feel.
The shape of the rim depends on what's comfortable.
That can be changed around until you find what's comfortable.
But the mouthpiece, the heart of the mouthpiece is what you can't see.
That's in the back, we call it the backboard.
Now, a player gets, Jimmie Nones is a player,
he'll pick up a mouthpiece, he'll miss a note, and he goes,
he's looking at the mouthpiece.
There's no way he's looking forward.
After you get up so high, a small mouthpiece is going to work against you.
An open mouthpiece will work for you.
Now, if you've noticed this in the, I don't know whether you've noticed it or not,
but in the performances, we had some good examples.
Like one night, One Trump here stood up in the orchestra.
Man, he really projected.
Another one stood up as a good trumpet player, but his sound didn't project at all.
And he was blowing real hard.
And I watched for these things, and you notice what it was,
you have one of those...
Jectone, right.
He had a little jectone mouthpiece.
Boy, he was really working to come through that section.
And the other guy was playing easy, and he was coming right through.
Did you notice that?
Absolutely so evident.
And yet, I'll bet you couldn't talk him off of that jectone.
He probably said, no, no, this projects enough.
And he got up in the upper register, and it almost faded off entirely, pinched.
And the other guy, the higher he got, it got like this.
So, notice those things.
Don't be prejudiced when it comes to mouthpiece.
Really take a look at what it feels like.
Not what you want it to feel like.
Now, I want to tell you from the start, I don't care what you play as a mouthpiece.
I'm not in the mouthpiece business.
I made my mouthpiece for me.
And as the students came along, they all loved it and wanted it
and progressed so well on it.
If you get an open mouthpiece, it may take you six months to get used to it.
Most players won't wait that long.
After about two days, then they want to try something else.
Then what happens with a poor mouthpiece,
or one that's too tight, you'll get it.
You'll play it, and you think, wow, this feels great.
So you buy it.
Three days later, the bomb drops.
You can't play as well.
It feels terrible.
So what do you do?
Back to the mouthpiece maker and you get another one.
Now, the other one isn't going to do that much difference, as I'll show you.
But it feels a hair different.
Yeah, this is it. I'll take that.
Three days later, you can't play it.
You get on the job and you fight it.
That goes on maybe two or three mouthpieces.
Now, you can't play any of them.
You say, well, I've got to go back to my old one.
I did all right on that.
You can't play it either now.
Now you're in trouble. None of them feel good.
So the constant circle of hunting for a mouthpiece is starting.
And it never will stop.
If you go down to a reputable mouthpiece maker,
one thing you'll notice, every time you go in, you'll see the same guys in there.
Now, if the mouthpiece would answer their problem,
they wouldn't be in there all the time, would they?
But you'll see the same guys back in that mouthpiece shop all the time.
This is from your own experience.
I can't hear you.
This is from your own experience.
I should say it is.
I have an apple box full of mouthpieces.
I came home one day, and around our front room,
we lived in Santa Monica, and we had one of those little shelves
where they're called plate shelves or something around the roof.
I came home one afternoon, and I walked in.
I looked up.
I didn't notice it at first.
And all of a sudden I noticed it.
Here was mouthpieces.
One after another, all around.
My wife had taken all these mouthpieces and put them all around the room.
And I looked up, and then I, it dawned on me.
Now, that is so.
All those mouthpieces, and I can't play any of them.
So I put them all back in the apple box and took them over
and gave them to Colleccio to use for brass.
And they all were, what, $10, $15 in those days, a piece.
You know how much money I had something in those mouthpieces?
Couldn't play any of them.
So in order to get a good mouthpiece, I went and designed one for myself,
all for the old mouthpieces that were good and open.
When I first played it, that's terrible.
I can't play this.
Couldn't get up out of the staff with it.
But in a few months, I started to get the feel of that openness.
Now the tongue did the work of the restriction.
And it got easier to play than ever.
When I finally developed a high range, it was on an open mouthpiece.
And the higher you get, the stronger you get.
Remember one thing.
Hunting for a mouthpiece and this constant changing of mouthpieces,
that's the beginning of the end.
Because it never will stop.
And you never will stop thinking, well, maybe this would be better.
Or maybe this.
And you're hooked.
Whereas if you just went on, you get a mouthpiece.
If it's a good one, you stay with it forever and you'll grow with it.
Now again, I don't care what you play.
You're going to either sink or swim.
That's up to you.
My students, yeah, that are taking lessons, I get on that.
And if they come in with another type of mouthpiece,
they get rid of it or get rid of themselves.
Because I won't take the responsibility.
The open one, I know what it'll do.
I've heard that a young, a very beginning player should start on a beginning mouthpiece
and then switch to the advanced mouthpiece years later.
That's probably the worst thing you could ever do.
There's no such thing as a beginner's mouthpiece.
It does not exist.
And also, there never was a mouthpiece made that's going to play the horn for you.
A beginner's mouthpiece, I said, is a fallacy.
Up in there, up north in San Francisco,
they have some plaques made of a statement I made one time.
And it says, stock them on the best mouthpiece you can find and never change.
The great old solos never changed their mouthpiece.
Now there was a time, sure, when they were hunting.
They were pioneers, they were working on it.
They all played the same mouthpiece for their life.
But there were others that were caused to play the spearman.
And that's why there were so many things developed.
When the Casa Loma Band started becoming popular,
now most of you are too young to remember that.
That was in the 30s.
But the older timers will remember.
That was a great orchestra.
Just phenomenal.
They had a trumpet player, Sonny Dove, in there that played pretty high and very well.
He played trombone and he played treble.
He would play beautiful trombones solos,
put the trombone down, pick up the trumpet and start on the top F.
And everybody was just amazed at the way he played.
Well, obviously he played correctly.
Sorry he couldn't have done these things.
But I doubt if he even knew how he played.
A lot of guys just started talking about the trombones.
It just happens to work that way.
So the high notes for the average player came into vogue.
Up until that time the high note players were the great virtuosos.
And they never told anyone how they did it.
So now then everybody saw this Sonny Dunham.
The band became so popular.
It came out of Toronto.
Great band.
Great name.
Isn't that a great name for a band?
The Casa Loma Orchestra?
I just thought that was wonderful.
The Casa Loma Orchestra.
Left, right, and the Casa Loma Orchestra.
Left, right, and the Casa Loma Orchestra.
It came from the Loma Castle up there.
Now then everybody started wanting to play like Sonny Dunham
because he was the name of the day.
So nobody could play high notes.
The average soccer player, if he got a high C in those days,
he was doing pretty well.
So now then they started to think in terms of mouthpieces.
So the manufacturers jumped on that.
The King Company came out in about 1935.
I should still have that ad somewhere.
And anyway, it said,
our new modern mouthpiece built to meet the demands of today.
The drill size had shrunk to 24.
That was in 1935.
So now all the other mouthpiece manufacturers followed suit.
So the drills had shrunk from about a 20 drill,
which is a good common sense drill in a mouthpiece,
from a 20.
Now it had shrunk down to a 24.
That's six digits smaller.
And everybody talked a little bit higher.
They said, why don't they just block those mouthpieces by the thousands?
And the mouthpiece business, as I told you,
a multi-million dollar business a year.
The box alone has,
do you remember the amount of different models they have
when the box representative was out talking to us?
I think it was something like 82,000 different shapes.
Now that's enough to confuse all the trumpet players for the rest of time.
And they sell those things, or they sell them.
They make millions on mouthpieces.
And each individual mouthpiece maker makes a lot of money.
Because one player that's hooked on mouthpieces is worth many mouthpieces to him.
Over and over.
Okay, now then, as time went on,
now the drill size to meet the modern demand is down to a 28.
That's the average.
And I'm talking now trumpet mouthpieces.
But the French horn and trombones have varied just as much in their own sizes.
Okay, now then, they're even making 29 drills.
That's a pinhole.
How much vibration is going into that horn when it has to go through a drill about the size,
not much larger than a pinhole?
And how much force are you going to put behind it to try and get it through,
and it's not going through, it's kicking back at you.
So you're working twice as hard.
So a good mouthpiece is an open mouthpiece.
Most of you are going to get into it.
Then you're going to have problems.
You're not going to know what they are.
Hopefully you'll realize what we talked about before it's too late.
Because it's a never-ending circle.
Constantly going on and on and on.
Diameter, the best diameter of a mouthpiece for all-around playing was about comparable to a Mach 3.
No, I'm sorry, a Mach 7.
That's about the diameter all the great soloists choose.
And it's a good diameter.
Now, they have now a popular diameter of one and a half.
About one and a half is a popular diameter.
That's a little wider.
Wider in diameter.
But everybody can't handle it.
But a 7 works great for an average.
You don't need any smaller, you don't need any bigger.
Now some mouthpieces on the inner edge of the rim are very sharp.
And that won't cut your lip.
And yet there's a theory out that you sharpen up that rim and you get better attack.
That's not true.
The best rim, the comfortable rim, was the old Dell Stater's rim.
And that's what's on my personal mouthpiece.
The old Dell Stater's rim.
That's so comfortable, I don't care how much you play, it's not going to cut your lip.
But some don't like that rim, so they do what they want.
Some like a flatter rim.
And that's okay.
But what's inside that mouthpiece is what's going to affect you more than anything else.
Now let's, on your grass plant book, study now the last pages.
Let me see where it comes in to.
Yeah, page 33.
And study the rest of the book.
And that puts it down there very well.
So you can see what makes a good mouthpiece.
Now that's all I'm discussing.
What makes a good mouthpiece, what makes a bad mouthpiece.
From then on you're on your own.
We got some pictures here of mouthpieces in the back of them.
We sliced the mouthpiece right straight down the middle.
So you can see what the papers are and what they're not.
I've always said if ever I quit teaching, it's going to be because I'm sick and tired of arguing mouthpieces.
Okay, now I may have to fool around here until I figure which one we have.
Let me see a few up in a row and I'll stop it.
Is that the, is that the E4A?
Well now here's four of them lined up together.
Here's a showpiece with a little shallow cut.
Here's a, that's I believe is a jet tone with a little shallow cut.
Did someone say something?
All right, now and this is a, this is a jet tone.
This is a shadow here with a little shallow cut.
Now this is what it looks like.
You have your cup and you have, well you should have a throat.
There's not much of a throat there.
Then the drill size and then the backboard shapes.
Now in this particular mouthpiece, this causes resistance.
When you're blowing on a cup that's shallow, you're hitting a wall that's coming back at you.
Now you'll hear theories.
Some want to say, well you've got to project that air right down the middle.
Well if that were true, then why have a cup at all?
That's not true either.
So either, I'd defy anyone to say where that air is going.
Even if you had a mouthpiece you could see through, you couldn't see the air.
So no one really knows, but probably it moves against the cup.
And if the cup is like that shallow, it's going to fight back.
That's resistance.
Now this throat is very narrow, so it's not going to help you much.
Then you have the drill.
Now on this one, it's got pretty good drill size.
If it hadn't, you probably couldn't play it at all, because something's got to move somewhere.
Now but you notice how long from here to here it does not taper at all.
It's absolutely straight.
That causes resistance.
You're trying to force a migration through an absolute straight tube.
And that causes resistance.
If this is too long, resistance.
Too shallow, resistance.
This has to come out.
That folds fairly well.
But these other two nullify it.
Now here, he has no straight away at all.
That's no good either.
Because now there's no resistance.
And there has to be a little.
Terrible shallow cup.
Doesn't open up.
It stays too narrow all the way down through here.
That's more resistance.
Now you're fighting all those things.
Okay, now we come over.
This is the shoki again.
Now notice, very shallow cup.
Entirely too shallow.
Look at the throat.
It's just a short little sharp curve for the throat.
Now then, my goodness, straight away it goes straight down to here.
No taper at all.
Now you're fighting to get things through there.
Now if you play these over a period of time, you get used to fighting that.
It's like you're leaning against something.
Did you ever lean up against a door or have somebody open the door?
You fall, don't you?
So if you're playing on something like this, and all of a sudden you take one that's more sensible and is more open,
you feel like you fall through it.
And you say, I can't feel it.
That's only because you've been playing something that tight.
This one here is a Jecto.
Again, not much of a cup.
Entirely too narrow all through the back part.
One of these was called the Albert model.
This one here.
I tried to play that one, but it just went, doop.
How he does, I don't know.
Now you can play, say you had, you went to Mouthpiece Maker.
And you made up this, or you bought it, and you made up this, and you played it.
Well, I don't like that too well.
So you have it here, and you have it here.
All resistance fighting back, actually.
Now these are the later developments over the last, what, 50s, 60s years.
Okay, let's get another one.
I wanted to ask about the Shilkey, that throat area, could that be a second cup?
That, no, it's not a second cup.
It's, there was a Mouthpiece made, they called it a second cup.
They said a double cup Mouthpiece.
They had this cup, and then a wide throat, and they called that a second cup.
It was just a wide throat.
And what is the second cup supposed to do?
Actually, that's what you're playing on.
The second cup is supposed to open up when you get your low notes.
And then the little shallow one was supposed to be, that's your high notes.
And the funny sound, or the bad sound that that double cup Mouthpiece had,
came from the sharp edge of that first cup.
But you were actually playing on the lower cup.
And that's the only open spot you had.
Now the funny thing about that double cup Mouthpiece though,
it had a wide open grill and a wide open mouth back part.
And that's probably the reason they were able to play it.
But it was very out of tune because of that edge in there.
So actually, if you had just gone in, cut that edge off,
and used the full cup, what they called the double cup,
probably would have put them up.
Was there a precedent of the double cup in the earlier schools?
Yeah, a guy named Perduba put that up under his name.
Perduba's double cup.
Calicchio made them.
He made all the Mouthpieces.
And then they got it in Harry James, who was in the Goodman Band at that time,
and a fine player.
And they got Harry to play it, and the other two.
So they all played it and it became a big advertising thing.
There was no other precedent at all.
It was just a New York advertisement.
Okay, now let's get in the middle.
And now, is there a name on this?
Let's put it in the mouth.
But you notice now, you've got the V-type cup.
But you notice it's never a straight, harsh V.
There's always a slight curve.
Goes right in.
Now the cup itself becomes the throat.
It's a 20-drill.
Look at the nice curve in that back form.
And it's wide open on this end.
Now the narrower this is, the harder it's going to be to get any volume.
When you get that wide open back end, that's where your volume comes out.
And that gets restricted.
Now you're working harder.
In fact, and it has to balance.
See, if this doesn't balance, if that doesn't balance with this,
now it's going to give you troubles.
Like if this is wide open through here, and this is narrow, you're going to be fighting.
If this is closed up and tight up here, and this is wide open,
now you're having trouble again.
It always has to balance.
Now that's a little smaller one again.
That's a, I believe that's a jet-tower one.
But you'll notice there's no throat, shallow cut, narrow grove.
Now all of a sudden it comes off of a straightaway with a sharp curve.
They had to do that because it was too small here.
That vibration has to spread out somewhere or it deteriorates.
Now this is pretty obvious.
Notice the straightaway here where the drill has come through.
Just about right. It's not too long.
And it comes out here rather narrow through here before it moves out.
I believe Schilke made that for me when we were experimenting.
That didn't work out.
It just didn't play like it should have.
These holes are where I had it drilled onto a board so it could steer.
All right, that's another one about to say you can move wide.
Another one here.
Now here is an excellent mouthpiece.
King made this and it was not for you. It was Del Stegers.
And I think most of you know what a great player he was.
And we'll hear him tomorrow on the tapes.
Now notice the rim is narrow.
Somebody, you know, for a long time they had a mouthpiece out of New York.
Because New York was the center.
I'm not saying that to Robert Dwyer.
New York was the center of everything.
And they had one come out called a cushion rim.
I'm trying to think of the name of who had that.
Rudy Muck.
Rudy Muck.
That's right. Rudy Muck cushion rim mouthpiece.
Boy, I glummed on that. I had a rim about that fast.
And it was the theory behind it that it would cushion.
And because it was so fat, it wouldn't hurt your lip.
An absolutely reverse of what was true.
It was so wide that you had no circulation in your lip.
It would cut off all the circulation.
The narrower the rim that you can use.
The narrower that you can use, the better.
Now this is the rim that I took and put on my mouthpiece.
Because it is just a great rim.
It wasn't my idea. I didn't design it.
I just took it from what I found was fine equipment.
So the stateless rim was the best I'd ever seen.
And I could play on it the days of the time and never get tired.
Beautiful cup. Slight curve, V-type.
Goes right into the throat.
Now the straightaway is just about there.
Then it starts curving into a beautiful backboard.
If this backboard goes straight, you're going to have that harsh little sound
without any nice open sound like a violin or cello we get.
It's got to be a toe chamber of some kind in there.
And it's wide open at the end.
I still have some of them. I think one of them somewhere.
Now the Clark Father base.
Notice the rim is almost the same.
More cup. The Clark cup was huge.
It was a little more than the Steger's cup.
Notice the size of that drill.
Wide open. Straightaway on Clark's goes from here to about here.
Now it goes into a beautiful open backboard.
Now Clark had the concave mouthpiece that fit his teeth.
It wasn't flat like we play.
It had a slight curve.
And of course you had to get it straight again.
But he loved that.
I was able to feel the mouthpiece firmly on his mouth that way.
An interesting story. Walter Smith was billed in New York at,
I don't know if it was Pan-Tages or Paramount or what.
Anyway, the world's greatest cornet soloist.
And he was one of them. Great player.
And he came in.
Clark and all the guys would go down. They had kind of a fraternity.
And Clark was standing backstage.
It was about 30 degrees below.
Let's ask the white guy back there.
About 30 degrees below zero and snowing.
The band was playing the introductory number.
And the stage manager kept yelling around, where is Smith?
Anybody seen Smith? He's on.
He didn't come in yet.
And all of a sudden the door bangs open on the stage.
And in comes Smith with a great big coat and he takes it off.
He has his cornet and imagine how cold that thing is.
He takes the cornet out, opens it up and he says, oh my gosh, my mouthpiece.
Clark, you got a mouthpiece?
Clark says, yeah, I got mine.
They always carry their mouthpieces back there in their pocket.
They always have their mouthpiece.
He says, can I borrow it?
Clark says, yeah.
And he handed it to him.
Smith stuck it in the horn.
And just then the stage, the announcer says, they're great.
And already, Walter Smith.
And he walks out.
Now Clark had that concave mouthpiece.
And when he stuck it in the horn, he didn't even look at it.
And it was going this way.
You know, he played his solos, several encores.
Never even noticed it.
Played well.
So that shows you what.
You can do back rims or mouthpiece.
You're a good player and will play anything.
All right.
So he'd come out.
He didn't even twist the leg.
Check it out.
He says, thanks, Clark.
I'll see you later.
And he rushed out.
He never did know he played his mouthpiece.
And he played his mouthpiece.
That's the Clark mouthpiece now.
That's right.
Now notice there's that same rim.
Not quite as much cup as Clark, but the same type.
A little shape there.
Into the throat.
And you got your straightaway.
Oh, this is bucks.
That was hard to see.
But you saw it on the other one.
The straightaway is about from here to here.
Very similar to Clark's and Steger.
Notice the drill size.
You can get something through there.
Now comes a nice curve.
It's a beautiful backboard.
And the funny part of it is all these tools for this side,
when I went back, we found them in the Bach drills.
They have them.
They have all of them.
And so we didn't have much trouble.
We didn't have to make a new cutter.
There was one there.
So we cut it back with that.
Then Filio put it out as a Bach mouthpiece.
But he botched it out.
It didn't work with it at all.
He put it on a five-diameter and one of those sharp H-rims.
It was terrible.
So I took it out and told him not to use it to put just a standard seven.
So whenever you buy a personal CG Selmer trumpet,
you can finally put a Bach seven in it.
Because the only reason it was such a standard,
and they would not make what I wanted.
So let it go.
And Filio said, no, we're not going to make that.
He said, we sell more mouthpieces than everybody put together.
No, we're not going to make anything up.
It's just we choose to do it.
So that's why you get a seven when you buy the horn.
Now you can see them together.
Here's the stakers.
Notice the cup is a little less than Clark's.
Rims are all the same.
Now you have wide open back drill straight away and a beautiful curve.
Clark is saying it just curves into the, what did I call it?
It just curves into it.
Now the straight drill to here.
And then it just nice beautiful curve.
Notice they're all about the same on the opening here.
And now the one I got are based on these two mouthpieces.
It has same type cup.
Just blends right into the throat.
About the same straight away.
And then it blends into that nice curve there.
So those are good mouthpieces.
And there's hundreds and hundreds of great players that are using them.
Can you see the difference in those and the smaller ones now and what they are?
Well, nobody thinks of that.
When you look at a mouthpiece, you look at the cup and say, oh, that looks pretty good.
Doesn't mean a thing, does it?
Not a thing.
It's back here what you can't see.
From here out.
That's why I, someone will ask me, well, is this backward okay?
I'll take a pencil and run up there.
That really is no way to measure.
But you get an idea of how far that pencil will go.
You can get an idea of where that gets narrowed and too small.
Okay, any questions on that?
Who makes your C.E.G. person?
I'll give him a, say Kastle.
Kastle because he's out of there.
He's not all over.
He makes all of Giarnelli's mouthpieces.
He makes almost everybody's stuff.
Giarnelli, he makes up maybe a few thousand and sends them back to New York.
He does all, most of the work that was.
He's developed quite a shop out there.
He's in Fullerton.
He's in Fullerton.
He's in Fullerton, yes.
And a great guy.
He's a little brusque.
But you get to know him well.
And if you know what you're doing, he's great.
If you don't know what you're doing, he doesn't have any respect for you at all.
Okay, now is there anyone?
That's it.
That's it.
What happens if the rim is too thin?
What form players start to play as one for the white?
If it's what?
The rim is too small?
They start to cut?
Does that little happen?
Well, it won't cut.
It'll just feel a little uncomfortable.
The sharp inner edge of the rim is what cuts.
And a bonk mouthpiece is not that thin.
As anyone who plays a bonk mouthpiece will tell you,
boy, that inner edge of that rim is so sharp.
They'll take that over to a mouthpiece maker,
and he'll take an emery cloth or put it in the lathe
and cut that sharpness off.
Then it feels better.
So if your lip is getting cut, you know that the rim is bothering you somehow.
All right, now I need the blackboard.
We'll get the blackboard and some chalk.
All right.
Now is there any question on mouthpieces?
Now, remember, the only thing a guy can go out and get everybody's opinion he wants,
I don't care.
I don't care what you play.
But that's what makes a good mouthpiece and a bad mouthpiece.
If you have a mouthpiece that's just, you think it's kind of almost good,
how can you tell when to change or when you think you might need to change it?
Well, if you're not having any problems, don't ask me.
If it's playing well and you're getting response and you're playing easily
and everything is working, there's no need to change.
Like, I know a casey mouthpiece is slightly smaller than Brad's.
But how do you know if it's just Bob McAfee,
and it's a little bit smaller than mine,
but it seems to be okay, but what kind of things do you look for in a case?
I would look for the sound and the fluency.
And, of course, your general approach and everything.
You can tell.
Unless it gets too small.
Like, if someone says, well, I opened mine up to a 24-grit,
it's still too small.
The best all-around size for a trumpet mouthpiece would be a 22.
That's a good average.
I put in mine a 20.
Now, that's a – you know how much difference that is?
About the thickness of the sheet of paper.
That's all.
So a 22, a 20.
Del Steger used a 22.
Clark used a 20.
Levy had a 22.
Liberati was a 22.
There was a lot of 22-grits.
I understand that this Sluder of the Minneapolis Symphony
uses a 13-drill for his big little trumpet.
So that blows a lot of theories, doesn't it?
Somebody had a hand up?
Do you have a mouthpiece in your box?
Do you have it re-drilled to a bigger size?
If you have a mouthpiece that's –
See, you bought a mouthpiece and you decide
you think you need to get a bigger drill for it.
Can you do that or will it mess it up?
Well, you can drill it. It'll help. It'll help.
Now, it depends on the mouthpiece.
If the mouthpiece is through that backboard
and the top and everything,
it would work better if it were made to match.
But I've taken a lot of guys on box samplings
and drilled them out to 22s.
And they work much better.
We drill through them.
Several weeks drill like that.
I don't like to change their ribs and diameters
on a lot of students.
But they have to open it up somewhere.
So in that case, we'll drill it.
And then if you drill it, don't do it with my hand
because you'll get it in there crooked.
I have a guy put it in the lathe and drill it.
What size was the Box 7 to start with?
Oh, years ago, when he made them,
they were as open as mine.
The original was.
And then, of course, they got smaller and smaller.
So now, I think the Box 27 does.
So they're getting that small too.
All right. Hello.
Is this going to ask you about the Schmidt backboard?
The Schmidt backboard's good.
Where did that come from?
That came from a man named Schmidt, a German.
What's the difference?
What's the difference between what?
Well, compared to the Stegars and the Clark, or...
Very close.
Schmidt was open.
Now, they have what they call Schmidt
now that there was an art, though.
Like, I've had some...
Like somebody would say,
well, gee, David has used the butt bumpies.
Yeah, he has.
But it's been drilled out with the Schmidt backboard
and a larger drill.
So it's made by Bach,
but it's no different than the Bach we said.
So when you take a smaller mouth,
it's like a Box 7, and you drill it out to a 22.
You also need to do the backboard.
The what?
Generally, I'll take it up
and have somebody like Malone
open the backboard to it.
See, even a 22, it'll work better.
Excuse me, I've got to get some oil in my throat
or I can't talk.
Yeah, that's awful.
But the thing is that it'll work better,
but then it'll work even better
if you open it back.
We did that with yours, didn't we?
Malone did it, too, didn't he?
Yeah, he put a 22 in it
and then opened it back.
He didn't have a full Schmidt,
but he put it in the backboard
as well as a bigger drill on it.
You told them what size to put in.
You have to tell them.
Like, I went over one time
and I said,
I'll make that one for you.
I put a 22 drill in it.
I fixed it.
I got the biggest kick out of it
because he's a great old man
and he looked at you over his glasses.
And he gets it all ready.
It's all ready
and the backboard's in
and he gets the drill
and he looks up and he says,
I says, yeah, 22.
He said, you sure?
I says, yeah, 22.
So I put it in and I couldn't wait to get home
and try it because it was very close
to what I was working on.
I took out my drill.
He put a 28 in it.
He'd do that all the time.
And he went along
with all the theories.
He says, why do you work so hard?
I says, no, it's easier.
If it were harder, I wouldn't do it.
I said, it plays easier.
So I went back
two or three times before I finally got to the 22.
He just wouldn't put it in.
Any other questions?
Those are good questions now.
I put a 22 on the top.
Of which?
When I took it out
I had a machinist by the name of it.
I put a 23 on it
and it's almost too long.
It really blows.
And I'm even thinking about
going to a 19
which is another 7,000 speakers.
I would leave it at 20.
You start getting bigger.
Carl Leach tried that one year.
Man, he got up.
He was throwing them out.
He was throwing them out.
You better go through the sides
if you get too much.
If you get much bigger than that 20
you start losing it.
You lose your intonation
and everything.
So be careful.
It'll open everything.
Okay, now
someone else have their hand up.
Now, the mouthpiece
is part
of the instrument.
Remember that.
It's part
of the instrument.
It's not something
separate that you work on some way
and then you put it in the horn
and it does it for you.
It actually is part of the instrument.
Now, what we used to do
let me see if it does it.
Can everyone see this?
Now, they used to make them out
the pipes or the lead pipes.
I can have a lead pipe.
No, I didn't put that to shape.
That just represents the lead pipe.
And then the end of the lead pipe
would come out like this.
Now, then the mouthpieces
they didn't have a receiver here.
The lead pipe came right here.
The mouthpiece would go inside
the end pipe here.
And that's all
the old horns like to see tomorrow
in the collection.
The mouthpieces will go inside
the lead pipe.
So, we used to take
this is supposed to be the mouthpiece.
Now, we used to take
and so there could always be a little ridge there
where that mouthpiece
was inside the pipe.
So, we used to take
a weaver and we'd bring this out
so it got like a laser edge.
Now, it would
fit flat right in the lead pipe.
In other words, it's got to be
part of the instrument.
It's not something separate
that you attach.
Now, the way they make them now
they have a lead pipe
on the horn.
Now, the lead pipe comes up to about here
and then they put
a receiver on
the end of it.
Now, the lead pipe is in in here.
Everybody see it?
This is the receiver.
They call it a receiver
because it receives a mouthpiece.
up here there's a sharp
edge where that
lead pipe comes at you.
Now, then the mouthpiece will come in
average mouthpiece is kind of standard
it'll come in about like that.
That's the mouthpiece.
Now, see it comes in the receiver
to there
and then the lead pipe takes up here.
Can everybody see that?
We can't see it move into the center
because this is kind of important.
You see it, Kyoshi?
Now, then
you pull
on the mouthpiece
and your
position starts
but when it hits here
and look at all the turbine that's going in
before the lead pipe can pick it up.
So, this
is a separate entity then, isn't it?
Alright, now then
one mouthpiece maker came up with
an idea
and it was a good idea
what someone wanted to use it for.
He made sleeves.
Lead pipe
Alright, now the mouthpiece
he made a receiver
that would come in
and he made it so they would fit
different lengths.
The mouthpiece
would come in and the receiver
would go there. Now, he put the mouthpiece
out and the receiver
the receiver would come in to about
then he made another one
come in a little further
then he made another one
come in a little further
and he made quite a few of those
so that you could
bring it right up
to the lead pipe
and then you could test
and back them off with those receivers.
You know what happened?
You had the receiver that
kept you that far off the lead pipe
and it
played terrible
just awful.
So, you put another receiver in
you come up a little further
still played terrible
no difference at all.
You couldn't bring that receiver up
until you got
about an eighth of an inch
off the lead pipe
and all of a sudden
it sparked
and played real well.
So, therefore they developed
a theory that you should
back the mouthpiece
an eighth of an inch off the lead pipe.
That's not true.
It's the opposite.
You should never back it off any further
than one eighth of an inch.
Actually, I make the mouthpiece
and have it tapered
so it
here's the end of the lead pipe
the mouthpiece spots right under this.
Now your vibration
is continuous.
It doesn't, it's not interrupting.
Now, is that understandable?
Do you understand what I mean?
So, the closer
to the lead pipe
it'll work
as far as an eighth of an inch off the pipe
but no further
than an eighth of an inch.
So, what the rule they developed
was all right but it's backwards
as they
make it an eighth of an inch off.
Don't let it go any further
than an eighth of an inch off.
Do you use the same mouthpiece
on different instruments
that you have?
Let's say C1 or
the B flat
or the D.
They should all fit.
They should all fit.
You can't adjust the mouthpiece
because if you do that they won't fit the other.
You can't adjust the lead pipe.
That depends again on your equipment
and you should be careful
when you're buying equipment.
For that same purpose
I have a B flat
Selmer and a C Selmer.
Now, the receivers
are exactly the same on both.
So, if you have a mouthpiece that fits one
put in the other and fit in two.
We can have a Bach receiver.
But the Bach it won't fit.
It won't go up again.
The Bach receiver is very short.
If you notice on the Selmer receiver
it's exactly like the old
Besson receiver. It's about that long.
So, it's a
Have the receiver
Yeah, and then the Amahas are different
and they're all different.
So, those are problems
you're going to have to
a mouthpiece maker
will do what you're telling them to do
and fit it
into the horn. Sometimes you can
take and change the
outside of the shank on a mouthpiece
so it'll fit. But then it'll fit
the other one.
So, if you change
the receiver. If you could get
an identical mouthpiece and
shape it to fit the other horn, say
that would be cool.
If the mouthpiece is custom made
you can't buy it. That's different, yeah.
That's one of the troubles with when you
go out and have custom made mouthpieces.
They're very difficult to do
with this.
Who was it? Larry Miller.
Dr. Miller had
I didn't have the person a
mouthpiece out then.
So, Larry Souza
made him a mouthpiece. Larry is a great
artist. He'll make his
mouthpieces on electric motor.
And he has a thing
not related, just the end of electric motor.
And he'll work it out.
He does great.
He made a mouthpiece
for Dr. Miller right on
the measurements for the
personal mouthpiece.
Larry lost it.
He could not duplicate it.
He could get very close
because he knew what he was supposed to have.
But to duplicate it, that's a mouthpiece.
Like there was a mouthpiece
spent down in the valley.
And they advertised
that they could copy
anything. They had the machine
and they could copy it exactly.
It never came out exactly.
It's very difficult.
But when you use the same cutters
for every mouthpiece that comes off
you make a thousand mouthpieces,
they're all the same.
And then they'll give you the theory
of how those cutters wear down
and the mouthpiece is different.
It takes an awful lot of mouthpieces
for them to wear down.
They will eventually. But that's
steel and they're
putting in brass. It takes a long
time for those cutters to wear down.
I'll bet you the box has cutters
that haven't changed for a hundred years.
So that's not
something that you have to worry about.
And how do you know? You can tell by the way
it plays, by the way.
Now then,
have many crazy theories.
The lead pipe
is very important
on our brass industry.
No matter what brass system it is.
if they're going to work with trombones,
baritones and those things,
the one working on that is
what's better known. Because the lead pipes are not
the same on a baritone as a
trombone. The trombone is
rather short, lead pipe,
and those things all make
a difference.
You have to deal
with people that are not
knowledgeable. Like Larry Sousa
is absolutely excellent.
The one that Dave will let you listen to.
He really is. Hello.
What would you suggest a player that
devils on a two-pin bass trombone?
What type of mouthpiece is it?
I would try to use the same mouthpiece.
When you change mouthpieces,
it always gives you problems.
it's not that you couldn't change it and play it.
It's the feel.
It feels different.
Now, the gentleman
I told you about
played great trombone.
He picked up a trumpet and played just as well.
But the trombone mouthpiece is so much
bigger than the trumpet mouthpiece
that it doesn't give you that much problem.
It's when it's close
that you get the problem.
Alright, now,
a lead pipe, if I can draw
straight here,
a lead pipe,
a horn you're on,
a lead pipe
will shape
something like that.
it's very important. I'm going to tell you one of the secrets
of a horn.
I don't generally tell the secrets
in the personal
horn, the CG horn, because
it's better that it stays
with the horn.
It wouldn't do a person any good
to know it anyway. Like, everybody
wants to know the bore size.
You know that years ago
they never put a bore size
on a horn.
You'd never know what bore size
you were playing. And that's great.
And I tried to do that with Selmer, too,
but they put the bore size.
That doesn't do you any good.
And the minute you see
a bore size, you raise up your head,
oh, I can play that,
or oh, I can play that.
And that's wrong. When the bore size
is not there, now you pick up a horn
and how does it play? That's all
you care about.
But the minute you get intellectual
and have to know the bores and all that,
you could be getting into trouble.
Now, the lead
at the start,
is critical.
the theory comes in
the smaller, the higher you can
play. That has influenced
all manufacturers forever.
That theory
The smaller, the higher.
And everybody wants to play high.
So they go on that theory.
Now then, as a result,
the start of the average lead
is about
Most all horns will start
at that diameter.
It's too small.
It causes a restriction.
Now, the best instruments
started much
In the summer, it starts at
That's 15,000
stars at the opening.
That gives
the vibration a chance
to pick up. If the lead pipe is
very thin, now where that
vibration comes out of the mouth,
it's the vibration that picks up.
Not the air.
The air is doing the work,
but the vibration is what
picks up through the instrument.
So that vibration comes out.
You've got a 360 opening.
It gives it a chance.
There's no restriction.
It catches on to that
thin lead pipe and raises it.
I went into
some time ago.
Larry Sousa had number
five? No.
Very low number.
The first ones that came out.
He fell in love with the horn right away
because he's a good player.
He knew this plays easy.
That's what we want. What do we care about?
What we want is something that plays easy.
I came into the shop one day,
and here's this horn.
Everything apart.
Slides all over.
Everything off of it.
I said, Larry, what are you doing?
That's a brand new horn.
He says, oh, I can put it back together.
Well, that's right.
He could. I said, yeah, but what?
He says, I'm trying to find out
why this thing plays so well
in tune.
And he says, I think it's in the bound cluster.
it's not the bound cluster.
Do you know
where it is?
Right there.
In the lead pipe.
When that lead pipe
is open,
now it lets you
play it in tune.
The smaller
the start of the lead pipe,
the more out of tune
the instrument is.
Your intonation comes right from the start.
The horn? No.
It lets you play in tune.
It's maneuverable.
Now, when you
get a horn,
you say, boy, this horn is in tune.
It's impossible
to get a horn in tune.
They build it
as in tune as possibly they can
get it lined up with the lengths
of the tubing. It's still not
going to play in tune. Low C sharp is
always going to be a little high. Low D
is always going to be a little high.
Four space E will generally be a little
But in the Selmer,
no, you can play it right in tune.
Because you can play
it right in tune.
The horn isn't playing in tune for you.
You're playing it in tune.
You understand what I'm saying?
Now, think about that.
When you get the
French horn, we don't worry about it.
There's so much tubing that you can do anything with it.
It'll bend. Yeah.
And your hand. And all of that.
But that's why
a horn
can be a good horn or a bad horn.
Intonation wise.
That lead pipe is important.
But if you get a plug and measure
the start of your lead pipe,
I'll bet you they're all .345.
No matter
whose horn, who makes it.
Because that's stained.
Some of the old
French Bessons came out
.350 at the start.
Some were .352.
Some were .355.
But those measurements, you know,
are thousands of an inch.
Which is not even the thickness
of a piece of paper.
So you're dealing in measurements
that are minute.
It's interesting
to see they varied
depending on
whoever cut the lead pipe off
automatically. If he was
just a hair one way or another, it would be
more or more close.
So the
Selmer pipe starts at .360.
And if you take that to
a repairman,
he's going to say, oh, they made a
mistake. This is too big.
But no, that's what makes it play well.
You see the vibration
starts with your lip.
It has to get through that
mouthpiece and it has
to pick up on the lead pipe.
But as Larry told you
yesterday, there's got to be a resistance
in the horn. So
in the Selmer, we get it at the
start of the bell.
So instead
of staying straight and large all the
way at .470,
cut the bell back
four thousandths to .466.
And boy, that
thing, when that hits that, that just
sparks right out.
Okay, any questions now?
the bore size through the vows never
changes. It's absolutely
similar to go through the vows.
I'm thinking, make a conical horn. That
would be different. We'll discuss that tomorrow.
Yeah, he'll give you
a hundred different
back bores and a hundred different cups
and a hundred different...
That's not proving anything because
all you're going to do is get confused
for what combination
and you're prepared to get a million combinations
out of that. How long
is it going to take you to figure that out?
And you're going to
go in the job and you're going to be fooling around
and you're going to have all kinds of problems.
The theory behind
this, we can work around all
you want, but it's going to be
a bit often difficult. Wouldn't it be better
to go by the old timers who have played
through it, and they say, look, this is a good
mouthpiece, go play it.
That's one of the mounsters.
But now we're in that mouthpiece
kick, it's dangerous.
Very dangerous.
As I said,
most mouthpieces, most great
players never change a mouthpiece all their life.
Once they've got a good one,
they play it. That was it.
did he say?
A bent mouthpiece?
A bent mouthpiece?
I tried it.
It's helpful in some things.
If you don't need it,
if you stay as far away from it as you can,
the only reason
you would use a bent mouthpiece
would be in a case
like Dave Bendekite,
where your jaw
fits so far under that the
jaw would be like this.
And when Dave was studying the athletes,
he said, wait, could I try a bent mouthpiece?
And I said, absolutely.
Because he was very uncomfortable
and he was playing like this.
So we bent it
within a reason, you gotta be careful.
And I thought, oh, now you notice
he's playing so great.
And he's comfortable.
Now with him, it helped.
If you don't have that
problem, don't do it.
Your horn is fairly straight.
One of the greatest who was out here,
he played down.
A conductor might say,
hold your horn up.
But he would hold it up to where it was comfortable
and that's it.
Now lots of times, you won't need it
if you put the mouthpiece
up high enough on your upper lip
where it belongs, the horn would be straight
anyway and the jaw will compensate
on its own.
So if you needed to, I tried it.
I always tried those things
at the worst time in the world.
I was playing during
some heavy shows
and a student asked me, what about
up that mouthpiece?
I said, I don't know.
I said, I'll let you know, I'll try it.
So I went back and played that whole
series around duck, gun, bent mouthpiece.
And it healed the horn up
pretty well.
It doesn't mean anything inside the mouthpiece
because everything bends
in a way
it went back to straight.
Now I felt like I was playing
like Herb Alpert, you know,
according to the floor.
Now he could use one, Herb could use that.
It would help him.
But if you don't need it, stay away from it.
It's just that mouthpiece that gets you in trouble.
Alright, anything else?
in the bowed instrument,
you can have a long stroke
bow or short stroke bow.
The long stroke
bothers a lot of people.
And the only reason
that the old bench had a long
stroke. And the reason
why is that in the
itself and the ports,
there's little tubes that curve.
And you get those ports too close
together, those tubes hit each
other and they bend.
If you look in some bow
you will see the bumps
in the bow, in the tubes.
And that's what it is.
Those tubes are so close they're pushing up against one another.
So Bench had an idea
and he made a longer bow
so those tubes didn't bump up
against each other.
But that made a longer stroke.
Those bumps cause resistance
in the horn. So they were trying
to get rid of them.
Now the cellar has done it very well
with the normals, with the short stroke.
So you
would like that very well.
Ok. Who have the hand up?
I'm not even ready to play a larger rim.
It's not
that easy to play a large rim.
A huge cup, a huge back
Yeah. Especially
if you have
a larger rim, a large cup,
a huge back one.
There you're going a far little way.
There's always a point
where it's right. And then there's a point
where it will return.
In a large rim you just need a wide diameter rim.
You just need a wide diameter rim.
When I talk wide? Yeah.
When you use a large rim, you need just
a wide diameter rim.
A wide diameter rim?
Yeah. You go too far.
What do you got?
A one and a half.
A one and a half?
Well, that's alright. That's pretty acceptable.
One of the guys played it
rather than a wider rim.
Like they had a one and a quarter
for a while.
And that became a very popular mouthpiece
when it was wider than that one and a half.
A little bit too wide.
As I say, some guys
can handle it. But some can't.
And if you're
handling it well, you don't want to change.
Why change?
Why ask for trouble?
That's what I'm doing.
How wide is your rim?
I got the same as a seven diameter.
And that's the personal choice.
Anywhere between a seven
and a three is pretty good.
Okay. Anything else?
It's been a long time, isn't it?
Okay. Let's talk about
We'll be right back.