Date: Sun, 9 Nov 1997 22:52:26 -0500 (EST)
From: "Dr. Henry Meredith" <>
Subject: Re:Multiple mouthpieces

At 02:51 PM 11/7/97 -0500, "Sherri L. Peterson" <> wrote:
>Occasionally at jobs I have seen players pull out their leather cases
>with their choice of weapon for the gig. I have collected a few myself in
>an effort to find the best. My question would be if they carry all of them
>around with them they must use them. I would think this would mess up
>your embouchure. How many people switch MP's during a concert? Would
>switching for upper register parts or fatigue be helpful, or would it be
>better to stick to one Mp and strengthen your abilities. I would choose
>the latter but I'd like to hear others opinions. thanks

Hello from a switcher.  I choose mouthpieces to suit the horn and the sound, and often the intonation, and sometimes the tessitura, but not my face (alright, occasionally to purposely change the groove and counteract the effects of fatigue).  As Renold Schilke used to tell me, as long as you play several different mouthpieces regularly you'll usually have no trouble switching during a concert.

Friday evening I played my Mahillon piccolo trumpet for Samson and used a Bach 8-1/2-A (deep) for those nice pedal Cs (sounding low a) in "Awake the Trumpet's Lofty Sound" and in "Let the Bright Seraphim", but for those soft high d''' concerts in the Dead March from Saul, chosen as the funeral march for the oratorio (should've been horns, or, per the original, trombones, both down an 8ve!, but we were playing from a Kalmus edition!), I used a Schilke 11.  Also I used a Bach 8C.  I'd rather have played the work on a baroque trumpet.  On my Yamaha pic I often use a Schilke 10B4, or 12B4, etc. For this morning's Remembrance Day service I played 7 different horns, each with a different mouthpiece:  Piccolo trumpet with the 8C (prelude) and Schilke 11 (a more brilliant postlude), C trumpet with Schilke 17D4D for hymns and descants, Mirafone Flugelhorn with an antique unlacquered brass funnel-shaped mouthpiece with a wide cup and a flat rim (possibly a keyed bugle mouthpiece c. 1850), my HM Hainlein barogue trumpet with a huge Kerner copy brass mouthpiece by Egger, a French Eb natural cavalry field trumpet with a skeletonized and unmarked Schilke 20 (for O Canada and Onward Christian Soldiers), a 1916 Bb infantry duty bugle with an original old funnel-shaped mouthpiece (for the Last Post), and a Bb/F regimental drum corps trumpet with a Schilke 14 (for Reveille).  Following that, I was planning to go to a rehearsal of a vintage brass band in Michigan, where I would've played 3 different antique cornets, using about 6 different vintage (true) cornet mouthpieces.  But I did that the preveious weekend and decided to pack it in for the day and not spend the 6 hours on the road too.

Maynard Ferguson use to switch very quickly between trumpet and SuperBone, etc. without detriment -- does he still do that?

P.S. -- I also do a lot of French horn playing.

Anyway, it is not necessary to always have the same exact dimension of metal against your chops, which can easily adjust, with practice.  And sometimes a better choice exists for all the different equipment and styles and circumstances of the occasion.

I recommend exploring the options of using mouthpieces to best match the horn and serve the music, but I would be the first to say also, do whatever seems to work the best for you.


Henry Meredith  <>