It’s unfortunate that academia doesn’t always prepare students for the real world. Take students that study the trumpet or any other brass instrument, for example.
There’s so much focus on music theory and developing skill that you’ll hardly find any info and experience on how to get find the best trumpet mouthpieces and similar after-market tweaks.
Understanding the hardware aspect of an instrument usually requires a visit to online specialty forums and expert guides. But none of that is an excuse to avoid using the best possible gear and accessories for any musical instrument that you might be playing.
In the case of trumpets, these complex brass instruments take a bit of time to master and tweak.
6 Best Trumpet Mouthpieces - Top Picks
If you’re looking for a shortcut to picking the best mouthpiece for your needs, then the following reviews and guide will hopefully help.
Table of Contents
- 6 Best Trumpet Mouthpieces - Top Picks
- Understanding Mouthpiece Materials
- Choosing the Rim
- What to Do About Cup Depth
The Bach 3C mouthpiece is one of the most popular mouthpieces for brass players. It’s a well-balanced piece, with a medium cup depth that should accommodate even some intermediate and expert players.
If you’re looking for something to play with on any occasion, then the medium-wide rim size, medium-depth cut, and 10 backbore should meet your requirements.
For starters, it has a tendency to make the tone richer and you’re able to get superb articulation on the low F# and the high C. The overall sound projection is good, even though it may require some additional lung power to get where you need to be.
Depending on your experience, you will find that the Bach 3C mouthpiece offers good intonation and surprising note flexibility.
It’s also important to note that the mouthpiece is silver-plated. This should make it available to a wider range of users. If you’re looking for a mouthpiece for high notes or jazz, you’re like to find the Bach 3C mouthpiece’s design to be quite accommodating.
The Yamaha Signature Series Bobby Shew mouthpiece is designed for lead brass players looking to better stand out in the band. The full brass construction and design are particularly notable for the high note clarity it produces.
If you’re looking for something that’s capable of a very rich tone, the Yamaha SHEWLEAD may be the mouthpiece for you. It has a semi-thick cut depth and a shallow throat. Although this may flatten the high register a bit if you don’t blow hard enough, it tends to add richness to the sound at any point.
With a semi-round rim, the Bobby Shew Signature also becomes very comfortable to play on. Requiring less lip pressure and lung power to achieve clear and long note sustain.
This is a low-key and low-maintenance 3C trumpet mouthpiece. It is gold-plated to prevent oxidation and cut down on maintenance. It is compatible with trumpets from most of the popular manufacturers, including King, Bach, Yamaha, and the like.
The medium cup offers a good balance between comfort and volume. The cup size also gives you some control over the brightness or darkness of your tone.
It’s worth pointing out that just like the standard 3C, the Paititi Bb 3C mouthpiece also caters to brass players who are looking for a fuller sound. This trumpet makes it easier to hit the lower register and further help it stand out by taming the high register.
The Chinese Vikerer offers a 3-pack of trumpet mouthpieces at a very competitive price. The set contains 3C, 5C, and 7C mouthpieces which just might make this the best starter package you can find.
The 7C mouthpiece is ideal for beginners or older players that can’t muster enough lung power and lip strength, and of course jazz players too. The 5C is a good intermediate option for a wide range of players.
Lastly, the 3C is the large model. It is loud and rich, provided you can blow hard enough. If you’re looking to add some bass to your sound, the 3C would be your best bet. It is also a good option if you’re a solo concert player.
Besides the three mouthpieces, you’ll also get a microfiber cleaning cloth which you can use to keep these mouthpieces in pristine condition. There’s nothing to prevent you from using the cloth to clean your instruments either. Heck, your sunglasses.
Cecilio offers 3C, 5C, and 7C mouthpieces, all for the same price. However, it seems that the 3C model is most appreciated by brass players. Not just because it’s more commonly used by professionals and offers a loud rich tone, but also because it seems to be the more reliable model.
The silver-plated mouthpiece has a very sleek finish. It has a relatively deep cup. This means that it will help to darken the tone and add richness to your sound by emphasizing the lower registers. It may not be ideal if you’re a jazz player, but the added bass can have a lot of value in many other genres.
Compatibility shouldn’t be an issue with Cecilio, Mendini, Bach, and lower-end Yamaha trumpets. However, the unique sound produced with the help of this mouthpiece might be something you will have to adjust to.
This polished trumpet mouthpiece can really make a difference to your sound. Some argue that it borders on screaming while others seem to find it a useful accessory when not playing lead. As any other mouthpiece, the performance will be dependent on the player’s skill level.
The build quality is unquestionable. The mouthpiece looks and feels indestructibly built. While it may be a 7C-like accessory, you will find that you can access more of your lower register than with similar models.
If expanding your range is your main concern, then this is one way to address it. In terms of lung power and lip strength development, it’s as standard as it comes for a beginner to intermediate-level trumpet mouthpiece.
Understanding Mouthpiece Materials
You generally have a choice of plastic, brass, silver, and gold-plated trumpet mouthpieces. If you’re going for affordability or ideal performance in an outdoor setting, then either plastic or silver should work great.
Plastic mouthpieces are a lot more durable than you think and work well in cold weather. Silver is safer to use due to its natural ability to fend off germs.
The lowest maintenance of all would be the gold-plated variety for its non-corrosiveness. Gold plating is a relatively affordable process that uses a really thin layer of low-grade gold, so don’t assume that gold-plated automatically means expensive.
But, does the material influence the sound a lot? – Not exactly. Most trumpet players pick materials based on availability or durability. It’s the other components and design that can truly do a number on the sound.
Choosing the Rim
The shape of the rim does a lot for your sound. A flat contour will facilitate even lip pressure and a nice air seal, while rounded rims are more versatile and let you create more tones.
The latter are unfortunately a bit harder to play and require more experience and stronger lips. If not, you can find hybrid rims also. They are medium-sized and characterized by a semi-rounded contour.
These types of rims don’t require as much pressure but they will still give your lips the freedom to create more diverse tones.
What to Do About Cup Depth
Deep cups can make your trumpet louder. As cups lose depth and become shallower, playing becomes easier but the tonal flexibility will start to suffer.
When choosing the diameter of the cup, it’s not just important to find the perfect fit for your trumpet. It’s also important to acknowledge your lung power, mouth shape and size, and other factors, including your teeth.
A lot of things about your anatomy may dictate the appropriate mouthpiece depth is for you. You will also notice that many trumpet mouthpieces have C-cup designations with various numbers attached.
These letters are assigned to a specific shallowness range. The numbers how low or high on the ladder is the shallowness. Note that most trumpet players seem to prefer C-cups rather than D-cups or E-cups for the fact that they add more versatility instead of focusing heavily on one end of the register.
Blow Away Your Audience
The trumpet mouthpieces in this article have been chosen for their consistent performance and reliability.
If you have a good idea of where you are as a trumpet player and the capabilities of your trumpet, then choosing your next mouthpiece or replacement mouthpiece shouldn’t be an issue at all.