How To Select A Trumpet Mouthpiece

The trumpet mouthpiece is a significant part of your instrument and you cannot choose a wrong size or shape. There is no standard rule that says certain types of trumpet mouthpieces would suit all and sundry. Quite to the contrary, a certain trumpet mouthpiece that is being hailed by veterans and beginners may not be suitable for you at all.

There are two things that you should know. First, the trumpet mouthpiece needs to complement your playing ability. Second, trumpet mouthpieces should be conducive to the type of music you wish to play.

You cannot select a trumpet mouthpiece based on which brand makes it or by simply endorsing someone’s suggestion. You need to take the common types of trumpet mouthpieces in your hand, play them and then decide which one would be ideal for you.

trumpet mouthpiece diagramHere is quick guide to judge the four most important attributes of a trumpet mouthpiece – the rim, the cup, the throat and the backbore.

Trumpet Mouthpiece Rim

The rim (1) is the first attribute of a trumpet mouthpiece that you should check out. The inner rim diameter should fit your mouth perfectly.  People with larger mouths can opt for larger diameters but if you have a smaller mouth then you should opt for a smaller diameter. Larger diameters require a lot more air and can be tiring for any musician.

The width of the rim (2) and the bite (4) should also be chosen based on your comfort level. A soft inner bite may be more desirable. When considering rim width keep in mind that wide rims tend to stretch your lips and very narrow rims often do not produce the best sound.

Trumpet Mouthpiece Cup

The cup (5) can be very deep or very shallow. You have to choose one that is good for the type of music you will play. Deeper cups are great for orchestras, bands and symphonies while shallow cups are good for playing the upper registries. You should strike a balance if you have to play both types of music.

Trumpet Mouthpiece Throat

The throat (6) diameter, also referred to as bore, should be chosen in accordance to your ability to generate air pressure. A throat bore has a range of 1 to 60 and 27 is considered to be the standard. You should try different throat sizes to see what works best for you. Start out around 27 and climb up or down depending on how comfortable you feel and how much air pressure you can normally exert.

Trumpet Mouthpiece Backbore

The backbore (7) can have various shapes and sizes but you should boil that down to how large or tight it is. Larger ones are good if you can blow out a lot of air and the tighter ones are good for those who may not blow a lot of air but can generate adequate air pressure.

For beginning students, it’s important to use a trumpet mouthpiece that is of medium cup depth, rim width and bore (throat). A Bach 7C mouthpiece is a good size to start with.

One thought on “How To Select A Trumpet Mouthpiece

Comments are closed.