I have worked to bring out a TCE-RC Signature mouthpiece for a few reasons. I am repeatedly asked by pupils what I would recommend for them to learn the TCE, or to progress in general, but I can never give an answer that isn’t a trade-off, either financially or ideologically. The most popular mouthpieces today are very dated in design and do not play in tune except in the middle register. This will cause you to strain to play high and compromise the integrity of your embouchure to play low. Some famous manufacturers have attempted to solve this with pseudo science and widening the throat to the detriment of characteristic tonal quality. Overly large backbores also cause your sound to spread at all dynamics resulting in needless overblowing.
The intention of this mouthpiece design is not to be a one-size-fits-all solution, but rather to fulfil the role of being your most-used mouthpiece. A 90% solution. Realistically, those who perform a wide variety of music will require more than one cup shape to optimise resonance in the range they are performing in.
After play-testing hundreds of mouthpiece sizes and types I have settled on using this design for the vast majority of playing that I do, from classical solo and chamber music to lead trumpet in a salsa band, funk and big band. Those who wish to perform on the trumpet in D or piccolo trumpet will also find it appropriate.
Acclimatising to a mouthpiece such as this will take time as an efficient approach to playing is required. Although it will work well for most approaches to playing it is intended for those with a tongue-controlled embouchure.
Rim: The rim is fairly flat. This is a feature that I like as it does not encourage the player’s lips to collapse into the cup or stretch at the corners as with many popular rounded designs. I have not selected a cushion rim as is common with many mouthpieces that feature a relatively small internal diameter. It is my experience that a wide/cushion-rim hindered my ability to play well in the low register.
Throat: This design has a #28 throat as standard for two reasons. Firstly it has a massively positive effect upon pitch centring and gives you a dense core to your sound. Intonation is key to producing a quality brass sound by working with your instrument rather than against it. Secondly it provides appropriate resistance to facilitate control in the upper register and prevent you from overblowing. If you use too much air the mouthpiece will not work as it has been designed. You must play efficiently.
Cup: It is my opinion that the majority of trumpet players use a cup size that prevents them from being able to produce the sound and ease of playing that they desire. Many players simply follow old traditions and do not realise that they are being held back. Playing on a smaller cup forces you to learn to develop focus and integrity in your embouchure. With acclimatisation you can create a wide variety of tonal colours for much less physical effort.
Internal diameter: 0.620 in. / 15.7mm
Rim: Fairly flat.
Cup: Medium, like a Bach ‘E’ cup, approx 8mm from rim to shoulder.
Throat: #28 / 3.55mm
Backbore: Custom, dense core, centred sound.
Design: Sinilar to a popular American brand, heavier in places.
I am now accepting pre-orders at an initial price of £80 (GBP) + P&P.
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