Post by Jack Patrick

The materials used, dimensions, profiles and specifications of the mouthpiece can have an impact upon the sounds they produce. We have isolated some key variables and explained their impact upon the instrument’s playing characteristics and tone.

The number and diversity of mouthpieces on the market is staggering, add in all of the technical terms banded about and players would be forgiven for becoming bewildered by the options available to them. This diagram illustrates the main parts of the mouthpiece, and the table below explains some terms you may hear.

There are many components of a trumpet that can determine its characteristics, one being the bell flair. Bells with fast tapers produce a dark, warm sound, whereas slow tapers yield bright tones. Bach Stradivarius trumpets come in the most popular flair options: 37 (fast), 43 (medium) and 72 (Slow)

Like the bell, leadpipes with fast tapers result in warm tones, while slow tapers produce bright sounds. Some players opt for the ‘reverse leadpipe’ construction option. By eliminating a step where the pipe connects to the main tuning slide, the air moves more freely. This results in a longer pipe maintaining constant taper for improved intonation. However this is not for everyone, some trumpet players prefer to have resistance when playing, and some do not think that the reverse leadpipe makes much difference at all.

Specifications on all student models are fairly standard, however when choosing a professional level instrument it is worth considering the bell type to ensure the instrument you choose fulfils your requirements – for the type of player you are and the style of playing you do.