I have worked to bring out a TCE-RC 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 over-blowing.
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 salsa bands, funk bands and big bands. 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. I have also received positive feedback from those using The Balanced Embouchure method. A first lesson in learning to play more efficiently is available with purchase of a TCE-RC mouthpiece.
Rim: The rim has been subject to some experimentation. Research has shown that 50% of players will prefer the feel of a flatter or rounder rim with no real-world consequences to this preference. The original TCE-RC had a very flat rim, but the most recent versions now feature a rounder inner edge (AKA “bite”). The main concern in choosing the shape of the rim is that it does not encourage the player’s lips to collapse into the cup or stretch at the corners as with many popular designs. I have not selected a cushion rim as is common with many mouthpieces that feature a relatively small internal diameter.
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 accoustic feedback. This results in easier tone production and improved control in the upper register. An added bonus is the prevention of over-blowing. If you use too much air the mouthpiece will feel stuffy and not work as it has been designed. You must play efficiently. Larger throat sizes are available on request though generally only recommended to try and balance the mouthpiece with your instrument; a larger throat is not needed to balance this mouthpiece with any normal trumpet.
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, comfy inner bite.
Cup Medium / 0.3 in / 8mm rim to shoulder.
Throat #28 drill / 3.55mm as standard, others available on request.
Backbore Custom, dense core, centred sound.
Medium weight, modern external blank.
Mouthpieces are priced at £80 + P&P.
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