51B, day two

Today, I would like to present a basic description of the differences between the two mouthpieces -- the 4CL and the Schilke 51B -- so that perhaps some connection can be made between my playing differences and the actual physical equipment.

Mouthpiece Rim Diameter Cup Depth Cup Shape Rim Throat Backbore
Conn 4CL 26mm Medium-Deep V Sharp Medium Large
Schilke 51B 25.63mm Medium-Shallow U Soft Small Small

(Please note that I don't have exact specs for some of these things, and the "small" and "large" are comparisons to each other just from me looking at them. Someone really needs to make a large, complete mouthpiece chart with measurements! Links appreciated!)

With that out of the way, here are my notes for day two of my mouthpiece trial fun.
  • I think I am really noticing the biggest difference in the rim style. It took me forever to get used to the sharp rim, and now going back is tough stuff. I think this is the source of my endurance issues. 
  • Spent lots of time on long tones today. My chops feel like they're getting used to the size.
  • Bb on the second line and down -- hard to get a good solid starting sound.
  • Bb (tuning note) partial is sounding great. (My biggest complaint from my previous mouthpiece/playing.)
  • It seems like it is easier to play louder, and takes less air in general. Bonus? Also, I think my mezzo-forte is generally louder on the 51B. Probably due to the smaller throat/backbore -- I am used to pushing a LOT of air with the 4CL. 
  • My tone feels very bright. Jon once described my tone as having a bit of a "sizzle" to it -- I wonder if this is more like "dropping ice cubes into hot oil" tone.  
Overall, I like it. More chop time is definitely needed, but lots of things are just more comfortable. I don't feel like I have to work as hard at as many things. Isn't that what we all want, really? 

1 comment:

  1. That's an interesting philosophical question. I stick with my Bach and my relatively large mouthpiece because I like the sound I get on it when I put the work in. I know I don't sound as good as I want to when I DON'T put the work in, and I know it's a lot of work, but when I DO put the work in, I sound like what I want to sound like. But every now and then I think I really want a medium bore Yamaha or something where I can get most of the sound for much less work, too. But you know, it's something I've thought about a bit!