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                           Some Fun Fixes for your horn and a look at my "stuff"

Give your horn more volume, more carry, and a more commercial sound!

This is for horns that play a litle stuffy
Drill the valve cap vent holes to .230" play - if not enough drill to .240 - do not pass .250

Fun stuff


9C3c (trumpet mouthpiece) 9 refers to the Cup Diameter
Smallest numbers have smallest diameters C refers to the Cup Volume
A. Small Cup
B. Medium-small
C. Standard (medium-size)
D. Medium-large
E. Large 3 refers to Rim Contour
1. Roundest
3. Standard
4. Semi-flat
5. Only slightly rounded c refers to the Backbore
a. Tight
b. Straight
c. Standard
d. Slightly curved out
e. Large (parabolic)

When a Schilke mouthpiece has a standard backbore, rim and cup, only the cup diameter (first number) is shown on the mouthpiece. In the example above only the #9 is necessary to identify the mouthpiece because the 'C' is the standard cup volume, '3' is the standard rim, and 'c' is the standard backbore.

Whenever measurements differ from the standard sizes the alterations are shown on the mouthpiece.

CUP DIAMETER (First number in label)
Most trumpet and cornet mouthpieces have a cap diameter that falls between .600" and . 725". Nos. I to 25 in the Schilke system represent sections of .005" each between these two measurements. Cup diameters for mouthpieces other than trumpet and comet are relative to each other with the smallest numbers representing the smallest diameters.

CUP VOLUME (First letter in label)
In general the deep cup mouthpieces produce the darkest sounds. In reverse the shallow cup mouthpieces produce the brightest sounds and also aid in the production of the high register. The Schilke "C" cup is a compromise which offers both full tone and ease of production. In switching from one instrument to another i.e., Bb trumpet to D trumpet, it is usually good to use a mouthpiece that is .025" shallower in the cup volume with all other dimensions remaining the same. The higher the instrument is, the shallower the cup should be. A player who needs primarily a good range without sacrificing much tone can consider a hollow mouthpiece with a widened 2nd cup. The shallow 1st cup affords support in the top register and the widened 2nd cup allows a full tone.

RIM CONTOUR (Second number in label)
The #3 Schilke rim has the feel that most players prefer in a rim. It has flat enough contour to distribute the slight pressure needed to provide an air seal but is rounded slightly to offer increased flexibility. Generally a rounder rim will allow greater flexibility but sometimes tires the player sooner. A flat rim often feels the most comfortable but tends to hold the lips in a fixed position, thereby reducing flexibility.
BACKBORE (Last letter in label)
Schilke mouthpieces all come with standard backbores (letter C) which permit the maximum in tone and range. Other back- bores are available (Letters a, b, d, e) which might suit particular needs of players. The tighter backbores tend to make the sound more brilliant while the larger backbores tend to make the sound more mellow. Occasionally a change in backbores will cause an alteration in intonation which often can correct faulty intonation on an instrument.

alternate components for B6
This is the current batch of caps, stems, etc. I can swap out and try on my horn. Depending on sound, range, acoustics, I can get the sound and feel I want for any date.
Tip of the Month!

Clearer sound, more centered, more articulate, Consistently open though all ranges. More presence, more projection!

All of this can be yours for the cost of one 9 ounce valve spring. Here’s the deal:

1.    Cut a length of spring equal to the circumference of your first valve male slide.
2.    Cut another length of spring equal to the circumference of your second valve male spring.
3.    Cut another … of your third valve male slide.

Place the loop around the bottom first valve slide. Around the top second valve slide and the top 3rd valve slide.

Now you have prevented the slides from closing all the way with the thickness of a valve spring. The tension of the coil holds it in place, and you’re good to go.

Go ahead and push the slides right up against the coil securely, if you have a trigger – use normally.

The positive results will leap out the first time you play. Notice how the top 3 or 4 notes of range are now easier and clearer.

In the 1960's I began fooling around with my horn's configuration. I have over 100 ways to improve your present horn. These are valuable helps and all appear in my "Little Red Book"

Here are some teasers to get you started!

Play a middle G then ascend one octave and back down at MF. Now rotate your mouthpiece about 10 degrees and do the same. Continue all the way around and make notes of what feels and plays best.

You will find 2 spots - opposite each other. One will play a little darker and feel smooth on your top lip, the other will play a little clearer and feel a little sharper on your top lip. Pick one and stay there. Put the mouthpiece in the same way every time.

Here's another:

Tighten all your top and bottom caps finger tight. Try it . Now loosen them to the point where they are just at the start of holding securely. Try. Which do you prefer? Leave them like this every time you play.

Here's another:

Swap your first and third valve cap bottom. Is it more projecting now but stiffer resistance? Or is it more open and flexible with a little less projection? Choose one and leave it.

Here's more:

Is your open C a different response than a valved note? Maybe stuffier? Then loosen your spit valve nut 1/4 turn. Does the C open up, does the sound get brighter? Experiment until the tension is the way you want it and leave it there.

Now if you ever had Dave Monette build you a horn and then you went back for an adjustment. This is the stuff he was doing in the back room, or when he turned his back to you.

Different weight valve caps, tension here and there, reversing 2nd slides. All these things and more:

Here's one for the timbre of the horn - stuffy sound - apply gentle pressure upwards on the finger hook enough to actually raise it a miniscule amount. To bright - then do the opposite.

Keep your horn clean and the slides greased and firm. The sound is clearer.

I knew one guy that had a bright horn so he poured milk through it every week - it warmed up the sound but stunk to high heavens- UGH!  This is for real - his name was Stewart and he played a Besson Cornet.

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