Just like clothing lines, a brass mouthpiece can differentiate by brand, model, and size. The most common question that most people ask is what’s the difference? When choosing brass mouthpieces you should first identify what brand of mouthpieces you should use. Normally the brand of each mouthpiece is located somewhere under the lip plate or the along the edge of the lip plate. Typically, by the brand, there is usually a number and a letter which directly corresponds to the model number and size. For example, if you have a trumpet mouthpiece that says “Vincent Bach 7C” the “Vincent Bach” represents the brand and the “7C” refers to the model. What this “7C” model number tells us is the throat style (opening at the bottom of the cup), cup depth, rim, and the backbore (inner shank taper) of the mouthpiece.
One of the most common trumpet mouthpieces which most beginners start on is usually a Bach 7C (if not Bach then another brand of equivalence). The 7C is a standard mouthpiece because of its’ medium cup depth, medium cup diameter, and a medium wide rim shape. Upgrading a players’ mouthpiece can fix many types of intonation problems like; having trouble with high notes and low notes or being out of tune. When a trumpet player upgrades a mouthpiece, most of those mouthpieces in the “C” category work in a specific pattern. As the number gets lower the diameter of the cup increases. So a “5C” will have a larger cup diameter than the “7C” which in turn can help intonation and note flexibility. Most people that are planning to upgrade their mouthpiece usually stay in the same category when upgrading unless you have a trumpet that requires a different shank or category. The number of the mouthpiece in that category is what normally changes.
For those of you that are not trumpet players, mouthpieces for the most part are very similar. French horn, trombone, euphonium/baritone, cornet, flugelhorn, and tuba use a very similar scale with much more dramatic changes. If you have any more questions about which mouthpiece you play on, other brand/model mouthpieces, or potentially want to no more about mouthpieces give us a call at 630-285-1485 and just ask for Chris, the brass expert.