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 gR
SCHILKE MOUTHPIECE LABELING SYSTEMS
refers to the Cup Diameter
Smallest numbers have smallest diameters
refers to the Cup Volume
A. Small Cup
C. Standard (medium-size)
refers to Rim Contour
5. Only slightly rounded
refers to the Backbore
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.