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A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:25 pm
by dgpretzel
I was sitting with a small group of brass players, recently, when one of them commented to another that he should find the sweet spot on his mouthpiece.

I remarked that I was unfamiliar with that concept.

The person explained that some well-known player (trumpet, I think) advocated finding the sweet spot on the mouthpiece. I still didn't understand. Turned out the explanation was that the reference is to angular position. You insert the mouthpiece, and play. Then, you rotate it a few degrees, and play some more. You keep doing this until you find the best rotational angle.

I was and remain perplexed.

Sounds like snake oil to me. But then, again, so do weights, etc.

Is this a known concept that I have missed. (Wouldn't be the first!)

DG

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:54 pm
by Ken Crawford
No. That is beyond silly. Don't give it another thought.

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:57 pm
by windshieldbug
The person mentioned should clean their mouthpiece more regularly! :shock:

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:19 pm
by bort
Unless it's asymmetrical, like a wedge or the parduba double cup (right?)

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:35 pm
by dgpretzel
Ah, I hadn't thought of those possibilities.

But, from the general context of the conversation, I do think that the only consideration was circularly symmetric mouthpieces.

I started laughing, but then got the "eye" from another person, with the usual tripe that goes with this stuff ("Don't knock it until you try it". Etc.) But, no one had even any hint of an explanation for why this could be so... Not even pseudo science like the perpetual motion crowd.

A current student (trombone performance major) offered that it could very well be valid because, even if it was purely mental, the placebo effect offers real results.

It just annoyed me that most of the group seemed so willing to consider this as genuine. I got the vibe that some of them thought me closed-minded.

Oh well. Enough of this.

Or not... maybe there is a product idea here. Maybe I buy some plastic protractors, repackage them, call them mouthpiece tonal optimizers, print up some instructions, through in a few equations for "proof", and sell for $19.95 on ebay.

DG

P.S. No wait-- too inexpensive. Would seem cheap. Better make it $49.95.

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:40 pm
by bloke
Ken Crawford wrote:No. That is beyond silly. Don't give it another thought.


8)

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:01 pm
by Worth
For most of us its Voodoo but some people are hung up on the whole Feng Shui of their setup I suppose.

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:36 pm
by proam
Some call it “clocking” the mouthpiece. Some believe that a mouthpiece has an optimal “clock position” within the receiver.

While I had some success as a trumpet player, I could never tell a difference myself. But some who believe in clocking their mouthpiece are much, much better players than I ever was so what do I know.

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/vie ... p?t=141951

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:08 pm
by Three Valves
Why not mark the piece and pipe to make sure it is consistently clocked correctly after the sweet spot is found?

Or does the sweet spot move?

Like the G-spot... 8)

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:42 pm
by proam
They do mark it.

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:42 pm
by timothy42b
Yes, this is well known. As mentioned, it's called clocking.

Musicians are a superstitious lot.

The theory is that mouthpieces aren't perfectly manufactured, and inaccuracies may lead to an optimal position.

I don't buy it myself. But you must NEVER argue with true believers.

Yes, I've tried it. I've never been able to tell any difference. However, there is something to not varying from an established starting ritual.

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:13 pm
by WillDellinger
I've heard of this before. It seems crazy, but it sure is fun to read about.

Somebody on trumpet herald thinks it could be due to the mix of copper and zinc not being uniform throughout the brass. Hopefully Joe's suppliers mix the chromium into the stainless really well :shock:

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:44 pm
by bloke
Find the best spot, and put a nice file mark there so that you can easily find it again.

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:19 pm
by windshieldbug
bloke wrote:Find the best spot, and put a nice file mark there so that you can easily find it again.


Then make sure it aligns with your Mohawk...

8)

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:28 am
by Three Valves
I had a steel nose ring. When I changed it to copper, my playing improved significantly, my hair stopped falling out and the lead was restored in my pencil. :shock:

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:34 am
by Ken Crawford
bloke wrote:Find the best spot, and put a nice file mark there so that you can easily find it again.


Making a file mark on the mouthpiece would change the whole thing. Use a permanent marker, but make sure to use a color that you want your sound to be like. One time I drew a red arrow on my mouthpiece pointing toward the lead pipe which helped to draw maximum projection out of my lips. If I want a dark sound I use a dark color, drawing circles on the outside of the mouthpiece, the size of which corresponding to the size I want my sound to be.

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:53 am
by Oldschooltuba
The sweet spot for me is mouthpiece on my face. Case closed

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:34 pm
by bloke
Ken Crawford wrote:
bloke wrote:Find the best spot, and put a nice file mark there so that you can easily find it again.


Making a file mark on the mouthpiece would change the whole thing. Use a permanent marker, but make sure to use a color that you want your sound to be like. One time I drew a red arrow on my mouthpiece pointing toward the lead pipe which helped to draw maximum projection out of my lips. If I want a dark sound I use a dark color, drawing circles on the outside of the mouthpiece, the size of which corresponding to the size I want my sound to be.


My tinfoil hat has a dent in it...' any suggestions...??

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:35 pm
by proam
Ken Crawford wrote: Use a permanent marker, but make sure to use a color that you want your sound to be like.

Has to be green. :D

Does anyone else remember the early days of CDs when some advocated that using a green marker to make a line around the outside edge would significantly improve the playback audio quality?

Re: A mouthpiece angular sweet spot... really?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:53 pm
by GC
Oldschooltuba wrote:The sweet spot for me is mouthpiece on my face. Case closed

I use my forehead. That's were people tell me I sound best.