Sterling Silver Trumpet Mouthpiece

Most trumpet mouthpieces are made out of brass that is silver plated. Some mouthpieces are made out of other materials such as plastic, steel, or titanium. We recently had a client who requested we make a custom rim out of the precious metal sterling silver. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% of other metals, usually copper. Sterling silver is about 25% denser than brass providing the benefits of a heavier mouthpiece without adding volume to the blank shape. It also has beneficial resonant qualities. Sterling silver is rarely used in mouthpiece manufacturing due to its expense and because it is extremely difficult to work with. We were honored that our client trusted it with several hundred dollars of material that was masterfully hand carved by our own Brett Kendall. Here’s a video that takes you behind the scenes of the process:  

Are You Using A Formula to Calculate The Trumpet Mouthpiece Gap?

A lot of great, in depth work has been done about the trumpet mouthpiece gap. Unfortunately, many of the frequently cited formulas and studies on the gap have inherent problems that create erroneous results, which when relied on, will deter trumpet players from achieving optimum results with their equipment. I’ll address three of these inherent problems here.

Problem #1 – Failure to Take The Player Into Consideration

As we have written about previously, a proper study on the gap must include all three essential elements of the system – the trumpet, the mouthpiece, and the player. Having helped thousands of players through the years to fine tune their gap, we have no doubt that the player is the most important variable of the Player-Trumpet-Mouthpiece System. No gap formula or theory to date has been able to calculate what a player feels, and most importantly, what a player prefers to feel. Yes, there are certain generalizations about the gap and ranges of sizes that many players fall into. Relying on these generalizations is as silly as blindly buying a men’s size 9 or 10 shoe because that’s the range of shoe sizes most commonly sold, even though you are a woman who wears a woman’s size 8. Relating this back to the gap: Find the gap that plays the best for you, not what someone else told you should feel the best for you.

Problem #2 – Failure to Take Changes in the Equipment Into Consideration

We know that a change in the gap changes the acoustical impedance in the Player- Trumpet-Mouthpiece System. It is also well settled that there are thousands of other variables in the mouthpiece and trumpet that can change the acoustical impedance in the System. Due to the nature and limitations of mouthpiece and instrument manufacturing, it is impossible to consider every variable that affects acoustical impedance. Put another way, it is impossible to isolate and therefore calculate, what the gap should be considering every variable. The gap formulas and theories sometimes attempt, but do not succeed in addressing every variable in the equipment and therefore cannot predict anything with any consistency.

Problem #3 – Failure to Take The Environment Into Consideration

While the first two problems on this list are the most important inherent problems in any gap formula or theory, the third problem — considering the environment — is worthy of a mention. For argument’s sake, let’s say that we can calculate an optimal gap considering the player, the mouthpiece, and the trumpet. We know that the acoustical properties of the environment you are playing in can affect the acoustic impedance you feel as a performer. Playing outside in hot, humid weather and then moving inside a air-conditioned, dry, acoustically “stuffy” room can drastically change the acoustical impedance, and in turn, what you feel. In today’s musical climate, you could easily find yourself in a stuffy recording study, then in a huge, open cathedral. While most players would not think to adjust the gap in these situations, a significant minority of players have fine-tuned the gap to their varying situations. Experiment with the gap using the Reeves Paper Trick!

Christian Lindberg Trombone Interview – Trombone Corner #10

Christian Lindberg – Trombone Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #10 of the Trombone Corner podcast. This episode features trombonist, conductor, and composer, Christian Lindberg.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Christian Lindberg

In September 2015 Christian Lindberg was voted “THE GREATEST BRASS PLAYER IN HISTORY, by the worlds biggest classical radio station CLASSICFM, and on the 1st of April Christian Lindberg was given  “International Classical Music Award 2016” at the Gala Ceremony in in San Sebastian, Spain. Previous winners were Esa-Pekka Salonen (2011), Krzysztof Penerecki (2012). Charles Dutoit (2013), Aldo Ciccolini (2014) and Dmitri Kitajenko (2015).On top of this Christian has just signed a 5 year Music Director contract with Israel Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra, rated by Israeli Council of Art and Culture, side by side with Israel Philharmonic as the best orchestra in the country. Christian Lindberg’s achievements for the trombone can only be compared with those of Paganini for the violin or Liszt for the piano.

Having premiered over 300 works for the trombone (over 90 major concertos) recorded over 70 solo CDs, having an international solo competition created in his name, been voted brass player of the 20th century side by side with Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong, Christian Lindberg is today nothing less than a living legend.

On top of his unrivaled career as a trombonist Lindberg has now also embarked on a highly successful conducting career, and the near future includes major conducting engagements in Musikverein, Suntory Hall, at Beethovenfest, in Salzburg Festspielhaus, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Meistersingerhalle, Nürnberg and National Centre for the Performing Arts (The Giant Egg) in Beijing with orchestras such as Nippon Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Irish National Philharmonic and Ulster Orchestra to name a few.

In 2009 Lindberg signed contract as principal conductor with his third orchestra, The Norwegian Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra (the two previous ones being Nordic Chamber Orchestra 2004-2011 and Swedish Wind Ensemble 2005-2012). Since then he has prolonged his contract twice and their collaboration runs for the moment up to 2017 including major recording projects on BIS (Tchaikovsky Symphonies no 4-6 among other things), a major tour throughout Japan and performances at Beethovenfest, Musikverein and Salzburg Festspielhaus.

Alongside his activities as principal conductor Lindberg has major conducting collaborations with Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (performing and recording all the symphonies by Allan Pettersson), Royal Flemish Philharmonic(a major project performing and recording music by Stenhammar), The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (a second major conducting residency in 2016), Nürnberger Symphoniker (various projects including music by Lindberg himself, Allan Pettersson, Grieg, Högberg, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven), The Swedish Chamber Orchestra (music by Lindberg, Schubert, Ginastera, Bizet and Andrea Tarrodi), Ulster Orchestra (music by Lindberg, Dvorak, Nielsen, Grieg and Sibelius), RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland (music by Tchaikovsky, Lindberg, Sibelius, and Sandström) and Taipei Symphony Orchestra (Bernstein, Lindberg, Tchaikovsky and Pettersson.

Lindberg also conducts orchestras such as the Nippon Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, ,Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Verdi Orchestra Milano, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie, Extremadura Orchestra, Umeå Symphony Orchestra, Tiroler Symphonieorchester, Het Noord Nederland Orkest, Het Gelders Orkest, Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Poznan Symphony Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jenaer Philharmonie, Jyväskyllä Symphony Orchestra, Oulu Symphony Orchestra, Euscadi Orchestra, Maggio Fiorentino, Haydn Orchestra Bolzano, Northern Sinfonia, Helsinki Philharmonics, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Cape Philharmonic, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Opera Orchestra,  Iceland Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Brazil, Württembergische Philharmonie, and Tenerife Symphony Orchestra  to name a few. 

As a composer Lindberg has been constantly busy with commissions since he wrote his first composition Arabenne for Trombone and Strings in 1997-98 as a pure experiment. Orchestras around the world have been queuing up, and he has composed over 50 works on commission from, among others, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Hessische Rundfunk, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Verdi Orchestra Milano, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Trondheim Soloists, Sion Musik Festival, Nordland Musikfestuke, Vertavo Quartet, Vib’bone Duo, Sergio Carolino and the Wild Gang, Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Bones Apart, Anders Wall Foundation, Hardanger International Music Festival and Share Music Sweden. Future commissions include a trombone concerto for the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, a 30 minute long orchestral piece commissioned by Düsseldorfer Symphoniker,  a trumpet concerto commissioned by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Västerås Sinfonietta and a concerto for Evelyn Glennie, Christian Lindberg and orchestra commissioned by the Cheltenham Festival.

Christian Lindberg’s own philosophy regarding his work as a composer is simple: “I do not write in any style whatsoever! I just listen to what my brain and my soul tell me, and what I hear I simply put down on paper. To say anything more about my work would be pretentious nonsense.”

Christian Lindberg Links

Podcast Credits

Simon Sweeney Trumpet Interview – The Other Side of the Bell #85

Simon Sweeney – Trumpet Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #85 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features trumpeter Simon Sweeney.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Simon Sweeney

Simon Sweeney is a professional trumpet player and educator based in Sydney. He holds a Bachelors and a Masters degree from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He is a studio musician and has been prolific in the live music scene since 1993. As a member of the Jazz Faculty at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music since 2010 he has taught many of the young players currently working in the Sydney scene.

Simon has appeared as guest Principal trumpet with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Film recording credits include Happy Feet, The Great Gatsby, The Extra and The Bank.

Simon has played on over 40 professional musical theatre productions since the mid 90s. He has played lead trumpet for Michael Bublé, George Benson, Paloma Faith and Tim Minchin. As a jazz musician he has toured and recorded with Mike Nock, played with the Space Cadets, recorded with the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra and he is currently co-lead trumpet of the Australian National Jazz Orchestra. He has performed with Silverchair, Thirsty Merc and recorded with Powderfinger and Billy Thorpe.

Simon’s lead playing can be heard on the Netflix series Beat Bugs and Motown Magic. Simon’s own small group jazz album “Emerald City Blues” was released on the Jazzgroove label. During the lockdown he has put together a horn section called the Emerald City Horns comprising some of Sydney’s most prolific studio musicians.

Simon Sweeney Links

Podcast Credits

Jack Schatz Trombone Interview – Trombone Corner #09

Jack Schatz – Trombone Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #9 of the Trombone Corner podcast. This episode features New York-based trombonist and tubist, Jack Schatz.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Jack Schatz

Ted Nash Big Band Recording Session “Chakra”: Jack Schatz, Alan Ferber, Mark Patterson, Charley Gordon.

Jack Schatz is an in-demand New York City–based trombonist and tubist. Jack has played in numerous Broadway shows, including The Phantom of the Opera, My Favorite Year, Damn Yankees, Hello Dolly!, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Side Show, Little Me, Flower Drum Song, Wonderful Town, A Chorus Line, Billy Elliott: The Musical, Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway, and Nice Work If You Can Get It.

He can also be heard on recordings ranging from Barbara Cook’s All I Ask of You (DRG, 1999) and Jazz Takes on Joni Mitchell (Arkadia Jazz, 1999) to Chakra (Plastic Sax, 2013) and Noah (Nonesuch, 2014).

Jack Schatz Links

Podcast Credits

This One Simple Trick Can Make Trumpet Easier

Trumpet Mouthpiece Gap Adjustment

Let’s face it, the trumpet can be a beast sometimes — stuffy low notes, tight high notes, quirky notes that just don’t settle or play in tune. While there is no substitute for diligent practice, there are always ways to make the trumpet easier. Maybe even a lot easier! What if we told you that with this one simple trick, you could make one or more of the following improvements to your trumpet playing immediately:
  • better intonation
  • more open feel
  • better projection
  • cleaner articulation
  • more secure slotting
This may sound too good to be true, but we see these results with our customers every day and have for the past 50 years! So what is this magic trumpet trick?

The Bob Reeves Brass Paper Trick

Here’s how to do the Bob Reeves Paper Trick yourself:
  1. Take a sheet of paper and cut off a small piece. It should be about 3/4″ long and only about 1/8″ wide. Set the piece of paper aside.
  2. Play an exercise that covers your comfortable range. It should include some articulation.
  3. Remove your mouthpiece and place the paper length-wise on the side of the shank of the mouthpiece.
  4. Put the mouthpiece and the piece of paper into your trumpet receiver.
  5. Play the exercise again.
  6. Note what changes you hear in your sound, articulation, slotting, and feel.

“I’ve Done The Paper Trick – Now What?”

One of three things will happen:
  1. It will play better with the paper.
  2. It will play worse with the paper.
  3. You won’t notice a difference.
If it plays better (#1), then you need a larger gap on your mouthpiece. This can be achieved by altering your mouthpiece and getting a removable sleeve at the larger size. If you don’t want a removable sleeve, we can re-shank your mouthpiece to that larger size while keeping the shank solid. If it plays worse (#2), you might need a smaller gap. This can be achieved by machining down your shank, or by converting your mouthpieces for Reeves Sleeves and experimenting with smaller sleeve sizes. If you don’t notice a difference (#3), try the experiment again, this time adding a second piece of paper on top of the first. Keep repeating until it plays better or worse.

How Does the Gap Work?

How can this simple trick improve your trumpet playing? The short answer is that it allows you to experiment by changing the gap between your mouthpiece and the leadpipe, which is an often neglected, yet crucial element of your playing setup. Some tips on doing The Paper Trick:
  • record yourself and listen back
  • have someone else listen to you in front of the bell
  • use the paper trick on all your mouthpiece and trumpet combinations

Paper Trick Video:

Exploring Deeper into the Trumpet Gap

If you would like to learn more about the gap, here are some additional blog posts you can read:

Danny Falcone Trumpet Interview – The Other Side of the Bell #84

Danny Falcone – Trumpet Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #84 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features trumpeter Danny Falcone.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Danny Falcone

Daniel Falcone began working professionally in Las Vegas at age 15. The son of Vincent Falcone, musical director, pianist and conductor for Frank Sinatra, he literally grew up on stage. Starting in high school, Daniel backed the likes of Tony Bennett, Rita Moreno, Jerry Lewis, George Burns, Andy Williams, Jack Jones, Paul Anka and many other headliners on the Las Vegas Strip.

After high school he moved to LA to attend USC and toured and played with some of the world’s finest orchestras, including the London Philharmonic. After his time at USC, Danny returned to Las Vegas, playing for many headliners and production shows until he was asked to join the Tom Jones band as the lead trumpet player in 1998. After a 2 year world tour, Dan returned to Las Vegas to perform in a Ricky Martin production, “Storm”, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The musical director was Jerry Lopez, leader of the iconic band Santa Fe. A few years later Dan joined Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns and has been with the band ever since.

Two years later, Dan joined Paul Anka full-time and toured for many years playing split-lead, then lead trumpet, recording two albums and a DVD. He then joined the Las Vegas production of Broadway Musical “Hairspray”.

Danny with Celine Dion and members of the band.

Dan performed with Toni Braxton for more than a year before joining the Las Vegas production of Broadway hit “Jersey Boys”. At this same time, Dan was hired to perform with Bette Midler (The Showgirl Must Go On), for her two and half year run at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace culminating in an HBO concert performance. For the last ten years, Dan has been the lead trumpet player for Celine Dion both in Las Vegas and around the world on tour.

Daniel has most recently been hired to play lead trumpet with Lady Gaga on her new Jazz and Piano show.

Danny recording on Kanye West’s session.

TV credits include Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The American Country Music Awards, The Billboard Music Awards, The American Music Awards, Lionel Richie and Friends, The American Country Music Awards, The Latin Grammys, The Michael Parkinson Show on BBC, The BET Awards, Men Strike Back on VH1, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, The Today Show, Good Morning America and has been a member of the Jerry Lewis Telethon Orchestra. Dan has also performed and recorded with many artists including Alicia Keys, Kenny Loggins, Luis Miguel, Christopher Cross, D’Angelo, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Bill Champlin, Cheap Trick, Gladys Knight, Patti Austin, Martin Nievera, Frankie Valli, Vince Gill, Victor Manuelle, Destiny’s Child, Hunter Hayes, Big and Rich, Barry Manilow, Lionel Richie, Aretha Franklin, Brian Bromberg, Jennifer Nettles, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, Jordan Sparks, Frank Sinatra Jr., Jon Secada, Gino Vannelli, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Hugh Jackman and Maren Morris, Dwight Yoakam and most recently recorded for Kanye West’s new album “Jesus is King” performed at Lincoln Center with Kanye West’s Opera “Mary”.

Danny Falcone Links

Podcast Credits

Leonhard Paul Trombone Interview – Trombone Corner #8

Leonhard Paul – Trombone Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #8 of the Trombone Corner podcast. This episode features trombonist and bass trumpeter of Mnozil Brass, Leonhard Paul.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Leonhard Paul

Leonhard Paul is the trombonist and bass trumpeter in the world-famous Mnozil Brass and the Wieder-Gansch-Paul Trio. Originally from Vienna, Austria, Leonhard received diplomas in pedagogy studies and trombone studies from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. He went on to receive a degree in jazz trombone from the Conservatory of Music Vienna where he studied under Erich Kleinschuster.

Since 2005, Leonhard has been a professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna-MDW where he teaches chamber music, period music (sackbut), and popular music.

Besides his busy schedule with the Mnozil Brass, Leonhard has also performed on sackbut with the Wiener Akademie, Concentus Musicus Wien, and Tonus and on trombone with Salonorchester Alhambra and Die Eiserne Zeit among others.

Wieder-Gansch-Paul Trio

Coincidence writes the beautiful stories. Albert Wieder, Thomas Gansch and Leonhard Paul started at some point, Playing an encore at the end of each Mnozil Brass Show. On every tour a new one.

Into the blue, very spontaneous, not rehearsed, standing on stage and doing, what music is about – communicating. That’s how, during the last years, a whole concert program developed.

With songs from all corners of their three universes. George Michael, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Chuck Mangione, Johann Strauß, Toots Thielemans, Franz Schubert, Thomas Gansch, and so on.

Bass, melody and harmony.
You could say “Earth, Wind and Fire” – but that is already taken.
So let’s call it  “Wieder, Gansch & Paul“

Thomas Gansch – Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Vocals
Leonhard Paul – Trombone, Bass-Trumpet, Vocals
Albert Wieder – Tuba

Leonhard Paul Links

Podcast Credits

Morris Northcutt Trumpet Interview – The Other Side of the Bell #83

Morris Northcutt – Trumpet Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #83 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features trumpeter Morris Northcutt.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Morris Northcutt

Morris Northcutt’s playing has been described as artistic, lyrical and expressive with a beautiful, smooth, and rich tone.

At home in all musical styles from swing to Broadway to classical, this Global Music Award Winner and Bach Conn-Selmer Solo Performing Artist has shared the stage with a wide range of performance groups from Mannheim Steamroller, Critical Mass Big Band, The Blues Brothers Reunion Band, Puget Brass, and the Tacoma Concert Band to the Seattle Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Breath of Aire, and the Tacoma Symphony.  Morris has even performed the National Anthem for the Seattle Mariners Baseball Team.

After experiencing several unexpected personal losses and having taken nearly 12 years off from focused attention to the trumpet, Morris began a systematic approach to his practice sessions to not only bring back his playing but to take it to the next level.  Focusing on his purpose led to an explosion on social media interested in his sound, style, and phrasing.  This newly found attention helped launch his freelance career as a soloist and clinician, taking him across the globe from the Pacific Northwest to Canada, South America and Europe.

In 2019, Morris completed a solo recital/masterclass tour of Ireland that included an appearance at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.  This past January, he appeared at the 2020 Sao Paulo Trumpet Academy in Brazil. Later this year, Morris will debut his first EP, produced and engineered by Latin Grammy Award winner Danilo Alvarez with arrangements by Justo Morao.

Despite all his performance engagements, Morris is still closely tied to his home state of Washington.  As a local business owner, he is involved in the community life of his native town of Tacoma, serving on community boards and spending as much time as possible at home with his eleven-year-old twins and his wife, Lavonne.

Morris is a Bach Conn-Selmer Solo Performing Artist and Clinician regularly sharing his passion for music in schools and in both pro and amateur ensembles.

Morris Northcutt Links

Podcast Credits

12 Trumpet Gap Myths You’ve Probably Heard

One of the most talked about aspects of trumpet equipment over the last few years has been the annulus, or gap, and rightly so because it can have a huge impact on how your trumpet and mouthpiece play. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion and plain old misinformation that gets passed around making a relatively simple adjustment much more complex than necessary. Don’t worry, we are here to help by dispelling some of the popular myths about the trumpet gap.

1. “I measured my trumpet gap and it is .1845 inches (4.686mm), that must be too big.”

False! Due to a combination of all the factors involved — you, the mouthpiece, and the instrument — it is very possible that a gap that large, or even larger, may be optimal. Yes, it is possible that size of gap is too large, but you won’t know by just looking at the measurement by itself.

2. “I must use a #5 sleeve on all of my horns.”

False! While this may coincidentally true for some, there is no sleeve that magically works on every trumpet. There are many reasons for this: receivers are not standardized among trumpet manufacturers, factory tolerances for setting trumpet receivers are larger than the minimum amount that most players can perceive, and no two trumpets are built exactly alike thus having different playing characteristics.

3. “Adjusting the gap is a relatively new concept.”

False! The effects of adjusting the gap go back over 40 years. Carroll Purviance found that a smaller shank size would help trumpet players playing on certain instruments. Bob Reeves revolutionized gap adjustment when he patented his adjustable mouthpiece sleeve system and designed the first adjustable gap receiver in 1971. Renold Schilke studied the gap and theorized than zero gap was best in his article from 1977. A comprehensive Master’s Thesis was done in 1980 by Dennis Fleisher while at Eastman School of Music.

4. “I am not advanced enough to notice any difference in the gap.”

False! We’ve found over the last 45 years of working with players daily that experience and skill does not correllate with the ability to perceive changes in the gap. Great players sometimes cannot feel huge adjustments in the gap, while young players can greatly benefit from small adjustments. The questions is: how much do you perceive changes in the gap? The answer is easy — experiment!

5. “Little to no gap is best.”

False! While a small minority of players play with little or no gap (and that may be you!), a vast majority of players prefer some gap and a significant percentage of players prefer a relatively large gap compared to what most standard setups create.

6. “I can figure out the gap by taking a few measurements and plugging it into a formula.”

False! No formula can properly take into account every variable that affects what the optimal gap should be, including the response of the instrument and the lip penetration into the mouthpiece of the player. At best, a formula can generalize what gap works best for you, but at worst it can send you in the wrong direction. Why? Because you can’t measure what you feel, and more importantly, you can’t measure what you like to feel when you play.

7. “It’s better to adjust the gap by moving the trumpet receiver than altering the mouthpiece.”

Usually false! The biggest drawback to adjusting your receiver is that it is more costly and risky to make a change to the trumpet as opposed to the mouthpiece. Also, even the best repair shops cannot set the receiver to the precision that we can make sleeves (adjusting the gap to within .001″). Receiver adjustments are best when you use only one mouthpiece on that particular instrument. If you use multiple mouthpieces (like a commercial mouthpiece and a classical mouthpiece), then it is best to leave the receiver alone and dial in the gap by adjusting the mouthpiece shanks.

8. “A mouthpiece cut for Reeves Sleeves loses energy or vibrations.”

False! When we cut a mouthpiece for sleeves, there is less than .001″ separation between the mouthpiece and the sleeve. Bob Reeves did extensive studies on this and concluded that, when machined properly, there is no acoustical detriment when converting a mouthpiece for sleeves.

9. “Receiver inserts adjust the gap the same way sleeves or resetting the receiver does.”

False! Receiver inserts are a crude way to adjust the gap, as they usually make adjustments several times the amount that a player can perceive. More critical, however, is that they also drastically alter the trumpet leadpipe by changing the air column design (the leadpipe is both lengthened and the shape changed by the addition of a cylindrical section).

10. “A Bach Strad (or insert any other model trumpet) always plays best with an 1/8″ gap.”

False! This thinking fails to consider the effects of the mouthpiece and the player (the most important factor!). It also assumes that all trumpets are built and play the same. Line of 10 of any specific make and model of trumpet and you’d be hard pressed to find any two that play alike.

11. “My trumpet teacher plays a #5.5 sleeve, so should I.”

False! While you probably should do what your trumpet teacher tells you during your studies, realize that this statement is just as absurd as saying, “My teacher wears a size 10.5 shoe, so should I.” Even if you follow your teacher’s routine, style, and sound concepts, you are still two different individuals with different physical builds, preferences, and equipment.

12. “I use a #5.5 sleeve, so should my student.”

False! Helping your student to think logically about their equipment and dial it in is a great asset for your student, however, forcing your student to play on exactly what you play does not do your student any favors. The best thing to do is spend 5 minutes in your lesson and experiment with with the Reeves Paper Trick. Your student may end up on the same sleeve as you, but if that’s true it will be for the right reason.

Alan Kaplan Trombone Interview – Trombone Corner #7

Alan Kaplan – Trombone Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #7 of the Trombone Corner podcast. This episode features trombonist Alan Kaplan.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Alan Kaplan

Alan Kaplan has long been one of the busiest studio and freelance trombonists around. Growing up in Los Angeles he began playing at the age of eight. He tried to prepare for a “real” job, majoring in engineering at LA Valley College, but by the age of nineteen he was on the road with Buddy Rich. He was the youngest trombonist ever to play lead with that band. The next few years found him playing with big band legends such as Harry James, Louis Bellson, Don Ellis, and Lionel Hampton.In the ensuing years, Kaplan’s studio career took off. His recording credits vary vastly from Marvin Gaye to Johnny Mathis to Madonna to Placido Domingo to Sarah Vaughan to Oingo Boingo to Whitney Houston to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Phil Collins, Pharell Williams, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Paul McCartney, Harry Styles, Bob Dylan, Bryan Adams, Nirvana, Neil Young, Harry Connick, Lady Gaga, and countless more.

Kaplan’s TV credits include such shows as Hawaii 5-0, Dynasty, Voyager, Star Trek, Home Front, Mash, Dallas, Simpsons, Fantasy Island and hundreds of others. He has been the featured trombone soloist on more than 1000 cartoons such as Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, Tazmania, Pinky and the Brain, 101 Dalmations, Timon and Pumbaa and many others. He is currently working on Family Guy, American Dad, Orville, Mickey Mouse Shorts,  Agents of Shield, Star Trek, Once Upon a Time, Pennyworth, Blood and Treasure, Stargirl, Picard, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Animaniacs reboot, and Looney Toons.

He was a regular member of the staff bands on the Merv Griffin, Joan Rivers, and Star Search Shows. Several times in the last few years, Alan has been in the orchestra on the Academy Awards. He also was in the band for the Jerry Lewis Telethon for over thirty years.

Throughout his career, Alan has performed and recorded with Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Harry Connick, Boz Scaggs, Cheap Trick, Tony Bennett, Tower of Power, Josh Groban, Michael Jackson, Celine Dionne, Madonna, The Who, Elton John, Spinal Tap, and many, many more.

His movie credits are perhaps most impressive of all, a list of some 1100 plus films including “Animal House”, “Airplane”, “Dances with Wolves”, “Out of Africa”, “Sleepless in Seattle”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Hercules”, “Apollo 13”, “The Lion King”, “Con-Air”, “Batman and Robin”, “Silverado”, “Godzilla”, “Zorro”, “Planet of the Apes”, “Spiderman 1,2, and 3”, and “Men in Black 2”, “Pirates of the Carribean 1,2, and 3″,”Star Trek XI”,”The Incredibles 1 & 2″,”Up”, “Transformers 1&2″ ,”Mission Impossible 4″,” Star Trek”,” Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, “Inside Out”, “Tomorrowland”, and ” Ted”, “Ted 2”,  “Star Wars Rogue One”, “Spiderman 4”, “The Dark Tower”, “Jurassic World”, “Spiderman Homecoming”, “War for the Planet of the Apes”, “Coco”, “Ready Player One”, “The Greatest Showman”, “Lego Movie 2″, ” Ralph Destroys the Internet”, “Alita; Battle Angel”, “Frozen 2”, “Men in Black: International”,  “Spiderman: Far From Home”, “Soul”, “Onward”, “Bad Boys For Life”, “An American Pickle”, and “Scoob!” to name just a few.

Alan has been featured in articles in many publications including The Brass Herald, Windplayer Magazine, Downbeat, ITA Journal, and International Musician.

In January of 2002 Alan released his first solo album. It is a beautiful collection of standard ballads arranged for a thirty piece orchestra called Lonely Town. In August of 2012 He released a new CD called “Secrets of Hoyt’s Garage”. In 2017 Alan released three play-along albums for Music Minus One. “Ballads for Trombone with Orchestra”, “Standards for Trombone”, and “Mostly Mozart Arias”.

Alan Kaplan Links

Podcast Credits

Karl Sievers Trumpet Interview – The Other Side of the Bell #82

Karl Sievers – Trumpet Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #82 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features trumpeter Karl Sievers.

Listen to or download the episode below:

Visit the Bill Adam Facebook Group to take part in the 6th Annual William Adam Trumpet Festival!

About Karl Sievers

Dr. Karl Sievers enjoys a successful and varied performance career, having performed in countless studio sessions, on live television, in jazz ensembles, chamber music of all kinds, solo recitals, and in symphony orchestras.

Karl is principal trumpet for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and the Norman Philharmonic, part of the Oklahoma City Jazz Orchestra, and he performs with local groups the Frontier Brass Band and the Opulent Brass Quintet. He has performed with artists such as Doc Severinsen, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Al Jarreau.

Karl Sievers has been a professor at The University of Oklahoma since 1999 and was named the 2017 Irene and Julian J. Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts at the University of Oklahoma Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts.

A student of William Adam at Indiana University, Karl has been instrumental in hosting and organizing the International William Adam Trumpet Festival. The 6th Annual festival will be from June 18-20, 2020 and held online on the the Bill Adam Facebook Group, where all the masterclasses will be available to view free of charge.

Karl Sievers Links

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