Markus Stockhausen Trumpet Interview – The Other Side of the Bell #61

Markus Stockhausen – Trumpet Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #61 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features trumpeter Markus Stockhausen.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Markus Stockhausen

Markus Stockhausen Playing Flugelhorn

Photo: Silvia Kleemann

Markus Stockhausen was born in 1957 and began playing the piano at the age of six. In 1975 he began to study piano and trumpet at the music school in Cologne. One year before his final exams he was the 1981 winner of the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb prize. Since then he has regularly performed as a soloist, including many premieres such as the trumpet concerto “Jet Stream” composed for him by Peter Eötvös in 2002 and performed for the first time with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London. He is also a regular guest at renowned international music festivals

Markus Stockhausen is one of the most versatile musicians of our time. He is as much at home in jazz as in contemporary and classical music. For about 25 years he collaborated closely with his father, the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, who composed many beautiful works for him. With his brother Simon he realized several internationally acclaimed musical projects.

As soloist, improviser and composer Markus Stockhausen is in international demand. He leads or collaborates in various ensembles with musicians like Arild Andersen, Patrice Héral, Mark Nauseef, Jörg Brinkmann, Angelo Comisso, Christian Thomé, Ferenc Snétberger, Florian Weber, and plays intuitive music in the duo Moving Sounds with his wife the clarinettist Tara Bouman. His group Eternal Voyage features musicians from India, the Netherlands and Lebanon. From the year 2000 until 2010 he directed a concert series called Klangvisionen with intuitive music in the church of St. Maternus in Cologne. Rolf Zavelberg was responsible for the artistic light design.

Markus Stockhausen Playing Trumpet

Photo: Elfi Kleiß

As a composer he has received commissions from, among others, the RIAS Chamber Choir, The London Sinfonietta, the Orchestra d‘Archi Italiana, the Winterthur Chamber Orchestra, the Cheltenham Music Festival and the 12 Cellists from the Berlin Philharmonic. In 2007 he wrote “Tanzendes Licht“ for trumpet, big band and string orchestra for the Swiss Jazz Orchestra and the Camerata Bern, as well as “Symbiosis“, a double concerto for clarinet and trumpet with string orchestra, comissioned by the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra. In 2009 he composed “Oliver’s Adventures“ for children’s orchestra and choir, in 2011 “Yin“ and “Yang“ for the Metropole Orchestra, premiered at the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam for the Holland Festival. Also in 2011 he wrote “GeZEITen“ for about 600 musicians, comissioned by the Niedersächsische Musiktage in Cuxhaven. In 2012: “Ein Glasperlenspiel“ for solo trumpet and accordeon orchestra, 2013: “Das Erwachende Herz“ for solo trumpet, clarinet and voice and symphony orchestra, commissioned and performed by the Hamburger Symphoniker.

Markus Stockhausen also teaches in various situations, including “Intuitive Music and More” and “Singing and Silence”. To date he has released or participated in more than 70 CDs. In 2005 he was the winner of the WDR jazz prize.

Markus Stockhausen Links

Podcast Credits

Freddie Jones Trumpet Interview – The Other Side of the Bell #60

Freddie Jones – Trumpet Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #60 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features trumpeter Freddie Jones.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Freddie Jones

Freddie Jones is a popular jazz trumpet player and composer in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. With an amazing musical gift, Freddie Jones kicks up the energy of a room a notch or two and thrills a jazz-lover’s soul! Audiences are in awe of the sound this Freddie Jones can coax from his horns. Freddie has taken his trumpet and his group on the road throughout the southwest, performing in hot spots from Austin’s’ The Elephant Room to Little Rock’s Riverfront Auditorium to numerous festivals in the Dallas/ Fort Worth Metroplex, Oklahoma City, and everywhere in between. He has also performed in Paris, The Hague and Rotterdam. He has several cds to his credit. His band, the Freddie Jones Jazz Group, never fails to pull in the audience and deliver an exciting sound.

Trumpets 4 Kids

Once a student receives a trumpet, they sign a contract agreeing to practice one hour a day, maintain the trumpet, as well as teach, help and perform for other kids. They are also encouraged to give the trumpet to the school if they decide to quit playing.

Students are required to practice and perform for other kids so that they may inspire each other and create a platform for dialogue about their goals and achievements. Having kids perform music, such as classical or jazz, at a skill level that shows great musicianship at an early age, can allow children to create and realize their own dreams and activities. Having quartets perform for kids who are homeless, ill, or in other at-risk situations brings a new dimension by which each child may begin to see beyond his or her present situation. Whether the child is the musician or listener, the idea is to create opportunities for each group to see other situations or to be inspired by their peer group.

 

Music is the universal language of our world. It is a part of life in every country and culture. It is also a powerful tool to help children learn and shape their lives. Music fosters the development of attention and listening skills; it assists in emotional development; and music involvement is known to enhance self-esteem and confidence. Music is also linked to improved math, memory and reading skills.

Freddie Jones Links

Podcast Credits

Phil Smith Trumpet Interview – The Other Side of the Bell #59

Phil Smith – Trumpet Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #59 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features trumpeter Philip Smith.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Philip Smith

Philip Smith joined the New York Philharmonic as Co-Principal Trumpet in October 1978, and assumed the position of Principal Trumpet in June 1988. His father, Derek Smith, a renowned English cornet soloist, provided his early training. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School, having studied with Edward Treutel and William Vacchiano, former Principal Trumpet of the New York Philharmonic. In January 1975, while still at Juilliard, Sir Georg Solti appointed Mr. Smith to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Philip Smith joined the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia as the William F. and Pamela P. Prokasy Professor in the Arts in August 2014. In addition to teaching his trumpet studio, he is the Bandmaster of the UGA British Brass Band, member of the faculty Georgia Brass Quintet, and coach of the Bulldog Brass Society. This new position follows his retirement from the New York Philharmonic after 36 years of service as Principal Trumpet.

Mr. Smith has appeared regularly as soloist, recitalist, chamber orchestra performer, and clinician. He has been featured as a soloist with the Philharmonic performing with conductors Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Erich Leinsdorf, Leonard Bernstein, Neeme Jarvi, Lorin Maazel, Alan Gilbert and Bramwell Tovey. Repertoire highlights have included the world premiere of Joseph Turrin’s Trumpet Concerto with the New York Philharmonic (1989) and its subsequent European premiere with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (1994). Additional New York Philharmonic performances have included the U.S. premiere of Jacques Hetu’s Trumpet Concerto (1992), the world premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s Concerto (2000), and the world premiere of Siegfried Matthus’s Double Concerto for Trumpet, Trombone, and Orchestra (2003). He has also been a guest soloist with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and the symphonies of Edmonton, Newfoundland, South Dakota, Sioux City, Cedar Rapids (Orchestra Iowa), Columbus (Indiana), Pensacola (Florida), Hartford (Connecticut), and Beaumont (Texas). He has appeared as guest Principal Trumpet with the Orchestre de Paris, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, performing Mahler’s Symphony #5.

Mr. Smith has also appeared with many symphonic wind ensembles, including the US “President’s Own” Marine Band, the West Point Academy Band, the US Army TRADOC Band, the US Coast Guard Band, La Philharmonie des Vents des Quebec and many major university wind ensembles. He appeared at The College Band Directors National Association Convention in Austin, Texas, for the world premiere of Turrin’s Chronicles (1999) with the University of New Mexico Wind Ensemble. A subsequent recording of Chronicles was produced which included the world premiere of Stephen Gryc’s Evensong (2000) and Turrin’s Fandango (2000). Alfred Cohen’s “curls of motion” was premiered in 2008 with the Columbus State University Wind Ensemble. Aaron Kernis’ a Voice, a Messenger was premiered in 2013 with the University of Illinois Wind Ensemble.

An avid brass band enthusiast, Mr. Smith has been guest soloist with the United States Army Brass Band, and the contesting bands of Goteborg Brass (Sweden), Black Dyke Mills and Rigid Containers Band (Britain), Hannaford Street Silver Band and Intrada Brass (Canada), as well as Columbus Brass Band, Triangle Brass Band, and Imperial Brass (USA). He has soloed with all of the Salvation Army Staff Bands worldwide including the International Staff Band, New York, Chicago, Amsterdam, Melbourne, German and Japan. He appeared as featured soloist at the 1996 British Open Brass Band Championships in Manchester, England.

Mr. Smith has been on the faculty of The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, and has appeared as recitalist and clinician at the Caramoor International Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Swiss Brass Week, Breman (Germany) Trumpet Days, Oslo (Norway) Trumpet Week, Harmony Ridge (Vermont) Festival, Scotia Festival of Music and numerous International Trumpet Guild conferences.

In 2005, Mr. Smith was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music (Hon RAM). In 2006, Mr. Smith was given the International Trumpet Guild Honorary Award.As a member of the Principal Brass Quintet, Mr. Smith has toured Japan four times, as well as Brazil and Germany. He has also performed and recorded with the Canadian Brass, Empire Brass, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Bargemusic, and New York Virtuosi Chamber Symphony. His solo recordings include Contest Solos produced by the International Trumpet Guild; Fandango, featuring New York Philharmonic Principal Trombonist Joseph Alessi and the University of New Mexico Wind Symphony (Summit); My Song of Songs with the New York Staff Band of The Salvation Army (Triumphonic); Copland’s Quiet City (Deutsche Grammophone); New York Legends (CALA); Orchestral Excerpts for Trumpet (Summit); Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Concerto for Trumpet and Five Instruments (New World); Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 (Koch); Walton’s Facade (Arabesque); and The Trump Shall Resound and Repeat the Sounding Joy(Heritage).

Mr. Smith has collaborated on a series of projects with Curnow Music Press (Hal Leonard), publishing music arrangements with demonstration CDs. These include Great Hymns, More Great Hymns, and Great Christmas Carols for Trumpet and Piano. Two trumpet study books with demo CD have also been produced, Concert Studies and Advanced Concert Studies. In a similar project published by Michael Davis and Hip-Bone Music, Mr. Smith has recorded the 20 minute WARM UP ROUTINE and a soon to be released etude book. Also in this series is Total Trumpet, featuring a variety of trumpet studies demonstrated by Randy Brecker, Jim Hynes and Philip Smith.

Mr. Smith’s film soundtrack credits include: Cobb (1994) music by Elliot Goldenthal; The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) music by Carter Burwell; A Time To Kill (1996) music by Elliot Goldenthal; Punchline (1998) music by Gary Anderson and Charles Gross; Sphere (1998) music by Elliot Goldenthal; The Rookie (2002) music by Carter Burwell; The Ladykillers(2004) music by Carter Burwell; Manchurian Candidate (2004) music by Rachel Portman; Hitch (2005) music by George Fenton and Alan Elliot. His commercial soundtrack credits include: “NBC Sunday Night Football Theme 2006” music by John Williams; “NBC Super Bowl XVIII Theme 2008” music by John Williams and Joel Beckerman (currently heard); “NBC and Golf Channel Tournament Theme 2013” music by Joel Beckerman.

Philip Smith Links

Podcast Credits

Peter Olstad Trumpet Interview – The Other Side of the Bell #52

Peter Olstad – Trumpet Interview

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #52 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features trumpeter Peter Olstad.

Listen to or download the episode below:

About Peter Olstad

Pete Olstad has toured and performed with Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Blood, Sweat and Tears; Mel Torme, Brian Setzer, Tom Jones and Latin pop star Luis Miguel.

Born in Burbank, Calif., Olstad later moved to Evergreen, Colo. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., and the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. While in college, he received Downbeat Magazine’s “Best Jazz Soloist Award” three years in a row in the college division and, later, was one of five finalists in the Thelonious Monk Institute’s Louis Armstrong Jazz Trumpet Competition in Washington, D.C.

Olstad spent 15 years as a freelance trumpet player in Los Angeles, Calif., and later relocated to New York City for another 10 years, before settling back in Denver, Colorado. Most recently, Pete has made his home in Los Angeles, California and is working on his own album.

Peter Olstad Links

Podcast Credits

The History of the Trumpet Mouthpiece Gap

The Early Years

Carroll Purviance, the custom mouthpiece maker that Bob Reeves apprenticed with in Hollywood, CA.

The first time I learned about the gap was on a visit to Elden Benge’s Burbank shop. He explained to me how he made his trumpet play better in combination with Bach mouthpieces, which were popular at the time. He moved the receiver on the horn back until it played the way he liked it. Benge’s goal was to find the gap that worked best, not find out what the gap was “supposed to be.” When I went to work for Carroll Purviance in 1961 he had two shank sizes for his mouthpieces, his standard, and a smaller B shank. Purviance discovered that for some setups, one shank would play better than the other. During that same period I was studying trumpet with John Clyman, who had his own theories about the gap. He believed that there should be at least some gap between the mouthpiece and leadpipe. This was contrary to another theory that suggested that very little, or no gap was best. Clyman would push me to work on mouthpiece projects for him in exchange for the lessons he gave me. He then bought my first lathe (which I still use today) and I opened  up my own shop in the back of my Mother’s house. Opening Up Shop In April of 1968 I opened my shop in Hollywood, California and was fortunate to attract the top brass players in the world. My shop was a sandbox where we would try all the ideas we had on our minds. Some turned out good, some bad, but it was fun and a unique learning experience. My experiences with Benge, Purviance, and Clyman, along with my day-to-day observations of players made me realize how crucial the gap really is.  Discovering the proper gap was a time consuming process, requiring a lot of salvage work on customers’ mouthpieces. I would think that the gap should be increased so I soldered a new shank on the mouthpiece, only to find out that it should be smaller and had to file down the shank, or vice-versa. The Bob Reeves Sleeve System It only took a few times of going through this painstaking process to figure out that there must be a better way. This planted the seed that grew into my adjustable sleeve system. Thanks to my friends Bill Cardwell and Don Macintosh,  in 1974 I was granted my first patent for the sleeve system.

The Experimenting Continued

Originally, I made six different sleeve sizes that allowed a player to adjust the gap within 1/16″. It quickly became obvious that players required further fine-tuning, so I divided the sizes into 1/2 and 1/4 sizes, allowing players to adjust the gap within 1/64″. Due to the limitations of the manual lathe I was using, I could not reliably adjust the gap in smaller increments. Frustrated by this limitation and wanting to make even smaller adjustments to the gap, I turned my attention from the mouthpiece to the trumpet receiver.

Adjustable Gap Receiver

I

Ad for the B.R.A.S.S. adjustable-gap receiver designed by Bob Reeves – the first of its kind.

n 1979, I invented the first adjustable gap receiver for the trumpet. The gap could be adjusted within .001” by using a precision threaded bit.  Over the next few years, I tested the gap extensively compiling several journals full of notes, observations, and most importantly, players’ perceptions. I was surprised to discover that trumpet players can perceive a change in the gap as little as .006”! I also confirmed my belief that two different players playing on the same mouthpiece and same trumpet often will required a different gap. I converted many trumpets with my adjustable gap receiver (The B.R.A.S.S., which stands for Bob Reeves Adjustable Sleeves System), but there were practicality issues with this system that made me reevaluate making gap adjustments using the mouthpiece. Thanks to advances in machining technology, adjusting the gap by using a converted mouthpiece and removable sleeves became feasible.

The Bob Reeves Sleeve System

The system as it exists today requires a mouthpiece to be converted for sleeves, which is much easier and more economical than replacing the receiver on a trumpet. We can convert any trumpet mouthpiece to accept our sleeves, the process of which does not alter any other part of the mouthpiece — the backbore and overall length of the mouthpiece remain the same. Our removable sleeves come in half sizes, ranging from #1 to #7. We also have quarter sizes available from time to time. The #1 sleeve has the largest shank size, which will produce the largest gap, while the #7 sleeve has the smallest shank size, producing the smallest gap. Learn how to experiment adjusting your gap.

Trumpet Mouthpiece Gap & the Player-Mouthpiece-Trumpet System

On a regular basis, we receive a call or email at the shop that takes on the same basic form:
“Hi, I play on a ABC mouthpiece on a XYZ model trumpet. What sleeve would give me the best gap.”
Usually, our customers are shocked when our answer is a resounding, “I don’t know!” After all, Bob Reeves invented and patented the adjustable gap receiver and sleeve system 40 years ago. How the heck couldn’t we know? The answer is simple – we only know two of the three variables needed to determine the best gap and really, we don’t know any of the three variables unless we have your mouthpiece and trumpet here in the shop for analysis.

The Player-Trumpet-Mouthpiece System

It is critical to realize that there are three elements that must be analyzed in assessing your equipment – the trumpet, the mouthpiece, and you, the player. It seems silly, but most players forget the most important element – you!

How The Gap Relates to the Player-Trumpet-Mouthpiece System

Think of the gap as a fine tuning device. It is a way to dial in your trumpet, with your mouthpiece, to the way you like to play. Let’s say we know the exact size of your trumpet mouthpiece shank and the receiver on your trumpet. There is still no way we (or anyone else in the world, for that matter) can know what you like to feel in your trumpet equipment.

The Shoe Analogy

Think of it like shoes. Imagine you wear a size 9 shoe. Let’s go one step further and say you wear a 9 Wide shoe. I could send you 10 pairs of size 9W shoes and I would bet that some would feel more comfortable than others. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that there would be some shoes, despite being your measured size, will feel downright uncomfortable to walk around in. The best shoe salesman in the world cannot blindly tell you which brand will feel comfortable to you until you try them on.

Put Yourself First!

Just like the shoe analogy above, only you know what feels comfortable to you. Put another way, no one can tell you what will work for you (if they do quickly run the other way!). So how do you find what works for you? Experiment. Our paper trick is a great way to discover what role the gap plays in your unique Player-Trumpet-Mouthpiece System. Experiment with the gap using the Bob Reeves Paper Trick!

Bach Stradivarius Trumpet – 4 Ways Get the Most Out Of Your Bach Strad

Here at Bob Reeves Brass Mouthpieces we provide many services and products that can improve the playability of your trumpet, including the most popular professional trumpet model, the Bach Stradivarius. Over Bob’s forty-five plus years of experience, he has found that these methods create real and immediately perceptible results.

1) Clean your trumpet and keep it that way!

If yesterday’s tacos and last Monday’s cheeseburger are still in your trumpet, they’re not helping you play better. An acid wash, or chemical cleaning, like our Premium Service acid wash removes all the gunk built up inside your trumpet. Part of our service also includes brushing out the inside of the entire body and slides of your trumpet, and the exterior brass legs of your slides. When your horn is clean inside and outside, we then lubricate all the slides and valves, getting the instrument into ready to play condition. Once your instrument is cleaned out, you need to keep it that way to keep it playing consistently. For decades we have sold our Leadpipe Swabs to trumpet players, instructing them to swab out their horns at the end of each playing day. Our swabs remove the moisture and food particles from your leadpipe, stopping them from getting further into your horn, causing build up on the interior of your horn.

2) Bring your horn in for a Bob Reeves Valve Alignment!

Every horn manufactured today needs a valve alignment. Your 1960s Olds Ambassador, your early Elkhart Bach Strad, even your $30,000+ decorated Monette PRANA has misaligned valves. Not only will our valve alignment improve the way your horn plays, but it will keep it consistent from day to day. Bob first discovered the valve alignment working with top studio musicians after he opened his shop in Hollywood. These musicians would come into Bob’s shop complaining about consistency issues, and, knowing that the players weren’t changing, he looked to the instrument. When he aligned their valves, their equipment hunts would end. They no longer needed to play to how the trumpet was aligned each and every day, and had much more direction concerning improvements to their setup.

3) Find the gap that works for you!

Once you’ve had your valves aligned, you can really start making your equipment work for you. After a valve alignment, many players find it possible to play on a more efficient mouthpiece than previously. While a complete mouthpiece change may be deemed unnecessary, many players find it beneficial to “dial in the gap”. Our sleeve system allows the player to experiment with the gap, allowing them to find the correct gap that works for the trumpet, mouthpiece, and — most importantly — the player. Converting for sleeves also allows you to use one mouthpiece in two horns with the correct gap on both instruments. Not all trumpets are the same and not all mouthpiece receivers are the same; this is why the gap must be discovered on each individual instrument you play.

4) Accessorize!

Now that you have your horn cleaned, your valves aligned, and your gap dialed in, (or you just want a quick experiment) Bob Reeves Brass offers two products that improve the slotting of your trumpet. The Cylinder Reinforcer and Receiver Ring both work in similar ways. The receiver ring is a small silver plated ring that fit onto the hexagonal end of your Bach’s receiver, while the cylinder reinforcer, on a Bach trumpet, is a replacement bottom valve cap. Neither of these accessories cause a dampening affect to your trumpet, they instead solidify points on the instrument, preventing the loss of energy that you put into it. The junction between the mouthpiece and the receiver is a point where energy is commonly lost, but a receiver ring will solidify that junction, allowing the energy to continue through the horn. In the same way, the bottom of the third valve casing is a location where energy is lost, but the cylinder reinforcer prevents that dissipation.
Now that your trumpet is in it’s best playing condition, you can focus more on playing the music, so go and have fun!

Piccolo Trumpet Tips & Tricks: Two Ways To Improve Your Picc.

With the holidays right around the corner, baroque music gigs are starting to show up on musician’s calendars, and what that means for the trumpet player is that it’s time to dust off their piccolo and get ready to perform. The holiday season repertoire of Christmas Oratorio, Messiah, and Magnificat is no easy blow and having to play it on piccolo doesn’t help. But, Bob Reeves Brass has some options that will make tackling these pieces a little easier so you can focus more on the music — and have more fun playing!

Modern Developments for the Piccolo Trumpet

In 2012 trumpet equipment has come a long way from what existed when the piccolo trumpet was developed. As piccolo trumpets are half the size of a regular Bb trumpet and have unique issues that need to be addressed, Bob spent many years coming up with the designs of his standard piccolo mouthpieces. The main difference between a standard trumpet mouthpiece and one of our piccolo trumpet mouthpieces is the length. Our piccolo trumpet mouthpieces are shorter than a regular mouthpiece. The same is true for the piccolo mouthpieces we make with a cornet shank. One of our piccolo trumpet mouthpiece with a cornet shank is shorter than a standard cornet mouthpiece.

There Are More Piccolo Mouthpiece Options Than Just a Bach 7EW

Any of the standard Bob Reeves rim and cup combinations can be ordered with a piccolo-trumpet shank or a piccolo-cornet shank. These pieces come with a backbore that Bob developed to play more evenly, better in tune, and with a better balance than the 117 backbore and other common piccolo backbores. The most popular cups players use with their piccolos are the S, M, and C. As with all Bob Reeves pieces, these pieces for piccolo come in a screw-rim configuration and, because of that, if you know you love a certain rim, we can thread it and make a piccolo underpart to it.

Reeves A-Adapter for Cornet-Shank Piccolo Trumpets

Another tool that we offer for cornet-shank piccolo players is our A-Adapter. This adapter, when used on the Bb side of your piccolo, brings the tuning down to the key of A and keeps you from having to pull a Bb tuning bit out very far to play in tune. This prevents a large gap from existing in your horn at the end of the tuning bit before the leadpipe. When this gap is eliminated, the piccolo with play much more in tune, with better response, and much more evenly.

THE ULTIMATE FLUGELHORN MOUTHPIECE SHANK GUIDE

Does your flugelhorn mouthpiece wobble? Do you have problems with intonation, slotting or sound with your flugel?

If you’ve ever played a flugelhorn for more than five minutes you’ve undoubtedly run into a problem involving shanks and receivers. No mouthpiece seems to play or fit correctly and you keep hearing about a “taper” that isn’t a taper — what is going on?

Don’t worry, help is here to bring you your beloved flugelhorn sound!

Types of Flugelhorn Mouthpiece Shanks

Though there are many manufacturers of flugelhorns today, there are only three commonly used flugelhorn shanks and one more that is very rare.

1) The Couesnon Flugelhorn Mouthpiece Shank (French Shank)

The first shank is referred to commonly as the “French Shank” or the “Couesnon Shank.” As you may have guessed, it was used originally on Couesnon flugelhorns. This shank is not a taper, as is used on other trumpet, cornet, or flugelhorn mouthpieces. The bottom inch or so of the mouthpiece shank is cylindrical. At that point the shank flairs slightly into a shoulder which secures the mouthpiece into the receiver. Some folks call this type of flugelhorn mouthpiece shank a French Taper or a Couesnon Taper, which is a misnomer since there is no taper to the shank.

French Shank mouthpieces will not fit properly in other types of flugelhorn receivers.

2) The Standard Flugelhorn Mouthpiece Shank

The second kind of flugelhorn mouthpiece shank is referred to as the “Standard Shank” or “Large Morse Taper.” Unlike the French Shank, the Standard Shank is a traditional taper similar to what you find on trumpets, cornets, and other brass instruments. Many flugelhorns are manufactured today, including Yamaha flugelhorns, that accept this taper.

Standard shank mouthpieces generally do not fit in a French Shank or the smaller Bach Shank receiver.

3) The Bach Flugelhorn Mouthpiece Shank

The third flugelhorn mouthpiece shank that is commonly used is the “Bach Shank” or “Small Morse Taper.” It is also a taper, but at a smaller size than the Standard Shank flugelhorn mouthpiece. It has been used on Bach flugelhorns since they were first produced.

4) Trumpet Shanked Flugelhorns

The last shank that very few flugelhorns accept is actually the same size that is used on trumpet mouthpieces. This setup is used on some European flugelhorns, but it is exceedingly rare.

“What Flugelhorn Mouthpiece Do I Need?”

When you are considering a flugelhorn or a flugelhorn mouthpiece, always check and double check that the parts you will be using will work together. Having an incompatible setup of mouthpiece and receiver will result mouthpieces not fitting properly and poor intonation and playability.

The “American Shank” Flugelhorn Mouthpiece

Depending on where you live and who you talk to, you may run across mentions of an American Shank flugelhorn. In our research, we have found that manufacturers and players can be referring either to #2 or #3 above when referring to “American Shanks.” Bach is one of the most prominent U.S. manufacturers and so some people refer to the Bach Shank as the American Shank. Nowadays, more U.S. manufacturers use the Standard Shank size so that has caused some folks to label the larger Standard Shank as the “American Shank.” To avoid confusion, it would be best to use Standard and Bach, or Large and Small Taper.

The Double Standard

Unfortunately, some people refer to either the Large or Small Shanks as “Standard.” This is because many years ago, the Bach Shank was considered the standard size. Over the last 40-50 years, however, the Large Shank has become much more popular while the Bach Shank waned. There has been a resurgence in the Bach Shank in recent years, though the Large taper size is still much more common.

Looking To Improve Your Flugelhorn or Flugelhorn Mouthpiece?

Bob Reeves Brass has a complete line of flugelhorn mouthpieces for all shank sizes of you are looking for a mouthpiece.

You might also consider getting a valve alignment for your flugelhorn to improve sound, intonation, and projection.

Flugelhorns Manufacturers Grouped by Mouthpiece Shank Type

Couesnon (No Taper): French Besson, Couesnon, Flip Oakes, Kanstul, Miraphone

Bach (Small Morse Taper): B & S, Bach, R, S, Berkeley, Besson, Courtois, Eclipse, F. E. Olds, Holton, LeBlanc, James , Trevor, Kanstul, Miraphone , Phaeton, Reynolds, Schilke, Selmer, Shiller, Taylor, Van Laar

Standard (Large Morse Taper): Adams, Benge, Blessing, Callet, Conn, Eclipse, Gerd Dowids, Getzen, Josef Lidl,  Kanstul, King, Lawler, Miraphone , Orlando Wind Instruments, Stomvi, Thomas Inderbinen ,  Weril, Yamaha,

Trumpet Mouthpiece Taper: Gerd Dowids

Bud Brisbois Trumpet Story

Bob Reeves tells about making a custom mouthpiece for Bud Brisbois:
Bud was a long time friend and customer of mine. I had done some work for him before, including aligning his Holton Bb trumpet #516449, when in 1978 he visited my shop. When I asked Bud what I could do for him he said, “I want you to make a new and improved Bob Reeves’ version of my Herrick mouthpiece.” “You got it!” I replied. He was playing a custom Burt Herrick piece (pictured left) that I had altered the shank on before. It was a completely custom mouthpiece – hand carved rim and cup, short length and a complex backbore. It took me most of the morning and afternoon to get the piece done. I was able to modify the piece from the original to give him a little more sound for less work. I had barely taken it out of the silver-plating tank when he grabbed it out of my hand and started running for the door. “I have a session I have to get to. Thanks for the piece!” Bud said running out of the shop. “Hey, don’t you want to take the old one with you just in case?” I yelled out, chasing after him with his old Burt Herrick piece in my hand. I couldn’t believe he would show up to a studio session with a new, untested piece. “What the hell do I need that old thing for…yours is better isn’t it?” I stood there speechless. The session ended up being one of his best recordings with Henry Mancini. He never came back for his old piece, where it has been sitting in the same drawer for 30 years.

Mouthpiece Threading for Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, & Tuba

We get quite a few calls about threading rims, cups, backbores and underparts. We’d like to take the time to answer some of the many questions we get.

Why Use Screw-Rim Mouthpieces?

The trumpet mouthpiece is the connecting point between the instrument and player. Due to the unique qualities of each player’s lips, teeth, and jaw structure, choosing a rim is as personal a decision as finding a soul mate…which is why we often tell customers to “marry” a rim if it feels comfortable. Once you find a rim that connects with you, put it on every mouthpiece you own: trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, piccolo, lead mouthpiece. When you switch from horn to horn, the adjustments necessary to switch are minimized since the mouthpiece feels the same to you. Threading mouthpieces is a handy solution when you find a rim that feels good, but you are not satisfied with the sound or playability of the mouthpiece. This may be because the rim comes off of a piece that wasn’t designed to do what you want. For example, you like the feel of a rim off of a lead mouthpiece but you mostly play orchestral music. Instead of going on a mouthpiece safari trying rims with similar dimensions, cut it off and thread it and put it on a orchestral mouthpiece.

What We Can Do

We can thread any type of mouthpiece using any thread you would like (Reeves threads, Schilke threads, Bach threads, etc.). Most mouthpieces are threaded at the rim so that the rim can be used on different underparts – the underparts consisting of the cup, bore, backbore and shank. While not as popular, we can also thread cups and backbores similar to the Warburton style mouthpieces. It is important to note that when we thread parts and put them together, we are able to maintain the cup depth and other important dimensions of the mouthpiece so that are results are consistent.

Customer Story

An orchestral player was in the shop last week looking to improve his setup. All of his horns have been aligned and he was going back and forth between mouthpieces because he liked the feel of one (a Monette mouthpiece) and the sound of the other (an old Bach mouthpiece). This was the perfect case where putting the parts together would solve his problem.  He ended up with a Monette rim on an old Bach underpart and left sounding even better than when he arrived. If you have any questions about our threading or any other alterations that we do, feel free to send us an email or give us a call!

Carrol Purviance Mouthpiece Story

I received this email the other day and thought I would share. I worked with Carroll Purviance for the last 8 years of his life and this story shows how, despite his personal conflicts, he was a master craftsman and respected by the best players worldwide. I am proud to be able to make his mouthpieces using his original tooling and also integrate his ideas into my own line of pieces.
– Bob Reeves
“Dear Bob,
I happen to be surfin’ the net the other day, and came across your web-site. Having been once a student of trumpet years ago and my best friend’s Dad was a highly respected trumpet player in the Warner Bros. orchestra from the late fifties to early sixties..(Larry Sullivan), thought I would relay this message:
We, as 12 year old boys, would often accompany Larry on brief  trips to the studio in Hollywood or Glendale to have mouth pieces made. I have memories of Carroll Purviance, hunched over his lathe, maybe slightly intoxicated and weeping, talking to Larry about his life. Later, Larry would always compliment us for not laughing or acting up on the way home. He always made it clear though, that Mr. Purviance was the absolute master at what he does, no matter what his state of mind. Nice to know that his name still lingers and represents this.”