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 Mouthpiece cushions, ( or the lack thereof )
Author: Caihlen 
Date:   2018-02-17 09:00

Can anyone speak to the drawbacks of not using a mouthpiece cushion? I've tried both thick and thin and I dislike them.

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 Re: Mouthpiece cushions, ( or the lack thereof )
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-02-17 09:12

The most obvious reason is that your upper teeth can damage the mouthpiece if you play single lip.

but even if you play double lip, some find that it also dampens out the vibrations. some say it gives a warmer sound. others say its more comfortable.

I don't think there's anything wrong with not using one.

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Mouthpiece cushions, ( or the lack thereof )
Author: GenEric 
Date:   2018-02-17 11:44

mouthpiece cushions are all personal preference. If you don't like them, that's fine. I use them because I feel like I listen more to myself if I have a thick cushion on because I rely less on the vibrations from my teeth if that makes any sense. I feel the music more and focus more on my air than the vibrations on my teeth. It takes a while to get used to but again, it's all personal preference.

If you have a proper embouchure and you're not biting, you should be fine without a mouthpiece cushion. Some of my classmates and section mates from bands outside have huge teeth marks on even the thickest cushion which is really concerning.

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 Re: Mouthpiece cushions, ( or the lack thereof )
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-17 14:11

This is a subject in which I have a strong opinion on. I play with a double lip and I don't use one, and I do have fatter lips but not real fat lips. So thin lips and double lip players may want to use one.

Here is my problem, I see a lot when I reface mouthpieces. Players put these patches right up at the tip of the mouthpiece and this is just totally wrong. The first and major problem is you are blocking the airflow. The air hits these patches, so you are blocking air movement resulting in back pressure. The patches should be on the thinner side for single and double lip players and place just in front of where your teeth hit, not at the tip of the mouthpiece. Also your articulation suffers and so will your sound and your whole embouchure is screwed. Think of trying to articulate with 2 feet of rubber on a mouthpiece beak and you only have that tiny 1.05 or so tip opening. I have to use this as an example for people to understand. Now think about how hard it will be to get air through that 1.05 tip opening. Some patches are double the thickness of the tip openings and players set them right smack on the tip on the mouthpiece. Why? Your teeth aren't there. They are back a ways. That's where the patch should be. You want a thin patch because you don't want to bite. If you are using a thick patch you need serious work on your embouchure and should start practicing long tones using a double lip. If your upper lip hurts well you are biting and talk to a good teacher.

Someone said recently that double lip embouchures are old school. I hope not. It is as important as learning the Rose 32 and 40 etudes. In 20 years from now probably every mouthpiece will come with an 1/8" built in patch, because everyone will bite. We can't let this happen.

Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist 2015

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 Re: Mouthpiece cushions, ( or the lack thereof )
Author: inacin 
Date:   2018-02-17 18:24

I am a huge fan of Yamaha 0,5 mouthpiece orange patches. In fact, I'm not comfortable on anything else. I think it has the propper balance between grip (crucial for me) and comfortable mouth opening (on a profile 88 mouthpiece ). I feel the thin ones too slippery for my teeth and the thick 0.8 ones force me to open mouth and throath too much.

C/ Javalambre 21, 2 D
44003 Teruel

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 Re: Mouthpiece cushions, ( or the lack thereof )
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-02-17 20:01

Caihlen wrote:

> Can anyone speak to the drawbacks of not using a mouthpiece
> cushion? I've tried both thick and thin and I dislike them.

If you've tried them and don't like using them, that should settle the issue for you. If they don't help, then they have little point.

Of course, patches do help to prevent damage to your mouthpiece. But tooth dents take time to form and mouthpieces can be replaced.

My original reason for using a patch was that, as a student playing single lip, I had really serious jolts of pain go through my upper teeth as a result of the vibration of the mouthpiece. Later after I made the gradual switch to double lip I kept using a patch because without one I found the mouthpiece beak to be slippery and I could keep a more stable embouchure with a patch.

I think the thickest patches can tend to cause small gaps to form around the edges, allowing air to whistle through. Bob's point about not putting the patch too close to the tip is well put. That's another edge that can add turbulence and resistance to the air column, especially as a thicker pad is used.

I do think for myself that the softer surface of rubber is more useful than the hard plastic surface of some of the thin patches. As a student, I used rubber cut from the thin rubber work gloves that you could get an any hardware store. As those gloves disappeared and my stockpile also dwindled, I started to experiment with commercial patches, gritting my teeth at the price of having a manufacturer cut them for me. Thin or medium thickness is a matter of comfort, but IMO the surface needs to be resilient, or it isn't any different from the bare surface of the beak itself.


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 Re: Mouthpiece cushions, ( or the lack thereof )
Author: Joseph Brenner, Jr. 
Date:   2018-02-18 00:16

One note of caution: If you ever try out another mouthpiece, whether in store or by mail-order, be sure to protect the mouthpiece from damage...because if you return a mouthpiece with damage you caused, by intent, accident, or negligence, you will have to pay for it. Put something between your top teeth and the mouthpiece, whether a patch or something else. If you own the mouthpiece, then the choice between patch or no patch is up to you.

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 Re: Mouthpiece cushions, ( or the lack thereof )
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2018-02-18 00:32

Bob Bernardo wrote:

> If you are using a thick patch you need
> serious work on your embouchure and should start practicing
> long tones using a double lip.

Bob, I always enjoy your passion for the particulars but this is overstating and oversimplifying, and I'm sure you know that..... Change it to ""may" need serious work", or even "most likely" and you'll have a better statement. Your point about the patches often being placed too high is spot on and bears repeating.

Btw, I use a thick patch. One reason is that the 'grip' of it allows me to be more flexible with the placement of my top lip when playing single lip. Sometimes this is a very nice option to have for shaping the sound. I use the same patch for months at a time. I usually only need to replace a patch when doing a thorough cleaning of the mouthpiece.

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 Re: Mouthpiece cushions, ( or the lack thereof )
Author: Caihlen 
Date:   2018-02-18 00:59

Thanks so much. Great thoughts and experience.

Bob, I hadn't thought of the placement very clearly. I cut one in half and placed it down on the beak far enough to make sure the tip was clear, yet cushion where my teeth touch. (I play single lip). Works great. Thanks for that...


Post Edited (2018-02-18 05:48)

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