Can a mouthpiece cause/cure pitch problems?
Yes. Some that we often hear about include:
|Problem ||Cause |
| Upper register goes sharp when chops are tired || Backbore too big. |
Inside walls of rim are too angled.
Not enough gap.
| Flat upper register || Backbore too small. |
| Sharp low register || Bore (throat) size too small.|
Backbore too small or cylindrical.
If your trumpet plays a bad scale, you could "fix" the problem by choosing a mouthpiece with such a lack of focus that you could place the pitch just about anywhere, but this is not an acceptable solution. When a few selected notes are flagrantly out of tune, it is likely due to valve misalignment, assembly error, or flawed instrument design. In this case, the mouthpiece can help only by allowing your chops more leeway to "flirt" with the pitch. Remember, whenever you have to place the pitch in defiance of your instrument, more involvement of the lip musculature will be required and endurance will suffer. The best mouthpiece will be much easier to find if you have first chosen a well made trumpet that compliments your playing style.