Shop Visitor – Mark Lawrence

We haven’t had a chance to update our blog in a few weeks, mostly due to the fact that we’ve had mouthpieces to make and valve alignments to do!

Trombone player Mark Lawrence with Bob Reeves
Bob Reeves with Trombonist Mark Lawrence

It was great to see our long time customer, Mark Lawrence, swing by the shop for some mouthpiece work. Mark, if you don’t know, is a fabulous trombone player, having played principal in the San Francisco Symphony for many years. He also teaches trombone at the Colburn Conservatory of Music here in L.A. It was great to see you Mark!

Many may not know that we can do custom work such as threading and alterations. If you are interested in this kind of work give us call or email!

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Mouthpiece Threading

We get quite a few calls about threading rims, cups, backbores and underparts. I’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!