The New Asymmetric Trumpet Mouthpiece

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My name is John Lynch. You may have heard of me if you're a trumpet player interested in high-register playing; in 1984 I wrote a method book on altissimo trumpet playing, A New Approach to Altissimo Trumpet Playing (C.L. Barnhouse, Publisher). I've performed professionally, as a trumpet player, off and on for several years, but most intensively from 1975 through 1979 (approximately 1500 performances during this period). By training and experience, however, I have been, for several years, essentially a nuclear physicist and engineer (with NASA) with a wide variety of technical interests and publications in Mathematics, Statistics, Heat Transfer, Nuclear Reactor Physics, etc.. Over the past five years, I've found that by applying contemporary analytical and experimental methods to the problems associated with trumpet mouthpieces, I have made, what I believe to be, a major breakthrough in mouthpiece technology.

During this time, I researched the available literature on mouthpiece acoustics, formulated a new and more effective mouthpiece concept and did systematic experimentation as well as analysis to test the concept's validity, approaching this problem in much the same manner as I would approach a problem for NASA.* This work resulted in an improved mouthpiece for brass instruments, the "Asymmetric", that's designed to extend most players' high range by as much as seven semitones while retaining the flexibility, sound quality and intonation of currently available conventional mouthpieces.

In side by side comparisons (in which the player plays, for example, first a conventional, radially symmetric mouthpiece, and then an "Asymmetric"), the "Asymmetric" tends to have a significant, quantifiable range advantage. Range is very important to nearly all trumpet players. Students, especially, will find that they may now qualify to play more difficult, higher parts, advance more quickly and compete more effectively in their school bands and orchestras for first and solo chairs. But, range is only part of the story. A significant byproduct of the "Asymmetric's" cup design is more endurance. The "Asymmetric" tends to provide increased endurance and ease of playing, especially in the high register; high range performance tends to be easier, even after several hours of continuous use. The value of these mouthpieces is rooted in demonstrable performance rather than in mystique, slogans or advertising rhetoric. The design is the result of lots of sophisticated mathematics and computer analysis, the first of its kind. These mouthpieces aren't for everyone, however.

You must position the mouthpiece approximately "1/3 ON THE TOP LIP AND 2/3 ON THE BOTTOM LIP". (Many players do this already; it has been found empirically, and can also be shown analytically to be advantageous for high-register playing.) Also, you must make sure that the wider part of the rim is DOWN (toward your bottom lip). If you can do this, your range should increase significantly. If you're tired of playing your same old, warmed-over version of a 1938 vintage, radially symmetric mouthpiece, and are ready for cutting-edge technology, try the new "Asymmetric", the first real innovation in mouthpiece technology, and the last mouthpieces you'll ever have to buy!


* A more complete explanation of the theory and development of the "Asymmetric" trumpet mouthpiece can be found in Appendix D of the 1994 revised edition of A New Approach to Altissimo Trumpet Playing by John H. Lynch (C.L. Barnhouse, Publisher), and in the International Trumpet Guild Journal Vol. 20, No. 3 Feb. 1996.