The Cup: Diameter

We recommend that all brass instrumentalists—professional artists, beginners or advanced students; symphony, concert or jazz band—use as large a cup diameter as they can endure and a fairly deep cup. A larger mouthpiece with a fairly deep cup offers the advantages of  a natural, compact, and uniform high, middle and low register, improved lip control, greater flexibility, and avoidance of missed tones. A larger-sized mouthpiece will also offer greater comfort, making  it possible to secure a good tone quality even when the lips are swollen from too much playing. Splitting tones may be an indication that the mouthpiece is too small or perhaps too shallow. A small cup diameter does not permit the lips to vibrate sufficiently, preventing the player from producing a rich, full tone. The lack of tone volume tempts a player to exert more lip pressure and to force more air through the instrument than the small mouthpiece is capable of handling, creating a shrill tone.