What Trumpet And Mouthpiece Do You Play?

If you play the trumpet, you've gotten this question (probably right before your interrogator asks you how high you can play). Now I don't consider myself a "gearhead" but I know what I like and what works i.e. what makes my job easier.

My first trumpet was a Bundy, the ubiquitous horn of choice for many American middle schoolers in the early nineties. In high school I moved to a beautifully engraved but poorly silver-plated Jupiter then graduated to the Bach Stradivarius (model 37), my first pro horn. My mouthpiece through all of this was a standard Bach 3C.

By my mid-twenties I was looking for a change, switched to a Conn 38B Connstellation, and upgraded my mouthpiece to a Monette B6 LDS. I recorded my first two solo albums Roots & One Night in Atlanta and Fresh Cut Orchestra albums From the Vine & Mind Behind Closed Eyes on this setup. I "found my sound" playing the Conn and only moved on because I felt myself having to work too hard on it

Today I play a Yamaha Bobby Shew model YTR-6310Z trumpet (pictured above) which I recorded on Color Theory, Contrast, and the upcoming Captain Black Big Band album Presence. The most recent equipment change was an upgrade to the new Monette Resonance B6S1/82 P mouthpiece (also pictured above) in the past year. This mouthpiece is amazing and has changed my entire approach to the instrument (along with chats with trumpeters Bryan Davis, Ingrid Jensen, and Monette's BJ Cord.

Hint: it's all about posture.

I'd talk about my flugelhorn setup too but who cares?

PS. Other gear pictured above (along with Zaccai Curtis and the beautiful Steinway piano at Music Mountain in Connecticut) includes my Seiko SNK809 automatic watch, Express Photographer suit, and Charles Tyrwhitt spread collar dress shirt.

Photos by Ola Bladych.

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