Finding the perfect orchestral mouthpiece

I have spent a lot of time recently (mainly virtually!) working with players who have used this enforced period of time off to look at new and possibly better mouthpiece options for themselves. Many classical, and particularly specialist orchestral players are traditionally very conservative in their choices and often choose to stick to the ‘tried and tested’, even if it is not necessarily completely trusted. Often the rigours and pressures of full-time orchestral playing do not allow time for experimentation!

I have given a summary below of eight Frate Precision models that have worked really well for players looking for a rich and open core sound with great orchestral projection. Each of these eight mouthpieces however have their own unique characteristics:


1 M, 3, 102

Cup diameter 16.95mm, Medium deep cup, Throat 3.74mm, Medium-large Backbore #102 : Equivalent: 1-1/2C (26 throat)

This is the new ‘Easy Selection’ model with the #1 rim, and a best seller! The #1 models all have a really comfortable rim and the M (medium deep) cups seem to suit most players that I have encountered. The slightly open throat and the flexible backbore give a nice balance between core sound and flexibility. Great on both Bb and C trumpets.


1 M

Cup diameter 16.95mm, Medium deep cup, Throat 3.66mm, Medium-large backbore #101 : Equivalent: 1-1/2C

This has a similar responsive feeling to the model above, but with a slightly tighter throat and brighter backbore. Particularly good on C trumpets as well as larger Eb instruments such as the Schilke E4. This has also been a really good mouthpiece to recommend to students who have perhaps just moved up to their first ‘larger’ mouthpiece.


1 M, 3, 106

Cup diameter 16.95mm, Medium deep cup, Throat 3.74mm, Medium-large backbore #106 : Equivalent: 1-1/2 C (26-24)

This is my personal favourite, and the model that has really got peoples’ attention here in the UK. It has a nice open feel but with a really rich core sound, great stability and slotting as well as flexibility.


2 M, 3, 102

Cup diameter 16.95mm, Medium deep (V-shape) cup, Throat 3.74mm, Medium-large backbore #102 : Equivalent: 1-1/4C

Although it has the same rim shape, size and contour as the #1 models, the slight V-shape of the cup gives a very different feel and response, more similar to a Bach 1-1/4C. It retains the immense core sound and stability of the 102 backbore, and woks really well across both Bb and C trumpets.


2 M, 3, 106

Cup diameter 16.95mm, Medium deep (V-shape) cup, Throat 3.74mm, Medium-large backbore #106 : Equivalent: 1-1/4C (26-24)

This is a slightly more open feeling and sounding version of the 2 M, 3, 102. The #106 backbore gives that big core sound, but still with the level of control, response and flexibility that players need.


3 M, 3, 106

Cup diameter 16.62mm, Medium deep cup, Throat 3.74mm, Medium-large backbore #106 : Equivalent: 3C (26-24)

For players that like a narrower inside rim, but still an open feel to the mouthpiece. There are a number of well-known makers such as Monette, AR Resonance etc., that use extremely open throats and backbores to get players to fall in love with the sound. However, these infatuations are often short-lived when you realise what you have lost – core sound and flexibility. Both this model and the 1 M, 3, 106 offer the perfect compromise, giving you openness, core sound, response and flexibility.


6+ M, 3, 106

Cup diameter 17.12mm, Medium deep (V-shape) cup, Throat 3.74mm, Medium-large backbore #106 : Equivalent: 1-1/4C – 1C (26-24)

This has a wider inner rim, and a smooth V-shape cup alongside the fantastic power of the #106 backbore. This is a great full-sounding orchestral mouthpiece that has suited players moving from 1, 1C and 1-1/4C style pieces.


5+ M, 3, 106

Cup diameter 17.12mm, Medium deep cup, Throat 3.74mm, Medium-large backbore #106 : Equivalent: 1C (26-24)

The 5+ has the same configuration as the 6+, but with a more traditional bowl-shape medium depth cup. The response is similar, but perhaps with more of a roundness to the sound.


Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions or to seek advice on the best model for you. All mouthpieces are available with a 14-day return policy so that you can try them out and return/exchange if they are not quite right for you.

View the full range of Frate Precision trumpet mouthpieces here.

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