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WHO SHOULD PLAY ASYMMETRICS?

While it's true that high range isn't everything, it's also true that playing in the high register is the single most difficult element of trumpet playing. Endurance is also an important factor for the more advanced player. A professional lead trumpet player today is expected to have at least a strong G above high C and the endurance to play it at the end of a four hour engagement. And, it seems like high playing is universally admired and sought after by both novice and professional.

But Asymmetrics aren’t just for professionals. They're for any player who wants to extend his high register. I’d like to see students started with them also. But whether you’re a student, a weekender, a come-back player, or a full-time workhorse lead player, using an Asymmetric mouthpiece can improve your playing in the following several ways:

1. More High Range:

The Asymmetric will extend your present high range by several semitones, essentially because the cup design enables higher between-lip pressures ( and thereby higher notes) to be attained than when using a conventional mouthpiece. You'll be able to play notes that were previously unavailable to you.

2. Increased Endurance:

The Asymmetric will increase your endurance significantly, basically because the rim design has about 40 % more area in contact with your lips; this causes the horizontal force (exerted by your left arm), to be distributed over a larger area, thereby causing the average pressure (defined as force divided by area) to decrease accordingly. When pressure is decreased, wear and tear on the lips decreases, and endurance increases.

3. Easier High Registers:

The high and altissimo registers will become easier to play, because the horizontal pressure (caused by the left arm) required for any note will be reduced, and because the cup is designed to specifically cause greater between-lip pressures; generally speaking, high C or the D above high C, will feel, typically, about like G just above the staff on a conventional mouthpiece.

4. Bigger Sound:

The backbore design will give you a bigger sound, than a typical shallow-cupped, tighter backbored, conventional mouthpiece designed for high register playing. The Asymmetric's backbore design reduces backpressure, especially in the higher and altissimo register, and tends to produce a freer blowing, more open sound.

MORE RANGE -- BIGGER SOUND -- EASIER HIGH REGISTER -- MORE ENDURANCE -- Any one of these qualities would be sufficient reason to choose an Asymmetric over a conventional, radially symmetric mouthpiece. But when we can use a mouthpiece that is advantageous in all of these respects, the choice must clearly be the Asymmetric. The relevant questions seem, to me, to be, "Do we want these performance features? -- Do we want cutting edge technology? -- Or do we want, for some nostalgic or other reason, to stay locked into warmed over, 65 year old, conventional thinking with no real analysis to support the design?" The choice is, of course, yours. My own feeling, however, is that when there is a mission to be accomplished, the appropriate tool to use, is the one that makes the job both possible and easier. And, if you're like most trumpet players, you buy a particular mouthpiece to enable you to play better. So, if you feel that you're ready for improvement, let's let the old 1938 technology rest in peace and play the trumpet the way it should be played! With an Asymmetric, the first real innovation in mouthpiece technology!