Bach 3c Trumpet Mouthpiece -Specs-And Why It Is My Favorite?

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Bach Trumpet Mouthpiece 3c

In this article I’m going to share my thoughts on why the Bach 3c trumpet mouthpiece has been one of my favorite trumpet mouthpieces, during my 35 years of playing the trumpet…

…and, why I believe the Bach 3c mouthpiece should be the standard mouthpiece, that comes with every trumpet when buying a horn, instead of the 7c.

You can >> click here to check pricing on the standard 3c on Amazon
You can >> click here to check pricing on the megatone 3c on Amazon

Bach 3c specs

  • Medium  to semi shallow cup depth
  • Cup diameter: 16.30 mm
  • Medium thickness rim
  • Backbore: 10
  • Silver-plated

Why The Bach 3c Trumpet Mouthpiece Is My Favorite

  • Cup Depth

The cup depth of the 3c is one of the things that make me, and so many other trumpet players love it…

…so what do I mean?

Well, the 3c has a cup that is a bit shallower than the rest of the Bach “C-cups”.  Yes that’s right, the 3c is shallower than the 7c, for example. This is something I did not know when I first started studying the trumpet, in the conservatorium of Jakobstad, Finland, in 1993.

Why is shallow good?

A shallower cup means easier attacks, especially in the middle and upper register. You are able to get sharper, cleaner attacks and thus you can back off with your energy input. This leads to more control and more control leads to better endurance and better sound…

…and because you can “back off” a bit, you are playing in a more efficient way, and of course this will also help with endurance.

Now don’t get me wrong, when I use the word shallow here I don’t mean that the Bach 3c is a shallow high note mouthpiece. It’s not THAT shallow. It’s just that it is shallower than the rest of the Bach “C” cups.

Isn’t it more difficult to get a big sound if it is shallower?

Of course, we should play on a mouthpiece that feels good and that is a good fit for the lip and face structure. That’s a given…

…but here’s some food for thought:

It is easier for your embouchure to learn how to produce a clean, round and big sound on a cup that is a bit too small for you, than it is to do the same on a mouthpiece that is a bit too big for you. If you force yourself to play on a mouthpiece that is too big,  you will end up with a strained  sound instead of a big sound.

..in other words, if you try two different mouthpieces back-to-back, they both feel good, and you can’t really decide on which one to buy, choose the smaller one.

A shallower cup makes you play with more confidence

When I was having students, many years ago, I saw this again and again. Whenever I switched them to a 3c from a 7c they started playing better and with more confidence.

This is, again due to the better attacks we get from the shallower cup. Think about it, if you can start a note with more security, then of course your “playing-confidence” will increase.

The cup depth works perfectly with the throat and backbore

Another thing I like very much about the 3c, is that the depth of the cup seem to “melt” into the throat and backbore perfectly. It is like the mouthpiece has an optimal cup-depth that works in synergy with the rest of the mouthpiece…

…this makes the mouthpiece, well, just easy to play.

Then we have the rime size

The rim size is yet another reason why I recommend everyone to start out on the 3c …

…why?

Out of all the mouthpiece sizes out there, the rim diameter of this mouthpiece is the most likely to be a perfect fit for the majority of trumpet players. This means that, by starting out on the 3c, the chances of getting it right from the very beginning is good.

Chancses are that the trumpeter will play on a 3c, or something very similar in size for the rest of his life, from beginner to pro player and beyond… (if he so desires).

Is it perfect for everyone?

Now, does this mean that the rim diameter of the Vincent Bach 3c mouthpiece is a perfect fit for everyone? No, of course not, but it is a very good fit for the majority of players, and thus the chances of getting it right from the very beginning is better if we coose it as our very first mouthpiece.

Bach 3c Trumpet Mouthpiece Specs

Bach 3c specs

  • Medium  to semi shallow cup depth
  • Cup diameter: 16.30 mm
  • Medium thickness rim
  • Backbore: 10
  • Silver-plated

Let’s Compare The Bach 3c With Other Mouthpieces

In order to get the most value into this article, I thought it would be helpful to take a look at how the 3c compares to other popular sizes. This way all of my readers can identify with something, and thus get a better picture of how the 3c would work for them.

Bach 3c vs 7c

If you buy a new trumpet, professional or beginner, used or new, the Bach 7c is probably the mouthpiece that will come with the trumpet, 80% of the time. There is no real reason behind this, it is just something that has grown into one of those “that’s just the way it is” things…

…I hope the trumpet world would slowly start evolving into making the 3c the standard mouthpiece instead, but let’s take a look at the difference between the two.

Shape of the rim, 3c vs 7c

The biggest difference between the Bach 3c and the 7c is the shape of the rim and the depth of the cup. As already stated, the 3c is shallower than the 7c.

The 7c has a sharper rim as it is more rounded. Not on the inner part, but the outer part of the rim. This gives the 7c a bit more grip, but that also comes at the expense of reduced endurance for most people, as the mouthpiece tend to “dig” deeper into the lip tissue.

As you can see from the specs below the cup diameter is a tiny bit smaller on the 7c than on the 3c, but the difference there is tiny. The backbore is the same.

Bach 3c vs 7c, to sum it up…

To sum it up, for most people the 3c will provide better endurance, better attacks and better general feel of playing than the 7c. On the other hand, depending on the player, the 7c can produce a bit warmer sound and it also has more grip than the 3c…

…now, again I feel the need to point out that the 7c is not a bad mouthpiece by any means, and you will find a LOT of very good trumpet players playing on a 7c.  Professionals, amateurs as well as virtuoso’s.

Keep in mind that we are all different, and during this article I’m speaking about the 3c in “general terms”, as that applies to the majority of trumpet players.

Bach 7c specs

  • Cup depth:  medium
  • Cup diameter: 16.20 mm
  • Medium width rim with rounded outer edge
  • Light embouchure rim with good grip
  • Backbore: 10
  • Silver-plated

Bach 3c specs

  • Medium  to semi-shallow cup depth
  • Cup diameter: 16.30 mm
  • Medium thickness rim
  • Backbore: 10
  • Silver-plated

 


Bach 3c vs 5c

The biggest difference between the Bach 3c and the 5c is the cup depth. The 5c is more similar to the 3c than the 7c is. This is not just because of the cup size on the 5c being a tiny bit bigger than on the 7c, but because the shape of the rim is flatter on the 5c than on the 7c bach mouthpiece.

Rim diameter

The inner rim diameter is so very close to each other that you won’t be able to feel the difference. In fact even though the specs says there is a 0,05mm difference , it wouldn’t surprise me if you would find some 3c’s and 5c’s out there with the exact same cup diameter.

The outer part of the rim is a bit more rounded on the 5c than the 3c, but not as much rounded as on the 7c. So the 7c has sharper edges and more grip than the 5c.

Bach 3c vs 5c, to sum it up…

The 5c has a compact and good sound, but the 3c is still a better mouthpiece for the majority of players. The 3c has a thicker rim than the 5c, and this is yet one more thing that helps with endurance.

Bach 5c specs

  • Medium cup
  • Cup diameter 16.25 mm
  • Medium wide
  • Fairly flat rim
  • Backbore 10
  • Silver plated

Bach 3c specs

  • Medium  to semi-shallow cup depth
  • Cup diameter: 16.30 mm
  • Medium thickness rim
  • Backbore: 10
  • Silver-plated

 


Bach 3c vs 1 1/2c

The difference between the Bach 3c vs 1 1/2 c is the cup size and depth. The shape of the rim is actually very similar. For many years I played  on a Bach 1 1/2 and I like the mouthpiece. Still, the shallower cup on the 3c makes me prefer it over the 1 1/2 c.

Bach 3c vs 1 1/2c to sum it up…

Many professional trumpet players play on the Bach 1 1/2 c with great success, but again, I feel that the majority of trumpet players do a better job with the 3c. The 3c is also more versatile as it is better for commercial playing than the 1 1/2 c, due to the shallower cup, yet you can of course also play classical music on the 3c.

Bach 1 1/2c specs

  • Medium to semi deep cup depth
  • Cup diameter: 17.00 mm
  • Medium width rim
  • Backbore: 10
  • Silver-plated

Bach 3c specs

  • Medium  to semi-shallow cup depth
  • Cup diameter: 16.30 mm
  • Medium thickness rim
  • Backbore: 10
  • Silver-plated

 


Bach 3c vs Yamaha Bobby Shew Jazz

The Yamaha Bobby Shew Jazz is a fine mouthpiece, and of course, as the trumpet nerd I am, I own one of this too. It is actually not that far from the 3c.

The throat size on the Yamaha Bobby Shew jazz is just a tiny bit smaller, but we are talking about differences as small as 0,01 millimeters here. The cup depth is also a bit shallower, and the rim shape on the Bobby Shew is more rounded.

Bach 3c vs 5c, to sum it up…

The Bach 3c and the Yamaha Bobby shew are pretty similar. The Shew is overall a tiny  bit smaller though, and the shape of the rim is a bit different. I like the Shew jazz very much, and it is one of my favorites, however I like the 3c even more.

Yamaha Bobby Shew Jazz specs:

  • Inner diameter: 16.85 mm
  • Rim contour: Semi-round
  • Cup depth: Medium
  • Bore: 3.65 mm
  • Backbore: medium

 


Standard 3c vs Megatone 3c

As you are probably starting to see, the 3c is my favorite mouthpiece size, but what happens if we add some extra mass to it?

Well, when we add some more mass to that, like we get with the Bach 3c megatone, we are about as close to my favorite trumpet mouthpiece you can get.

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The Bach 3c megatone trumpet mouthpiece

Even though I love the standard Bach 3c trumpet mouthpieces, I like the megatone even better. This is because the added mass of the mouthpiece makes the notes “lock in” more securely…

…remember when I said that the 3c makes you play with more confidence? Well, when adding that more secure feeling of the “locked in” notes to that, we got the winner mouthpiece…

…the Bach 3c megatone!

The megatone makes the slotting better, the sound more focused and because the notes lock in so well, you can “lean into the notes” with your air, trusting that note will be exactly where it should.

This will make you play more efficiently, more relaxed, more confidently and of course all of that helps with sound, and most of all…

…it significantly improves your endurance.

In fact, in my article the best trumpet mouthpiece for endurance, the Bach Megatone is actually one of the two mouthpiece I recommend.

Throat Size

The megatone and the standard mouthpiece both have the exact same specs, except for one thing, and that is the throat size. The megatone has a slightly larger throat…

  • Megatone throat: No. 27, 3.66mm (.144”)
  • Standard throat: No. 26, 3.73mm (.147”)

…those differences are very small though, so keep that in mind.

Pricing

Another difference between the standard and the megatone is of course the pricing. Compared to other brands, the Bach mouthpieces are priced well and you get the absolute highest quality for a very fair price…

…of course, because of the added mass, the megatone is a bit more pricey than the standard:

You can >> click here to check pricing on the standard 3c on Amazon
You can >> click here to check pricing on the megatone 3c on Amazon

Conclusion And Final Words

I wanted to write this article with the intention of giving my opinion on why I think that the 3c should be the standard mouthpiece, that comes with any new trumpet, instead of the 7c, and I hope I have done at least a somewhat good job at it.

The 3c mouthpiece size is one of the absolute best trumpet mouthpieces you can find and personally I will always play the Bach 3c megatone, or some other mouthpiece that is VERY similar in size and mass, as my all-around trumpet mouthpiece.

That said, remember that we are all different and that some people will not get along at all with the 3c. We all have to find what works for us, but if you were a gambler, having to make a bet on a mouthpiece, the 3c would be your best bet as it seems to be a perfect fit for the majority of trumpet players out there.

I hope you found this article informative. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions of some sort.

-Robert Slotte-

F.A.Q’s About Trumpet Playing And Mouthpieces

Question: When reading about trumpet mouthpieces on an online shop, can I go by the specs alone? I mean, if I compare the specs of a mouthpiece I have not tried, vs one of the mouthpieces I own, can I get a decent picture of the mouthpiece?

Answer: A pretty good picture, but it is far from perfect. Different mouthpieces can sometimes have a totally different feel, even if the specs are pretty similar.

The way a mouthpiece plays, and feels, depends on so many factors…

  • The size of the backbore
  • The shape of the backbore
  • Cup depth
  • Throat size
  • How the cup enters into the backbore
  • The shape of the rim
  • The weight of the mouthpiece
  • How the inner rim is rounded

…just to name a few.

By the way, how the inner rim is rounded, is one factor that makes it a bit difficult to measure the inner rim diameter, as the rounded edge makes it hard to know exactly from what point to measure. This is also another reason why two different mouthpiece brands, with the same rime diameter noted in the specs, can feel different from each other when you try the mouthpieces back-to-back.

Question: Do brass mouthpieces go bad if they are really old?

Answer: If you neglect taking good care of them they will become completely stuffed with dirt and mold. So regular cleaning is a must. If you take good care of it, it will last many decades as long as the plating is not worn off. If the plating comes off, you should stop using it as it can be bad for your skin.

Question: My mouthpieces tend to get stuck to the trumpet, does this mean I play with too much mouthpiece pressure?

Answer: Well, maybe you play with too much pressure,  I don’t know since I have not seen or heard you play, but when it comes to trumpet mouthpieces getting stuck, a bigger reason for that is that the outside of the mouthpiece backbore is dirty and the player leaves it the trumpet after his practice session is done. Make sure to have a clean mouthpiece and make a habit out of always removing  the mouthpiece from your trumpet after you are done practicing.

Question: Do I need a high note mouthpiece?

Answer: You gave me too little information for me to be able to answer that. Remember that so called “high note mouthpieces” are not magic bullets. Sure they might help a bit with being able to play in the high register, and they also help with getting the right sound, sizzle and power in certain situations… but they will never help you “build” your range, which is the first thing we should focus on.

Question: I have huge problems with playing low notes. I currently play on a Bach 1 1/2c. Should I try a bigger mouthpiece?

Answer: If you have very big problems with playing low notes on your trumpet, and you play on a Bach 1 1/2 c, which is already a pretty big mouthpiece, then looking for a new mouthpiece is NOT the right solution for you.  There is something in your playing that you need to fix. I highly recommend that you get a few lessons from a good trumpet teacher. Hopefully he will be able to spot the problem. I he’s not, try another teacher.

Question: What is the best trumpet mouthpiece for endurance?

Answer: I get this question a lot. In fact, I get is so often that I wrote a whole article about it. You can find it here >> Best mouthpieces for endurance

Just remember that regular and smart practice will ALWAYS be the most important thing you can do, and of course this goes for improving trumpet endurance as well.

Question: A friend told me that the best way to build trumpet endurance is if I force myself to play on the biggest trumpet mouthpiece I can find. Is this true?

Answer: It is absolutely NOT true. In fact, I feel an urge to say “get some new friends”, but I will not be that harsh…just take don’t take his trumpet advice so seriously in the future 🙂

Nothing good will come from forcing yourself to play a mouthpiece that is way too big for you.

Question: What is your opinion on taking a day off, as a means to recover and build more chop strength? Should I do this, and if so, how often?

Answer: Good question. I think it can be very beneficial. For more details on this take a look at the article >> Trumpet isometric exercises, as I talk more about how the embouchure muscles work, when they need to rest and how they grow stronger, in that article.

Question: What is your opinion on practicing with the trumpet mouthpiece alone, for example as a warm up? Is it good or bad?

Answer: This is a topic of controversy. Some people swear by it, and some advice against it. It seems like it depends greatly on what kind of embouchure a player is using, and in what way they approach playing the trumpet…

…that said, I find that the majority of trumpeters benefit from incorporating some mouthpiece practicing into their daily practice routine. When it comes to my self, I have to say that it certainly does not hurt me, but I have not really noticed any big benefits from doing it either.

Try doing it for one week, and then skip it completely the next week, and then do it again the third week, compare the results, and then see if there is any difference.

Alright, I think that will be it for this time. I’ll return with more frequently asked questions in another article. Always look for them at the bottom of my trumpet articles.

Thanks for reading and keep practicing!

 

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