As a performer and college professor, and for the benefit of my students, I try and stay up on equipment and have tried dozens of brands and sizes of mouthpieces over the years. This includes modifications, materials, and asymmetrical rims.
I rarely make changes myself and it's been quite some time since I played anything that I felt was truly revolutionary and had significant advantages over other brands. That is until I tried the Wedge.
I must admit that I was quite skeptical when first introduced to the mouthpiece. I've found that there is a learning curve with other asymmetrical pieces that I have tried and am generally of the opinion that the effort to "learn" the mouthpiece is not worth the dubious benefits claimed. This is based not only on my personal experience, but of those of many colleagues and students.
When I tried the Wedge, I immediately felt a difference. It did feel unusual at first, but there was no learning curve. I was very surprised at how comfortable and easy the mouthpiece felt and played. Once I dialed in the proper fit, I started performing on the mouthpiece (s) in numerous settings from small jazz groups to big band and orchestral playing. I find the mouthpieces particularly valuable for my small horn playing. Cornet, piccolo and D/Eb trumpet.
I don't believe in the one brand/size fits all mentality, but I felt compelled to introduce my students to the Wedge and had remarkable results. I would never force a piece of equipment on a reluctant student, but in this case, about a 30% of my students noticed instant benefits. These benefits included a fuller sound, greater flexibility, a sense of ease, and in some cases expanded range. They literally refused to give up the mouthpiece. Unlike some brands which sometimes have a "honeymoon" period, we noticed that the benefits actually increased over a period of time.
One final concern was, would it be difficult to return to the former mouthpiece should that be desirable for any reason. To our surprise it was not only easy to switch back, there were often audible benefits over previous results with that same brand.
- Professor of Trumpet and Jazz EWU
- Professional Musician
- Frequent Guest Artist, Adjudicator and Clinician
Andy Plamondon's Biography
Andy Plamondon is an active clinician, adjudicator and performer based out of Spokane Washington since 1987. He is a member and often featured soloist with ensembles such as the Spokane Symphony, Spokane Jazz Orchestra, Bob Curnow Big Band, Clarion, Desifinado, and Kind of Blue. He writes and arranges music for many ensembles and is the founder of the versatile consortium of musicians called ” Of a Mind.” These multi-instrumentalists perform highly improvisational works in contemporary settings.
Mr. Plamondon is professor of trumpet, directs the Repertory Jazz Ensemble, and coaches small ensembles such as brass quintets, trumpet ensemble, and jazz combos at Eastern Washington University. He also performs regularly with the EWU Faculty Brass Quintet.
He has taught applied trumpet at both Whitman and Walla Walla Colleges. He has recorded nationally released soundtracks, commercials and jingles, and appeared on recently released recordings by Clarion, The Spokane Jazz Orchestra, Desifinado, and Casey Macgill and the Spirits of Rhythm. He has performed with many of the world’s most well known and respected jazz, country, rock, pop, folk, and classical artists.