I have been communicating with Dr. Dave and have been experimenting with his 7E and 7EC tops. This is my experience to date:
Fit & Finish: Top notch! Excellent quality and workmanship! I had no problem threading the tops onto my Warburton backbores!
Comfort / Feel: Extremely comfortable! I do not know if I have ever played another mouthpiece as comfortable as the Wedge. As we had anticipated, the 7EC (cushion rim) did, in fact, feel more comfortable. Not that the 7E felt bad, just that the 7EC felt "better."
Like many others, I experienced absolutely no problems in getting used to playing the Wedge... almost like I had always been playing it! Perhaps it is because I had been concentrating on a more "centrally focused embouchure" prior to getting the Wedge that it came so naturally. Anyway, for whatever reason, I needed no acclimation period whatsoever.
Playability: As others have pointed out, what I noticed immediately was a bigger, fuller low end to my playing. The low notes were much easier to play on the Wedge than on my other mouthpieces of similar size! There is a good "core" to the sound. I would like, however, to try the 7FC, or the 7 with the hybrid EF cup! Might just give me a little more "sizzle" that I like to hear on the top end! Please understand this is a personal thing...many others may like the sound "just as it is" and, quite frankly, I have had some positive comments concerning the "sound" that I am getting from the 7EC.
Another positive benefit was a significant increase in my endurance. Admittedly, I do not practice much (at all)... I am lucky to get 10-15 minutes of practice in a day, and it is not unusual for me not to practice for several days at a time. (Hopefully that will change soon!) Nevertheless, even with such limited practice time, I still do perform occasionally. Such was the case last weekend, when I played on the 7EC exclusively. Material was jazz ballads, karaoke style, with me on trumpet playing the melody throughout the entire piece. I was able to play through the entire set without a break which, for me, I had not ever been able to do previously. Therefore, kudos to the Wedge in that regard!
Articulation has not changed, and I have not really experienced an increase in range. However, again to be honest, I don't practice enough to truly "increase" my range anyway...so it is certainly not the fault of the mouthpiece. I have noticed, however, a positive difference in my flexibility, or stated another way, in my ability to handle intervals of varying steps.
Overall: An incredibly comfortable mouthpiece that I believe will become my main piece once I "zero in" on exactly what I am looking for, sound-wise (comfort, playability, flexibility, etc. are already "there"). Heck, for all I know, I may already have exactly what I am looking for...just may need to practice more!
Anyway, I have no hesitations about recommending the Wedge mouthpiece and, for what it's worth, heartily give the Wedge an enthusiastic "two thumbs up!
*Since the above post, Dr. Guevara did in fact obtain a Wedge 7FC mouthpiece, and coupled it with a Wedge 27S backbore. MAGIC! According to Dr. Guevara, this mouthpiece top and backbore combination has resulted in the "sound" that he has been searching for. "I now have the sizzle that I wanted on the top end, and still have a nice, full lower register. This combination allows me to easily adjust between playing lead, and warm and beautiful solos on my cocktail jazz pieces. I didn't think that one mouthpiece could allow me to play with such varying tonal colors, but this Wedge combination certainly allows me to do it better than with any other mouthpiece that I have tried. I couldn't be happier!"
Dr. Guevara is currently using a Wedge 7FC mouthpiece top and a Wedge 27S backbore.
Dr. Michael Guevara
- Cinco Ranch Conservatory of Music
Dr. Michael Guevara's Biography
A graduate of Pan American University and Victory Bible College, Dr. Guevara’s first introduction to music came via the piano, when he heard Marvin Hamlisch play “The Entertainer” on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, at which point he became fascinated with ragtime music. Dr. Guevara immediately took up the piano, and within three months, learned to play the original version of Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag,” a feat which astounded his piano instructor as music of that difficulty is normally reserved for one with several years of piano instruction under their belt. Within four years, the piano instructor acknowledged that she had nothing further to teach Dr. Guevara, as he had advanced that quickly.
During this time, Dr. Guevara was also introduced to the cornet / trumpet in the 5th grade. Though he initially played the trumpet just to be a member of the band, Dr. Guevara became more committed to the instrument after attending a Maynard Ferguson concert in the late 1970s, and eventually qualified for and performed with the Texas A&I University jazz band. During this period, Dr. Guevara also founded and directed the St. Francis Xavier Brass Choir, which focused on music from the 17th and 18th centuries. It should also be mentioned that, during his early high school years, Dr. Guevara learned to play the guitar and eventually led a worship service at his local church.
Matters on the trumpet remained somewhat idle after college until he heard the famous Christian trumpeter, Phil Driscoll, in concert. After that concert, Dr. Guevara renewed his faith, and decided to begin his own music ministry. Approximately three months later (in 1985), Golden Trumpet Ministries was founded.
Since forming Golden Trumpet Ministries, Dr. Guevara has been honored to have been asked to perform in churches, prisons and events throughout Texas and neighboring states, performing as many as 25 solo concerts a year, initially by himself, and then with his lovely wife, who married into the ministry! Dr. Guevara’s style of playing the trumpet, from forays into the upper register, to heartfelt ballads, has been described, on multiple occasions, to be “anointed.” It has not been unusual to see individuals weep at the power and presence of Dr. Guevara’s trumpet playing.
Playing the trumpet, however, did not come naturally to Dr. Guevara. His style of playing took a toll on his chops, and he knew that there had to be a better way of playing the trumpet. As such, Dr. Guevara spent numerous hours studying various trumpet methods such as SuperChops by Jerome Callet, The Encyclopedia of the Pivot System by Dr. Reinhardt, Musical Calisthenics by Carmin Caruso, The Balanced Embouchure by Jeff Smiley and Casual Double High C by Bob Odneal, to name but a few. Through the study of these and other methods, Dr. Guevara developed his own “off-horn” exercise system entitled “Monster Chops,” currently available in ebook form, but soon to be available in video form. It is these countless hours that Dr. Guevara spent studying the above methods that perfected his own technique and which has allowed him to become a respected musical educator.
Dr. Guevara and his wife have recorded two albums, “Holy Is Your Name” and “I Sing Praises” (both currently out of production). Dr. Guevara also arranged and wrote the music for the musical “Invasion of the Potty Snatchers,” written by Houston playwright, Jim Bain.