And those of you that are reading will ask yourself: is this really so important? Well, not just a few trumpeters insist the mouthpiece is something very personal. The mouthpiece is like a pair of shoes: each one comes with a specific size, brand and model, and only by trying them on them can you decide.
It is easy for someone to tell you about this or that trumpet brand, but the mouthpiece is another story. The mouthpiece is something much more intimate; the sensations that a mouthpiece transmit to the player is something that the player and only the player can know once you play on it. In other words, playing on a trumpet that is not up to your tastes may be somewhat uncomfortable, but playing on a mouthpiece that’s not a good fit is real torture.
For that reason, most players will tell you that when choosing a mouthpiece, you should simply stay with the most comfortable piece, the one that gives you the best feedback. (You can check the sections of Interviews and Teachers around the world, in Trumpetland, and see that all the trumpet players we interview agree in one way or another: comfort and good feedback.)
And that's why we find it so curious that, at the same time they advise us to look for comfort and good feedback, so many trumpet greats rely on Pickett mouthpieces. We have only mentioned five players, but there are many more huge artists who play with Pickett mouthpieces: Paul Baron, Marcus Printup, Terell Stafford, Bill Dowling, Bert Truax, Erik Morales, Mark Clodfelter, Roger Ingram, Mark Wilkinson…
Stop and think about this: a bad mouthpiece has the ability to annoy you during a performance, and a good mouthpiece has the ability to help you make a performance successful. Don’t you think there is a good reason that so many trumpeters go on stage with the same brand of mouthpieces?
Pickett Brass was began at the end of the 90s, thanks to Peter Pickett (trumpeter, music graduate, master's degree in engineering — specializing in trumpet acoustics) who decided to unite his two great passions: trumpet and engineering. That, combined with his love the trumpet, is what gave rise — as it could not be otherwise — to one of the most respected brands of mouthpieces today. The factory is in Lexington, Kentucky (USA), where 7 people work in the shop. In 2016, Pickett Brass also acquired the brand of Blackburn trumpets, which is why the company has been renamed Pickett Blackburn (but we will talk about the Blackburn trumpet at another time).
Pickett Blackburn team.
We asked Vince DiMartino and Rex Richardson (who, as you know, are teachers at Trumpetland School) for their feelings when playing on Pickett mouthpieces, and this is what they told us:
When I tried my first Pickett Brass mouthpiece, I knew Peter was a serious mouthpiece maker. I loved the sound, improvement in flexibility and as a result, my endurance improved! Pickett Mouthpieces give us another reason to be confident on stage! Thanks Peter!Vince DiMartino
Peter Pickett is both brilliant and very caring. He never quits until he has the perfect mouthpiece for each client. My Pickett mouthpieces feel very comfortable and allow me to make my best sound!Rex Richardson
Not only have we asked them, but we have also asked them for videos, so we could listen to them play with their Pickett mouthpieces (we are musicians, and what we most want is to see them play on the mouthpieces).
Here you have a couple of videos of Vince, one of them playing the first movement of the Kennan Sonata (on C trumpet) and another made especially for Trumpetland, playing an extract of the Richter Concert in D major (on his Pickett Piccolo Trumpet Mouthpiece):
And here you have another pair of videos from Rex, both jazz, on the B-flat trumpet (on An Armstrong Tribute, the 2nd video, Rex plays on a Pickett lead mouthpiece):
At Trumpetland, we know that us trumpet players are "geeks" when it comes to gear and mouthpieces, always trying different things out, in search of "The Magic Mouthpiece". You must be aware by now that you will never find it. There is no "Magic Mouthpiece". But there are mouthpieces that can really help. After all, mouthpieces and the instruments are just tools that should be used to help us with our work (the work of transmitting a musical message to the public). Quite possibly, the Pickett mouthpiece belongs to that group of mouthpieces that help, because so many great trumpeters can’t be wrong.
If you're interested, you can contact them — or directly visit Pickett Blackburn's factory. But you also have the option of going to Trumpetland's trusted stores: Dillon Music (USA) and Sanganxa (Spain), which are, of course, distributors of Pickett mouthpieces.
308 North Ashland Ave
Lexington, KY 40502 (USA)
P: (+1) (661) 772-7277
325 Fulton St
Woodbridge, NJ 07095 (USA)
P: (+1) (732) 634-3399 / 943-1193
Sanganxa Music Store
Avda. Jaime I, 69
46814 Llanera de Ranes, Valencia (Spain)
P: (+34) 962 92 81 43