@Kehaulani said in Not really a "mouthpiece safari" but the need for a "saving grace" type of mouthpiece...:
rowuk tell me if I'm off track. I would just add these observations.
Shallower cups (not diameters), can emphasise the upper partials and de-emphasise the lower ones, aiding the sound to being more easily heard if playing lead or in an electric combo. This is an acoustic phenomenon, not a range building one.
Actually the cup is an acoustic filter between the lips and the resonance of the instrument. A deep cup filters the upper harmonics creating a darker sound. That being said, a shallow cup has more "compression" creating a "stiffer" cushion against our lips. This in fact could aid properly trained chops in the upper register. The idea is equilibrium - our blow and the air cushion of the cup create a fluid instance where the lips can freely open and close. IF our embouchure is not developed enough, we apply armstrong and all bets are off about attaining equilibrium. You see, when our blow is stronger than the backpressure of the cup air cushion, our lips protrude more deeply in the cup, changing the geometry of the embouchure and possibly even bottoming out. With slighly deeper "standard" mouthpieces, this danger hardly exists.
Deep cups, for many, are just harder to sustain playing high notes over a long period of time, and generally enhance the roundness or depth of the tone, pushing out the lower partials at the trade-off of the upper ones.
Only when we are leveraging our face muscles instead of letting the horn do the work!
And some mouthpieces just enhance a certain sound preference.
This is a HUGE issue. As I have often posted, how we hear ourselves determines what we believe that the trumpet is doing. Play in a nice room - get the warm fuzzies, then take that same trumpet/mouthpiece and attitude and play outdoors in an open space - endurance goes down, the amount of work seems to go up - although all that has changed is how we hear ourselves! I will maintain that most players have a VERY WARPED concept of what they like and what is good for them. That underdeveloped "opinion" limits their playing in serious ways!.
This doesn't mean that any of these factors can't be "overcome", in and of themselves. To use an analogy though, you can get from New Hampshire to California in a BMW or a Volkswagen Beetle. It just depends on how you want to travel.
***I am not sure that nature needs to be overcome. The rules of engagement are very clear - get a daily routine for maintenance (not improvement) and stick to it. This is like treating diabetes. If we regard the ceremony of injecting insulin as "overcoming" the symptoms of diabetes - we have already lost the battle. Our bodies are screaming for a different type of eating ceremony and we just apply a bandaid. In May this year, my own diabetes got worse. I got a new diabetologist and we decided on a new strategy. Inside of a month, I was able to reduce the quantity of insulin by 50%. I changed the eating ceremony - was never hungry and have been losing about 1 to 2 pounds per month. I currently have the best medium term results since 2011.
It is no different with the trumpet. There are so many "microfactors" that we need to commit to "second nature". This is why I am allergic to mouthpiece discussions and embouchure changes - not because they have no value, rather because our bodies are telling us what we need to know and we are not listening or able to hear - so we come up with "hairbrained" schemes that simply satisfy our urge to "do something" but NEVER give us the results (if we are taking notes).
The single greatest improvement for the casual player is the daily routine. Like with diabetes -> when the input is right, the output is far less invasive.***