Cup Depth

Cup depths for different instruments vary enormously, the major factor being the pitch range over which they are designed to play. However, mouthpieces for any particular type of instruments also vary considerably, albeit not on the same scale as between different instruments but these are designed to play in different music genres, yielding very different tone colours.

In general, larger instruments utilise deeper cups than their higher-pitched, smaller counterparts. In part, this is because the lower-pitched sounds which are generated by the longer wavelengths of the standing wave in the instrument body can only be generated by the lips when these are sufficiently free to vibrate. Deeper cups are generally linked with larger diameter cups and the mouthpieces for the lower instruments are somewhat like scaled up versions of those for their higher companions. The diagram below shows how the cup depth is measured on PeakTone mouthpieces, this being from the top surface of the rim to the point where the throat is at its narrowest.


When editing the cup depth, the current value of this (in millimetres) is displayed in the edit box to the right and below the slider. In addition, the cup depth range for the current mouthpiece is shown to the left and below the slider. In the example shown below, the current setting for the cup depth is 18 mm and the possible range for this mouthpiece is from 17.0 mm to 19.0 mm. The setting of depth may be reset to the default by clicking the reset button and the bottom right of the control – the curly arrow.

Very shallow cups are used to produce a brighter sound and enable you to reach higher notes but this is at the expense of tone. A deeper cup will help you to play the lower notes more comfortably and to produce a richer, fuller tone. For this reason, orchestral players will generally migrate, over time, to a deeper cup. Nevertheless, you should only progress to a deeper cup with care and on the advice of your teacher.

Deeper cups are generally associated with larger throats when you buy standard mouthpieces but, with PeakTone® mouthpieces, you may mix and match to suit yourself. Thus, you don’t have to jump straight to the next size mouthpiece in one go but may change just one parameter at a time, changing only when you’re ready to.

The mouthpiece shown in the active diagram below is for a trumpet but the principle is the same for all mouthpieces. When you first arrive at the editing page, the cup depth will be set to the appropriate value for the size of mouthpiece you chose. The slider will allow you to vary the depth of the mouthpiece shown.

To vary the cup depth, simply move the slider to the left to decrease it and to the right to increase it.

<div class="odoko-diagram-sliders">
  <div id="sliders-simple-cup_depth-cup" data-params="cup_depth">