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Author Topic: mouthpieces for a beginner  (Read 536 times)

Offline pl

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mouthpieces for a beginner
« on: January 25, 2022, 02:47:03 AM »
I posted earlier about my clarinet requiring a lot out of me to play and some of you made suggestions on mouthpieces, but I have found a used Vandoren B45 - have not tried it yet.  Is this one good for a beginner?  And if so, is a Rico 2.0 or 2.5 reed going to work on that (currently the reeds I own)?  It's going to be a drive to try it out. 

Offline Airflyte

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Re: mouthpieces for a beginner
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2022, 06:54:02 AM »
Hi pl. Welcome to the forum. The B45 should work for you. Being used, make sure it's in good condition - no chips, scratches, etc.

For the same cost, a new Yamaha 4C is a great choice or a Bundy 3, Clark W Fobes Debut, or J&D Hite Premiere.  Many good choices for beginners.

Enjoy the mouth piece journey!
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Offline pl

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Re: mouthpieces for a beginner
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2022, 11:03:32 AM »
Okay, thank you.  I have an appointment for someone who works on them and sells them to do a free evaluation on it tomorrow.  I had initially inquired online about used mouthpieces from him and he said if I wanted to come he would check it out for me - so I feel like the least I could do is actually buy the mouthpiece from him....that's why I was asking about it.  :)
« Last Edit: January 25, 2022, 11:20:28 AM by pl »

Offline TMHeimer

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Re: mouthpieces for a beginner
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2022, 12:06:54 PM »
Personally I didn't care for the B45, but I use a Vandoren 2.5 reed. Your reed strength is a factor when choosing a mouthpiece. My first "non-stock" mouthpiece was a Selmer HS**, then after experimenting 45 years ago I settled on a Vandoren 5RV. Good luck with the B45, it may be fine for you.
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Offline pl

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Re: mouthpieces for a beginner
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2022, 04:39:13 PM »
Can you tell me what you didn't like about the B45?  I've been reading about them quite a bit, and it looks like it may be hard for a beginner to control and play middle to upper notes with.  Did you have that problem?  You seem to be using the same 2.5 reeds I am using (except mine are Rico). 
It may help if I explain to you the problem I having with my current stock mouthpiece.  It's requiring a lot of me physically and I can't make it through a song that contains middle C, middle D, etc.  This is where I'm struggling.
I've done a bunch of the "leak" tests I've read about and it doesn't seem to be leaking anywhere noticeably. 
I did not make it to my appointment, because I was sick, so I need to reschedule - and I hate to drive all the way there (60 miles) if I don't want the mouthpiece. I asked him if I could try it out and he said "it will help you" no matter what....but I'm not convinced.

Offline sarabande

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Re: mouthpieces for a beginner
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2022, 01:59:07 AM »
I have only just seen this and you posted it a while ago so maybe you have solved the problem by now.  Otherwise, you might be interested to read this thread on the Clarinet Bboard: http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=431610&t=431610

My position is that I'm pretty much a beginner - I have played clarinet and sax in the dim and distant past, wasn't particularly good at either at the time, and have recently returned to clarinet.  I have been playing recorder in the meantime and one of the things I like about it is that you don't have to struggle to actually produce a sound.  I remember as a teenager thinking it was cool to play sax with reeds like planks of wood, but I don't want to do that any more.  I have not tried the Viotto mouthpiece referred to in the Bboard thread, but I plan to do so.  In the meantime, I'm using an old German mouthpiece that has the same basic layout as the Viotto, ie long with narrow opening (narrower than the Viotto) and, with a Fiberreed S, it is really easy to play.  I find notes up to about the Eb in the altissimo register are fine with this set up (and I could never play anything higher than that anyway).

This might not be exactly what you are looking for, but for me at least it solves a lot of the issue of "requiring a lot out of me to play".

Offline LarryS

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Re: mouthpieces for a beginner
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2022, 02:44:07 AM »
I'm a beginner too (5 years playing on and off) and I use a Yamaha 4C. I keep being told in Facebook groups to get a better mouthpiece, but why?
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Offline delb0y

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Re: mouthpieces for a beginner
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2022, 05:25:37 AM »
Comparing my 4c to my Hite premiere is like comparing blowing down a blocked pipe whilst suffering from a heavy cold, to blowing down a sparkling clean empty pipe whilst feeling on top of the world. So much difference in ease of blowing. That's why :-)

Offline LarryS

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Re: mouthpieces for a beginner
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2022, 07:21:55 AM »
Comparing my 4c to my Hite premiere is like comparing blowing down a blocked pipe whilst suffering from a heavy cold, to blowing down a sparkling clean empty pipe whilst feeling on top of the world. So much difference in ease of blowing. That's why :-)
Its funny you should say that because I do find playing my clarinet is rather like blowing through a hose pipe with a kink in it. But I thought that was just normal for a clarinet
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Offline LarryS

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Re: mouthpieces for a beginner
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2022, 07:26:51 AM »
I just googled the Hite premiere, its a bargain price mpc, almost half the price of a Yamaha 4C. Yet its better than the 4C?
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Offline LarryS

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Re: mouthpieces for a beginner
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2022, 10:27:28 AM »
Well I got tired of blowing hard and getting nowhere, so I swapped out the 4C mouthpiece for the Noblet 2V that Windy sent me. What a difference! A lot of air in the tone but that could improve with a tighter embouchure.
I expect that's how the Hite feels after playing the 4C, a relief!
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Offline TMHeimer

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Re: mouthpieces for a beginner
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2022, 10:57:59 AM »
Can you tell me what you didn't like about the B45?  I've been reading about them quite a bit, and it looks like it may be hard for a beginner to control and play middle to upper notes with.  Did you have that problem?  You seem to be using the same 2.5 reeds I am using (except mine are Rico). 
It may help if I explain to you the problem I having with my current stock mouthpiece.  It's requiring a lot of me physically and I can't make it through a song that contains middle C, middle D, etc.  This is where I'm struggling.
I've done a bunch of the "leak" tests I've read about and it doesn't seem to be leaking anywhere noticeably. 
I did not make it to my appointment, because I was sick, so I need to reschedule - and I hate to drive all the way there (60 miles) if I don't want the mouthpiece. I asked him if I could try it out and he said "it will help you" no matter what....but I'm not convinced.

It was a long time ago-- the '70s. But I recall it just seemed hard to blow, maybe a little stuffy. I went from there to an O"Brien crystal, which wasn't so good in the extreme altissimo. Then my mother dropped it on the cement floor.... Settled on a Vandoren V360 and used that for about 25 years. Went to get another one as a spare around 2000 but found they were no longer made. So I tried a few and the 5RV was closest to the easy blowing V360. In fact I liked it a bit better and still use the 5RV today.
The Most Advanced Clarinet Book
tomheimer.ampbk.com/
austinmacauley.com/author/heimer-tom (PDF, click book)
Amazon, Sheet Music Plus (item SO.1114097)
"Boreal Ballad" for unacc. clarinet solo (advanced)
Sheet Music Plus (item SO.858339)
YouTube performances - search by title (Nielsen Concerto)

Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: mouthpieces for a beginner
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2022, 01:44:46 PM »
Bundy 3 is a real quality one that can be found for $20.

If you want something new that's also really good, the Rico Reserve X5 has been my go-to player for the  past 6 or 7 years.
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