Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all:

I've been playing clarinet for some time now and I was wondering about my clarinet setup for big band doubling or pit music. I'm using a Yamaha 34 (wood),Vandoren 5RV lyre and Vandoren reeds 3 or 3,5. The sound I'm getting is very classical, in tune but, I imagine, may be not as loud as this other kind of music may require. I read about shorter barrels or B45 mouthpieces...any suggestions?
Thanks!!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,766 Posts
The clarinet is not a saxophone, at least that's what real clarinet players tell me. With that said, I think your set-up is fine. A bigger bore clarinet might make a slight difference, but getting a more open mouthpiece will make it louder. I play a Vandoren B45 because I can't play in tune with anything else. I do, however, have a couple of old Brilharts, a #3, #5 and #7. The #7 will take the paint off the walls, but it's not a REAL clarinet sound. I'm sure the Yamaha if fine. "Pepps" plays one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,567 Posts
A shorter barrel isn't to play louder, it's to play sharper.
A mouthpiece with a wider tip opening and some softer reeds (2 1/2 to 3, maybe) will help improve projection.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,762 Posts
littlemanbighorn said:
A mouthpiece with a wider tip opening and some softer reeds (2 1/2 to 3, maybe) will help improve projection.
In my experience, more open mouthpieces are just not significantly louder on clarinet. What you have should be fine. Maybe try harder reeds and more air? That can give you projection like you wouldn't believe.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,303 Posts
dirty said:
In my experience, more open mouthpieces are just not significantly louder on clarinet. What you have should be fine. Maybe try harder reeds and more air? That can give you projection like you wouldn't believe.
Your 5RV Lyre is perfect for what you are using it for. They have ample projection and I have seem many jazz musicians use it.

While many get a wondeful sound out of a B45, they are infamous in the clarinet community as the "band director's suggestion." They naturally produce a shrill less-focused tone that works fine playing Sousa. However, there is a list of very fine players using the B45 with a wonderful huge, dark, room-filling sound. It takes effort though, as it's not the kind of sound it naturally produces.

On saxophone I use tips on the large side to gain projection; on clarinet I use smaller tips to gain projection. In my experience, it takes significantly more projection to cut through a full orchestra than it does in a jazz band. Of course, being heard in a pit situation is simply not an issue since everything has to be so quiet...unless there's an air support issue.

Doublers get real caught up in the open clarinet mp thing because they think they can turn it into a sax.

When your looking at the worth of a clarinet mouthpiece you need to consider two things: It's resistance and it's response. If those two attributes feel comfortable to you, than with the correct air suppport, projection will not be a problem.

Your 5RV Lyre is known for having a comfortable resistance/response for most people. Is it comfortable for you? If so, another mouthpiece will simply be different...not more projecting.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
For projection, I'd say focus on breath pressure (especially if you are a sax doubler), embouchure to support it, and perhaps trying different reeds (with the embouchure to support them, if they are harder).

You need to put more energy (in the physics sense) into the sound production.

But I'm merely an amateur.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
For me, the only thing you can do to produce a bigger sound on clarinet is long tone practice. Mouthpieces won't do it. When you're practicing long tones think about focusing the air stream and filling up the horn. That did it for me. I play an Eddie Daniels piece and the facing is pretty close (with a #4 Vandoren reed). I can pretty much project in any situation with it.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,762 Posts
What I've found really helps me to think about the right air focus on clarinet (good, focused air = more projection) is something from Larry Guy's book on embouchure: Don't think about filling the clarinet up with air, think about sending a focused column of air through the center of the bore.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Perhaps both of these image suggestions actually mean more air pressure from the lungs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,365 Posts
Bostonsax,

Got no wisdom to offer, I'm reading this for what I can learn
(insert joke here.)

I am wondering, could your question be partly motivated by
current difficulty hearing yourself? Just wondering, not meaning
anything by it. I sort of had a problem with this once on
another instrument.

rabbit
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
Gordon (NZ) said:
Perhaps both of these image suggestions actually mean more air pressure from the lungs?
I don't know if it's just a pressure thing. When I have to go really loud, I have to open my throat and change my embouchure, in addition to pushing more air out. It's difficult to describe - the reed must vibrate more (bigger amplitude), thus you need to change your embouchure, but just so much that the pitch doesn't fall or you start squeaking. Plus the tongue position is different (different for everybody, because everybody's tongue has a different shape)

Long tones with increasing volume (ppp>fff) will demonstrate, teach and give you plenty time to experiment with tone. Growling (singing while playing) will also help you control your throat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks!!

Hi all:

Thanks for all the responses. I just wanted to double check about my set up because it seems there are a lot of variables in terms of mouthpieces, reeds, barrels, clarinet brands. etc. As usual, there is no shortcut but practice, practice and practice but sometimes certain equipments could suit better for certain ocassions.
Thanks again!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,762 Posts
Gordon (NZ) said:
Perhaps both of these image suggestions actually mean more air pressure from the lungs?
Not more pressure from the lungs (assuming that the air support is already present), but better focus with the embouchure. The book says to think about the vowel sound "ü," which keeps the tongue arched high in the mouth (eeeee) but also keeps the lips and facial muscles in the "ring" position around the mouthpiece (oooooo), applying equal pressure from all around. Giving the clarinet enough air isn't difficult if you're already a sax player, but we'll all spend our entire lives learning how to focus that air better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,877 Posts
Funny, there often lots of comments about breath support and the like but few about embouchure. Maybe because it is complicated to describe and requires undoing habits to change. Besides having lots of air, you need a good embouchure for a good tone and projection on the clarinet. Clarinet is much more picky in this regard than sax. This means folding the lower lip over the teeth to make a firm area to place on the reed. Avoid having too much lip on the reed which muffles the sound. Try saying "vuh" to help with this. Experiment with minimizing the amount of lip on the reed, Too little and you'll get a lot of squeaks, but try to move your embouchure closer to the danger zone rather than the comfort zone.

For me, tucking the lower lip back and down makes my throat want to close off, which is something that needs to be overcome. Try yawing while you do it to counter this.

In general classical sax players who can get tons of sound from a C* use a similar embouchure. The "pouty" embouchure with the lower lip out used by some jazz saxists will give poor results on clarinet.

Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
957 Posts
You may can give a try to a Vandoren M30 with 3,5 or even 4 vando classic reeds.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top