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Years ago, when I decided to get serious with my clarinet playing, I walked into a respected music store and asked them for a serious clarinet mouthpiece. When the clerk found out I played sax, he gave me a Vandoren B46, and said it was perfect for me since I was a doubler. I struggled for a long time on that mouthpiece. It was long time before I tried different mouthpieces, and I found that a close mouthpiece/hard reed combo suited me much better, and I could stop killing my chops. I found out later that closed mouthpieces/hard reeds are very common among strictly clarinet players.

Very often I see open clarinet mouthpieces being marketed towards sax doublers. Why is this? Are there any doublers here that have found success with the very open clarinet mouthpieces? I think I would have benefited more from the start with a more traditional moderate, or even close, mouthpiece.
 

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My first and only clarinet mouthpiece is a Vandoren 5RV Lyre, a relatively closed piece. I have noticed many other sax players using large openings and having severe pitch problems. I think it's the same argument as people telling tenor players to get an alto piece with a huge tip opening, instead of learning how to adjust embouchure and air for a smaller horn.

Just now, after 8 years of doubling on clarinet, I took my first semester of lessons. I had a great teacher and she helped me focus my sound for a more classical tone when I need it. Through the course of lessons, she let me try the M30 and M30 lyre, which are nice, middle of the road pieces. I could get all the sound I wanted out of these for classical or jazz, so I think I will spring for one of them.
 

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Personally I think this is marketing hype to get someone to buy mouthpieces that no 'real' clarinetist would touch with a 10 foot pole.
I'm sure there are some players that want the open tips for Dixiland, but these guys really know their ****ake.
The 'general purpose' clarinet player/doubler usually does better with a medium/medium open tip and a medium/medium hard reed.
I like a little closer tip for serious classical playing, but my general use piece is a Portnoy BP03 which I would classify as a MO.
 

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Very often I see open clarinet mouthpieces being marketed towards sax doublers. Why is this? Are there any doublers here that have found success with the very open clarinet mouthpieces? I think I would have benefited more from the start with a more traditional moderate, or even close, mouthpiece.
I totally agree. A big tip and a softish reed on clarinet is a recipe for disaster *especially* for a doubler. (IMO)

I'll be interested to see if there are people who have a different take on this.
 

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I totally agree. A big tip and a softish reed on clarinet is a recipe for disaster *especially* for a doubler. (IMO)

I'll be interested to see if there are people who have a different take on this.
What is open? What is closed? Is the Vandoren B45/B40 (or similar by Vandoren or other companies) open? I consider them relatively open and there are more than a few clarinetists using them, including classical clarinetist. I'm not talking about some random players, but some of the best players. Same for a mouthpiece like the 5RV Lyre which isn't very open but isn't so closed either. Just some examples.

In a way, an open mouthpiece is not necessarily an open mouthpiece. I use a relatively open mouthpiece with I think about 1.21mm tip opening but it has a facing length of 21.25mm which has a big effect on the reed strength. Same mouthpiece tip with shorter facing would need softer reeds.

IMO this doesn't necessarily have much to do with being a doubler or not. Many clarinetists and doublers prefer both open and closed (and inbetween) tip opening.
 

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Yet another example why we shouldn't accept blanket statements about what kind of mouthpiece will work for in a given situation. If someone isn't advanced enough to pick his/her own mouthpiece, stick with medium lay, if there's agreement on what that is. And never, ever, take advice from a music store clerk.
 

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I have experiemented with more traditional "clarinet mouthpieces" and have accepted that I dislike resistance not only in clarinet but also saxophone. I currently play a Morgan J6 with #2 Mitchell Lurie. Even over the past few months - I went with close facing harder reeds. All I ended up with is a head ache and a desire NOT to practice. I'm certainly not going to play in a Symphony but the tone is not a raw and loud many assume. A good tonal concept and lots of practice is more important than having 'correct' equipement. At my age, I'm looking for a comfortable setting that gets the job done.
 

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I was a clarinet major in college and played a B45 for years. After several years of primarily sax giggin' I found myself looking for something more open, not becuase of what I played, but how I played. I changed mouthpieces to a John Pierce becuase it played FOR ME. Good tone but needs control. Since I play jazz, it tends to work well, but practice and long tones are just as important as with any other instrument or setup. I suspect you could get by with any mouthpiece if you practice and play it enough. Don't buy into the 'doublers' sales pitch.
 

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Years ago, when I decided to get serious with my clarinet playing, I walked into a respected music store and asked them for a serious clarinet mouthpiece. When the clerk found out I played sax, he gave me a Vandoren B46, and said it was perfect for me since I was a doubler.
Did you consider asking WHY the clerk recommended such a piece? What does the clerk play?

Better to ask doublers - players whose tone you respect.
 

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I have always found that a close to medium tip (102-106) is generally easier to control, in terms of pitch and tone, especially in the high register. There are mouthpieces out there that fall into this range and are pretty free blowing without the resistance that some associate with a closer tip. At the same time, I have found that once a player gets used to the fact that a clarinet is not going to feel like a saxophone and vice versa, and learns to work with the differences, it will be easier to have success. Trying to get a clarinet to feel like a saxophone will not work. It often leads to the clarinet sounding like a bad soprano sax.
 

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I have always found that a close to medium tip (102-106) is generally easier to control, in terms of pitch and tone, especially in the high register. There are mouthpieces out there that fall into this range and are pretty free blowing without the resistance that some associate with a closer tip. At the same time, I have found that once a player gets used to the fact that a clarinet is not going to feel like a saxophone and vice versa, and learns to work with the differences, it will be easier to have success. Trying to get a clarinet to feel like a saxophone will not work. It often leads to the clarinet sounding like a bad soprano sax.
My mouthpiece is a Selmer and is at 105. I'm not sure how this relates to sax tip opening though because it's not .105 like a tenor piece I know that. It's a very small tip opening. I use Vandoren V12 3 1/2's on it. It's super easy to play. I tried for a couple of years with larger tip openings because I was told that was what sax players use but struggled the whole time. This tip opening felt like home to me.
 

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My mouthpiece is a Selmer and is at 105. I'm not sure how this relates to sax tip opening though because it's not .105 like a tenor piece I know that. It's a very small tip opening. /QUOTE]

I think it's 105 1/100ths mm or 1.05 mm as opposed to .0105 inches in a tenor sax tip opening. The Vandoren website lists all their tip openings in millimeters and the 5RV is 106.5.
 

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I play Alto,Tenor, and Clarinet. I've played many pieces on all instruments; For Clarinet whether your a sax player or not I would recommend a B45(more open) or M30(less open) depending on your comfort zone.
 

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I play a 1.75 tip opening on the Bb clarinet. You guessed right, I'm the typicall hot jazz clarinet player. I wouldn't recommend a B45 for a beginner out of being too open and too short a facing. I fyou wanna have a serious start on clarinet thry a 5RV or a V.360 and then you adjust based upon your playing style. My 2 cents after 27 years of being a clarinettist before turning 40 :twisted:
 
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