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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I appreciate the advice from you and Merlin about the mouthpiece change.

However, I won't have the instrument until tomorrow when UPS drops it off, and I've never held a clarinet in my life.

I don't want to get caught up with a bad case of GAS, which is very easy for me to do, before I've had a chance to familiarize myself with the horn. Simply trying to take first things, first is all.

Nevertheless I do appreciate the intel and will certainly refer back to it when the time comes to let the GAS take over!
 

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I appreciate the advice from you and Merlin about the mouthpiece change.

However, I won't have the instrument until tomorrow when UPS drops it off, and I've never held a clarinet in my life.

I don't want to get caught up with a bad case of GAS, which is very easy for me to do, before I've had a chance to familiarize myself with the horn. Simply trying to take first things, first is all.

Nevertheless I do appreciate the intel and will certainly refer back to it when the time comes to let the GAS take over!
FWIW I really dislike the stock Buffet mouthpieces, just a personal preference. I tell my students to ditch them and get either a Yamaha or Fobes Debut, which has a very good facing for beginners and is highly affordable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I appreciate that! I'll make sure to see if my shop has a Fobes Debut to try out. However, I'll probably go with a Vandoren--been eye****ing the B46, 5JB, and the B45 on the Vandoren site.

Though keeping the GAS in check is extremely difficult! My wife just endured the mouthpiece hunt when the GAS hit me for my soprano I got for my birthday. She's a trooper to put up with me cause I get the GAS something fierce!

I think, more than anything, the anticipation of getting started on clarinet is driving me crazy in a good way--it feels like Christmas having to wait until tomorrow for the horn to get here, and I know that the mouthpiece will more than likely have to go--and I've also discovered that barrels can be changed, too, which is potentially bad news for my wife and my wallet! It's just a lot of fun and exciting to be doing this after spending many years wondering what it would be like to play the clarinet in addition to the sax.

Thank you again for the insight!
 

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I appreciate that! I'll make sure to see if my shop has a Fobes Debut to try out. However, I'll probably go with a Vandoren--been eye****ing the B46, 5JB, and the B45 on the Vandoren site.

Though keeping the GAS in check is extremely difficult! My wife just endured the mouthpiece hunt when the GAS hit me for my soprano I got for my birthday. She's a trooper to put up with me cause I get the GAS something fierce!

I think, more than anything, the anticipation of getting started on clarinet is driving me crazy in a good way--it feels like Christmas having to wait until tomorrow for the horn to get here, and I know that the mouthpiece will more than likely have to go--and I've also discovered that barrels can be changed, too, which is potentially bad news for my wife and my wallet! It's just a lot of fun and exciting to be doing this after spending many years wondering what it would be like to play the clarinet in addition to the sax.

Thank you again for the insight!
don't waste your time on barrels until you can at least get through Klose and Rose 32 etudes, maybe some Uhl and Barman 3rd division........
avoid the 5jb like the plague, way to big. Volume on clarinet doesn't come from massive tip openings.
A 5RV lyre is a good place place to start for Vandos, but the Fobes debut can't be beaten for the early stages of establishing good technique.
 

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don't waste your time on barrels until you can at least get through Klose and Rose 32 etudes, maybe some Uhl and Barman 3rd division........
avoid the 5jb like the plague, way to big. Volume on clarinet doesn't come from massive tip openings.
A 5RV lyre is a good place place to start for Vandos, but the Fobes debut can't be beaten for the early stages of establishing good technique.
Disagree regarding the 5JB. I DO agree that as a beginner, he should probably avoid it, but as someone who used to play a 5JB for many years and also as a saxophonist, the 5JB was a great mouthpiece to play simply because it didn't have SO much freaking back pressure as most "classical" clarinet mouthpieces do. I now play on a clarinet mouthpiece that's a .065 tip and absolutely love it. It's all about reed strength and finding out what works best for you as an individual, regardless of tip opening/size.

John
 

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It depends on what your goals are. Obviously, the better you want to get, the more serious practicing you'll need to do. And I think that clarinet is more different from sax than alike. It has the obvious similarities--they both have reeds and a mouthpiece to put into your mouth, and you wiggle your fingers on both. But clarinet is harder because not only do you have to push keys down, your fingers also have to cover the holes at the same time. If there's even a tiny glimmer of hole peeking out from underneath your finger, you either won't get a sound or you'll get a horrible shriek (it's akin to a leaky pad--only worse). And clarinet has a significant "break" between registers where the air column resistance changes completely and you also have to go from no holes covered to all covered; this can be extremely difficult to negotiate and can take a while to learn how to do. Sax has a similar break (between third-space C and fourth-line D) but on sax it's pretty easy whereas on clarinet it's pretty hard. And then there are the embochure issues others have mentioned. Progress for me on clarinet (after five years of sax) was very slow, compared to my progress on sax.

Too many sax players think that clarinet is going to be easy just because they play sax. And they end up sounding horrible.

The good news is that it's not impossible, and your experience on sax will help you. If you really want to play the clarinet, make sure you have a good horn and a good teacher. With these two things, you'll be able to go as far as you want. Go slow and be patient. You'll get there and your wife will be happy, too.
 

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I'll be looking for what fits my embouchure when I visit my main shop. Right now I haven't even received the clarinet yet and know absolutely nothing about them. So while a new mouthliece is almost a certainty, I think I should at least develop a little familiarity with the horn before letting the GAS take over everything!

I appreciate the suggestion, but for now, I'll stick with the stock mouthpiece and develop my embouchure and then go on the hunt for gear.
The stock m/p that comes with the B12 is barely worthy of use as a doorstop.

Save the frustration, and buy something decent. The D'Addario piece is well made, sounds great, and is a stellar bargain.
 

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I'll bet that somewhere someone is playing a stock Buffet mouthpiece that came with a new clarinet - and loves it. And, that same person may have a D'Addario mouthpiece that he uses for a door-stop. Why don't we all list OUR favorite mouthpiece and insist that the OP use it? DAVE
 

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I'll bet that somewhere someone is playing a stock Buffet mouthpiece that came with a new clarinet - and loves it. And, that same person may have a D'Addario mouthpiece that he uses for a door-stop. Why don't we all list OUR favorite mouthpiece and insist that the OP use it? DAVE
Amen
 

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Keep it simple. A 'middle of the road' mouthpiece like a B45 and a good quality reed similar to a Mitchel Lurie/LaVoz in a 2.5 should be more than sufficient to get started.
This is a setup that many clarinet teachers will suggest.
Good luck! Clarinet is my 'first love'. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
So the clarinet got here late this afternoon and I've had a little time to play around and try to get it to make noise other than squeals.

Fingering is quite different and as mentioned previously, very unforgiving, but after a few minutes, I got the hang of it. My wife, the flute player, figured it out first go with it.

The mouthpiece is resistant as all get out. I'm not used to that kind of resistance as my soprano mpcs are much more free-blowing. So there will be a search for a new mouthpiece and plenty of play testing shortly.

While I can see some similarities with sax, clarinet is a different beast altogether, and looks like it will be a bit of a challenge to get a handle on.

I certainly welcome the challenge!
 

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... The mouthpiece is resistant as all get out. I'm not used to that kind of resistance as my soprano mpcs are much more free-blowing. So there will be a search for a new mouthpiece and plenty of play testing shortly...
For a pleasing sound through the range (without even considering 4th octave) a clarinet IMO requires quite a bit more breath pressure (hence lip pressure on reed to control that breath pressure) than a sop sax does. Quite different animals.

IMO if you go hunting for a mouthpiece (and no doubt reed) to be as "free-blowing" as a sop sax, then you are merely trying to bandaid your lack of practice/experience, and your sacrifice will be tone; you will not master elimination of the fog-horn effect. A clarinet will by its very nature have considerably more resistance than a sop (or any other) sax.

It could be likened to a badminton player trying to use a badminton raquet for trying to play tennis.
Or a hockey player using a hockey stick to play cricket.
In both cases, easier to swing, but .....!
 

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So the clarinet got here late this afternoon and I've had a little time to play around and try to get it to make noise other than squeals.

Fingering is quite different and as mentioned previously, very unforgiving, but after a few minutes, I got the hang of it. My wife, the flute player, figured it out first go with it.

The mouthpiece is resistant as all get out. I'm not used to that kind of resistance as my soprano mpcs are much more free-blowing. So there will be a search for a new mouthpiece and plenty of play testing shortly.

While I can see some similarities with sax, clarinet is a different beast altogether, and looks like it will be a bit of a challenge to get a handle on.

I certainly welcome the challenge!
Your challenge will be exponentially less once you begin lessons with a good teacher. An experienced teacher is familiar with all the problems beginners encounter, and will be able to give you immediate, sound advice on how to solve those problems efficiently. The teacher will also prevent you from bad habits. One problem with learning on one's own is that you may come up with a solution to a problem which may beget another problem that you're not aware of. A teacher keeps that from happening.
 

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So the clarinet got here late this afternoon and I've had a little time to play around and try to get it to make noise other than squeals.

Fingering is quite different and as mentioned previously, very unforgiving, but after a few minutes, I got the hang of it. My wife, the flute player, figured it out first go with it.

The mouthpiece is resistant as all get out. I'm not used to that kind of resistance as my soprano mpcs are much more free-blowing. So there will be a search for a new mouthpiece and plenty of play testing shortly.

While I can see some similarities with sax, clarinet is a different beast altogether, and looks like it will be a bit of a challenge to get a handle on.

I certainly welcome the challenge!
Told ya! ;-)

J.
 

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I'll bet that somewhere someone is playing a stock Buffet mouthpiece that came with a new clarinet - and loves it. And, that same person may have a D'Addario mouthpiece that he uses for a door-stop. Why don't we all list OUR favorite mouthpiece and insist that the OP use it? DAVE
I stand by my statement. I'm basing my advice on 40 years as a professional woodwind doubler. Anyone taking my advice would find it yielded an easily playable, versatile, and cost effective setup. The OP could literally save hundred of dollars that might be otherwise spent dicking around, trying to find out what worked. If someone wants to do it the hard way like I did, whatever, I really don't care.

FWIW, the setup I recommended is what I actually play, with the lone variable being reed strength.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
For a pleasing sound through the range (without even considering 4th octave) a clarinet IMO requires quite a bit more breath pressure (hence lip pressure on reed to control that breath pressure) than a sop sax does. Quite different animals.

IMO if you go hunting for a mouthpiece (and no doubt reed) to be as "free-blowing" as a sop sax, then you are merely trying to bandaid your lack of practice/experience, and your sacrifice will be tone; you will not master elimination of the fog-horn effect. A clarinet will by its very nature have considerably more resistance than a sop (or any other) sax.

It could be likened to a badminton player trying to use a badminton raquet for trying to play tennis.
Or a hockey player using a hockey stick to play cricket.
In both cases, easier to swing, but .....!
Not looking to replicate the sax 'piece feel, but to get a mouthpiece that is of better quality than what I have. The mouthpiece appears to be kanted to the left once it's on and in the right position.

And in the mean time, it's time to find a teacher in my area!
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
I stand by my statement. I'm basing my advice on 40 years as a professional woodwind doubler. Anyone taking my advice would find it yielded an easily playable, versatile, and cost effective setup. The OP could literally save hundred of dollars that might be otherwise spent dicking around, trying to find out what worked. If someone wants to do it the hard way like I did, whatever, I really don't care.

FWIW, the setup I recommended is what I actually play, with the lone variable being reed strength.
I appreciate the intel. The shop I go to for all my sax parts and GAS needs has a large stock of clarinet mouthpieces, and all are available to try out. I'll be heading up there in a week or two and spending some serious time trying what they have out now that I know the stock 'piece isn't much to write home about.

I don't see any point in buying a ****-ton of mouthpieces and going broke trying to find the right one when I can go to the best music store in my area and try out 10-20 pieces with no pressure to buy. So I get what you're saying, and will be taking your recommendation with me when I go, just like I'll be doing with all other mouthpiece and gear recommendations.

There's no way I'm not going to turn down a recommendation. If it works, great! If it doesn't work out, no big deal, it was better to try it out than not, right?
 

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And in the mean time, it's time to find a teacher in my area!
A teacher will definitely help in many areas. Like, for starters, selecting an appropriate mouthpiece for you. We all have preferences for mouthpieces because certain things work better for us. Even when teaching beginners, I didn't always recommend the same mouthpiece for each student.

One student I recall in particular - a decent sax player who started doubling on clarinet - had a 5RV Lyre that the store sold him with the clarinet. Sensible setup, which played fine for me, but he couldn't get it to work. After a few grueling lessons I asked him to try the Yamaha 4C in his little brother's clarinet case. Bingo! Instant success - for him, anyway. He ended up earning a chair in all-state band with that mouthpiece.

Sometimes it's helpful to have an experience teacher, who can observe you first-hand, make the recommendation. And to help you figure out the pinky keys... :mrgreen:
 

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While I understand the recommendations for a good mouthpiece, I don't think it's necessary to go crazy trying every last suggestion. What works for an experienced professional may not work for a beginner (for one thing, chop strength is different). I think that when you're a beginner, it doesn't really matter what mp you play on, so long as it lets you blow free and easy. A stock mouthpiece will suit any beginner just fine--they're made that way for just that purpose. (Later on, when you've developed a sense of pitch concept on the horn and can find the center of each note, that's when a better mp will be needed.) To put it another way: getting the best mp possible does not mean you're going to sound good on the clarinet. Practicing every day and taking lessons with a good teacher is what will do that for you.
 

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I play a Lakey 5* on my clarinet, so that's the one that Tyler must use. Of course, I am not a "pro" player in the sense of making a living with my music even though i have taken money for performing, but I have played for 60 years. Come to think about it, up until this post, I have never told anyone I don't know or have never heard play that they should use the mouthpiece I use. DAVE
 
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