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5RV Lyre vs Fobes/Hite/Behn for adult beginners

Discussion in 'Mouthpieces' started by fuzz_factor, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. fuzz_factor

    fuzz_factor

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    I'm an adult beginner who just bought his first clarinet! It hasn't arrived yet, but it will include a Vandoren 5RV Lyre mouthpiece.

    I've read a bunch of threads about how the Hite Premiere, Fobes Debut and Behn Overture are excellent mouthpieces for beginners. My question is: Will I be better served purchasing a Debut or Overture to aid in the formation of my embouchure, or it the Vandoren 5RV Lyre OK for a beginner? Put another way: Is there any harm in starting on a 'non-beginners' mouthpiece?

    It's a little difficult separating adult beginner info from that more suited to 5th graders!

    I'm mostly into playing jazz, and my main goal is being able to jam on Real Book melodies and play simple solos with some friends (I have been playing guitar for 20+ years, so I know music theory, how to sight read, etc.).

    I will find a teacher, but maybe not until summer. I'd like to play the clarinet in the meantime!
     
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  2. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The Vandoren is a fine mouthpiece that will serve you well. Don't even start to think about other mouthpieces until you have spent at least a year on your clarinet or if your music instructor suggests it. Welcome, good luck and enjoy. :)
     
  3. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    The great temptation with playing music is to assume that money spent will equal skills acquired. Until you know "how" to play clarinet, you don't really know what will work better or worse. And, without that experience (gained in the first year or so), you can't really sense what is going wrong.

    With the guidance of an experienced player combined with your personal experiences, you will discover the road ahead soon enough. Even with prior musical experience, the easiest way to deal with a woodwind instrument (other than the mostly forgiving saxophone) is to interface with a skilled player. An experienced player (or better yet teacher) can look at what you are doing while you are doing it, and work from that knowledge combined with their knowledge, in the end synthesizing a new clarinet player.

    You don't have to make a year long commitment. Once the basics are in hand, your practice (with constant attention paid to the basics all the while) will bring you along.

    Coming to the game already knowing how to read music is about a third of the battle. At least you won't have to be puzzling out the notation at the same time that you're trying to make your mouth, tongue, diaphragm and fingers all to board the same bus at the same time.
     
  4. fuzz_factor

    fuzz_factor

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    Thanks guys! I've been borrowing a Bundy clarinet from a musician friend and have all the fingerings from low E up to C above the staff memorized (plus a couple alternates). Hopefully that is another 1/6 of the battle!
     
  5. Tony Fairbridge

    Tony Fairbridge Tony F

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    The 5RV Lyre is an excellent mouthpiece which will serve you well as a beginner. Later when you have developed your technique and your embouchure you may decide to try others, but it is a very good starting point.
     
  6. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    An admirable achievement, assuming your hand positioning is good. If not, you may have created one of the most difficult struggles of your musical career. Hand position is very critical on the clarinet as YOU are the biggest source of leaks in the instrument. Having to relearn it is much worse than getting it right the first time and many players have given up because of the challenges of hand positioning and crossing the break.
     
  7. fuzz_factor

    fuzz_factor

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    Understood! I've read a couple of books (with pictures) on the subject, taking careful note of not collapsing my fingers, keeping the pinkies on the right keys and keeping a NNE position on the register key. Still, I do have some problems with the break, going from Bb to B, and when playing low F# (I think I'm lifting my left hand ring finger slightly). I'm thinking that I might not be keeping enough finger pad on the keys.

    This, along with proper embouchure formation, is one of the reasons I really want to take private lessons. I probably shouldn't wait until summer. I don't think I've played enough to form any really bad habits that can't be corrected.

    I used to play tenor sax in the past and have wanted to pick up a wind instrument again for quite a while. I defaulted to tenor, but after borrowing my friend's Bundy, playing it for a month or so and listening to a ton of clarinet music (Mozart, De Franco, Goodman, Shaw, Don Byron, Duke Ellington's fantastic players...), I've really come to appreciate the beauty and expressiveness of the clarinet.

    Thanks!
     
  8. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    The right hand ring finger is one of the great weak points of the Boehm clarinet layout. If you don't do the angle right, you'll be lifting every time the little finger comes into action.

    For that matter, if the thumb rest is not in the right spot for your hand (which differs for every human being - no two of us are the same), you can have problems with all of your fingers on that hand. Adjustable thumb rests are part of the solution, but a good portion of it resides in the head of the player - again, human factors, not equipment.

    But, there are hidden perils for some with the Boehm Brille ("eye glasses" in German, so called because they resemble metal spectacle rims).

    I have "low fat" fingers, and had troubles for many years on the soprano, both with covering the finger holes accurately, and with seating my finger pads on the holes. All of it changed when I had the rings adjusted. The way all of them are set now would be considered low by most players, but my svelte fingers now work like they are supposed to.

    On my Oehler, with the little vent keys on the rings, we had to create custom thickness pads out of cork to seal the vents once the ring height was set just so. It was a month long ordeal until everything was right - once it was done, the horn worked like it was designed to.
     
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