Dismiss Notice
I hate the colors. What do I do?

At the far bottom of the page, on the left, is a menu or link that says, "Forum Default." Click on that and choose a different Style.

Mouthpieces for Beginners

Discussion in 'Clarinets' started by Ed, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Ed

    Ed Founder Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2,748
    Likes Received:
    12
    I would say that for most clarinet and saxophone players they should strongly consider Vandoren mouthpieces as their first professional piece. They're well made and readily available.
     
    Tags:
  2. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,564
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Sometimes I feel like a frog playing a saxophone
    I agree with Vandoren as they are high quality and available at most local music stores. The only problem is the daunting list of mouthpieces they have available.

    Best to recommend like a B45 as a "generic" mouthpiece. Many times younger people are overwhelmed when they are told to play test this and that .. many don't realize that they are not experienced enough to hear/ see /feel a difference.

    I also like the Selmer Paris mouthpieces, high quality and widely available.
     
  3. Ed

    Ed Founder Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2,748
    Likes Received:
    12
    The problem I have with Selmer pieces is that The S80's are terrible. The S90's are better but still not better sounding than most of the pieces available from Vandoren. The re-issued Soloists are a vast improvement over the S80/S90 line. Of course we are talking sax mouthpieces.

    The Selmer clarinet pieces are easy to recommend. The HS* is one that I play on once in a while.

    I just think that the Vandoren stuff is generally better thought out.

    The B45 or M45 on clarinet is a fine mouthpiece.

    The V5 series for saxes is great for concert band playing and the V16 line is great for jazz. Our own Merlin loves his B75 on bari. They are very nice pieces.
     
  4. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,749
    Likes Received:
    466
    The nice thing about being an Admin is that you can move posts that are in the wrong topic :p.

    BTB, as with the Selmer sax mouthpieces, HS* is now just a facing. The mouthpiece is now called the "201".

    ==========

    Standard info about clarinet mouthpieces:

    * Beginners shouldn't bother with metal or crystal mouthpieces. These 'pieces will be too hard for you control.
    * Plastic mouthpieces should be avoided, as they have fairly poor response. Get hard rubber. Yes, these will be more than $20.
    * When you buy a clarinet mouthpiece, you might be asked about facings or tip openings. Just get whatever's "medium".

    -> The Vandoren B45 or B40 mouthpiece is an extremely good choice for the student. They are in the $60 range and easily suit a wide variety of clarinets.

    -> As a bit of a step up, I heartily recommend the mouthpiece I still use, the Selmer C85. However, this is a much more expensive mouthpiece, at approximately $100. ( I traded someone a Vandoren B40 for this mouthpiece and we were both happy with the trade.)

    -----------

    As a personal aside, I gave up clarinet for several years because I had a really bad mouthpiece and didn't know you could get a replacement. When I had to play clarinet as part of a concert where I was switching from horn to horn, the rental I had had a Vandoren B40. It was so easy to play, I went out and bought another clarinet and a new Vandoren B45.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2009
  5. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,749
    Likes Received:
    466
    Trying to keep the threads mostly clean for beginners.

    The Hite Artist Series mouthpieces are around $65 and I have heard other players like these quite a bit. I've not used one so I can't say.

    I have used a custom Pyne, made back when you had to sit down with Pyne and he'd customize the mouthpiece for you -- sadly, it wasn't my mouthpiece. It was decent enough, but definitely not for beginners: they're now $350.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2009
  6. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    I'd just like to add
    • Hite Premiere
    • Fobes Debut
    • Behn Ouverture
    as low-cost alternatives. Very reasonably priced ($25..$40), easily controllable, reed-friendly in the typical beginner range from 2.0..3.5, free-blowing with a good stable tone on probably all instruments (tested on Vito, Leblanc, Bundy, Amati, Marigaux, Buffet, Lemaire, Yamaha, Noblet).
    Yes, I use them all on a regular basis, for several years.
     
  7. Tammi

    Tammi Private woodwind instructor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Michigan
    Believe it or not Bundy hard rubber mouthpieces are VERY good, and affordable.
     
  8. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,749
    Likes Received:
    466
    I'm glad I Googled.

    It's one of those, "Buyer Be Aware" things (not necessarily "Buyer Beware").

    The Bundy mouthpiece that came with Bundy clarinets (and came with my late 1970's Selmer Signet) was PLASTIC (and had an emblem that looked like this on it). It's now called a "BP201" and sells for under $20. It's junk.

    (I'm fairly positive that the BP201 is identical to the Selmer "Goldentone".)

    The Bundy mouthpiece that Tammi refers to is probably the Geo. M. Bundy Signature made of hard rubber. It costs around $35 - $40.

    ===========

    Again, please note that we're saying HARD RUBBER is better than PLASTIC. If you really need cheap and have to go plastic, the Yamaha 4C is acceptable and costs around $25 (it's a good copy of a Vandoren design), but I only recommend it if you can't afford $60 or so for a much, much better mouthpiece.
     
  9. Clarinet-Aaron

    Clarinet-Aaron

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Florida
    I'm using a 4C right now, it's what I've always had and I'm just now getting into looking at new mouthpieces. Do you know what Vandoren mouthpiece it is a copy of? I get a really warm sound on mine but I can't put all my air through it and I almost have to articulate early to be in time, which as I've read reviews of mouthpieces on here, seems to be something that can be affected by which mouthpiece you use. I just don't want my sound to get worse, as I've been playing for seven years on this 'piece, and people have told me that I have a really good sound for being on a student mouthpiece.
     
  10. Gloria

    Gloria

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mammoth Spring, Arkansas
    As to helping my granddaughter, would it really be a recommendation that I look for a better mouthpiece for her Étude Bb clarinet? This will be her 3rd year, next year, in clarinet..
     
  11. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    5,611
    Likes Received:
    198
    Location:
    Seattle
    The best way to upgrade your granddaughter's mouthpiece would be to work with her instructor if at all possible. There are some (see below) very fine and reasonably prices mouthpieces that would be a huge step up to the mouthpiece that typically comes with a student instrument.
     
  12. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    50
    Location:
    Springville, Utah
  13. Gloria

    Gloria

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mammoth Spring, Arkansas
    That actually looks like an excellent choice, JB, thanks!! Since I do not know her ability level very well, in looking, it makes sense to me to try an X5 also. It will take a 2.0-2.5 reed if she needs it, while if she starts to play around more, I can get her some other reeds to horse around with... Maybe it will open new horizons! I really think I'll do that, and let her experiment. Appreciated much!
     
  14. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    50
    Location:
    Springville, Utah
    You are welcome. One of the players who helped create the D'addario Reserve, Lee Livengood plays clarinet and bass clarinet in the Utah Symphony, my home state. In fact, he helped me select a custom clarinet jazz mouthpiece for my "Dixieland" now called "Traditional Jazz" playing. Most of the top players in Utah have converted to the D'addario Reserve mouthpieces because they play so well and are so consistent.
     
  15. Gloria

    Gloria

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mammoth Spring, Arkansas
    Jb, my grand daughters replacement clarinet is here- (ebay), and I have just measured the mouthpiece in order to order a replacement. The size of this one is .850. Are they all that size at the cork, or is there more I will need to know before I order the X5? Thanks much for your time!
     
  16. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,749
    Likes Received:
    466
    I'm not sure why I didn't post this earlier, but there's a small flock of websites selling the Vandoren Masters mouthpieces for $35, marked down from $80 or $130, depending on your source. That's a really good buy.
     
Our staff's websites:


Loading...