New mouthpiece for my tárogató

Discussion in 'Tárogató' started by PrincessJ, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. PrincessJ

    PrincessJ

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    1
    It's not gorgeous but it sure is functional. I was in a bit of a hurry and needed a new one BAD, so I quickly and hastily took some wood and made this little gem. The lower register sings like you wouldn't believe and going in to the upper register has never been easier. It loves the old rico 2s I had sitting around, the tip opening is just wide enough for my comfort and the facing is long and wide.
    I'll probably make a nicer looking one later on when I get time but for now this will have to do. I can not complain about it one bit apart from it's sheer ugliness. If only I had better wood in hand right now.

    But here it is in pictures. I'm too shy to post full-on videos but I may put a nice ski-mask on and stick one up here some time soon...

    I don't know if you can tell but I sanded the outside for completion out of pure why-not attitude, I think it looks better that way than it did before. Believe me it was weird looking.
     
    Tags:
  2. kymarto

    kymarto Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    4
    Do you folks find that the wood holds a facing over time? I've used hardwood inserts on shakuhachi flutes and they tend to crumble eventually. Modern clarinet mpcs of wood are unknown, and the older ones usually have metal facings. But I note that there are lots of wooden tárogató mpcs.
     
  3. PrincessJ

    PrincessJ

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    1
    Making your own wood mouthpiece is worth it - it's a right shame there are near no modern wooden mouthpieces, because I've highly preferred their tonal potential, over hard rubber or plastics. Although don't get me wrong, there are many outstanding synthetic mouthpieces and I am proud to own a few.

    For every wood mouthpiece of old age I've picked up, sometimes I've needed to re shape the facing a bit or they get crumbly as you've said. Certain woods hold facings better, I find grenadilla mouthpieces (although rare to a degree) to be the best for longevity and ease of maintenance. It'll be a while until we find out how long mine holds up, obviously, but I'm certain it will behave the same way as most wood mouthpieces. The grenadilla mouthpiece on my Martin Freres (c1980) clarinet is surprisingly nice for it's age, although it has had very little abuse through it's forgotten life. Will post pics after dinner for reference.

    How many modern tárogató players make wood mouthpieces? I've often been curious.
     
  4. MartinMods

    MartinMods

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nice work. You could bond a piece of wood 1/4" thick to a lopped off rubber/synthetic/metal mouthpiece, and fashion it as the table/lay/tip. When it wore out you just replace the wood, not the whole mouthpiece.
     
  5. PrincessJ

    PrincessJ

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks, Martin.
    I think I've heard of that little trick somewhere but have never actually tried it.

    I figured I'd just use up the chunk of wood in my basement that would have otherwise been of no use to me. I'll keep that in mind for next time though, way less time consuming not to mention cheaper.

    I just have a liking towards turning wood... :D
     
  6. MartinMods

    MartinMods

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Martin is the horn I play is all...JSYK.

    Yes, what fun. And then there's brass and steel.
     
  7. PrincessJ

    PrincessJ

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    1
    Brass and steel, never got in to it, likely never will. I'll let you and your minions deal with that stuff! ;)
     
  8. Gheorghe

    Gheorghe

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    It looks really nice and I'm sure it's very functional, which is the most important part. Sorry I missed it - what type of wood is it?

    As far as stability, I find ebony to be quite stable. The existing mouthpiece I have is ebony, and it's at least 15 years old, probably more. No issues.

    However, ebony is getting scarce and more expensive. I got a chunk about 2x2x8" pretty cheap. I think in those sizes, there will be no issues getting it. Double bass fingerboards are a different story.

    I also made a couple of test mouthpieces out of pearwood, which is very hard, and it's just not the same.
     
  9. Gheorghe

    Gheorghe

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brass is really nice to work with. I made 2 custom agraffes for a small cimbalom I built, and the 5/8" brass stock I used was pure joy to machine.

    George
     
  10. PrincessJ

    PrincessJ

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yeah. I could see that - it's really not my bread and butter - unless you count brass keywork.
    Sorry I didn't say before, oops. It's older ebony. At least, say, 30. It's been around a while so I'm really only guessing. :)
     
  11. PrincessJ

    PrincessJ

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    1
    BTW I usually work with new wood - this was supposed to be an "until I can get a super nice one" mouthpiece so I could at least play the instrument comfortably with an embouchure to my liking.
    My rinky-dink hand-made lathe just needs replacing soon anyways. It turns just fast enough to make something that works and looks nice fairly easily but will probably die soon.
    You certainly are a crafty guy, by the way, Gheorghe! My husband is like that, a bit of a mad scientist though. He got me in to wood work, basement is full of experimental instruments and accessories. Taught me how to make my own MPs this year, and now I'm hooked.
     
  12. Anton Stadler

    Anton Stadler

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Princess,

    There is a brilliant mouthpiece maker here in the UK named Edward Pillinger. He makes a wonderful tárogató mouthpiece based on a Stowasser model. He made one for me and it is wonderful. It makes a lovely sound and has really improved my tárogató.

    Hope this is of help.
     
  13. Tim Price

    Tim Price Professional musician and teacher

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is by chance a mouthpiece maker in the USA for tárogató? Let me know here or drop a line to me at tep251@aol.com

    I heard of a man in the midwest but have no contact info.
     
  14. saxhound

    saxhound Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    65
    Hey Tim,

    Welcome to our little corner of the net. It's a little quieter here than SOTW, but definitely more civil! Hopefully some of the tárogató gurus will check in soon. There are quite a few here.
     
  15. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    5,535
    Likes Received:
    141
    I pinged one of our tárogató experts, hoping to find him available. I know a lot of people buying a Bb tárogató (like I did) tried various soprano sax mouthpieces with some success. In my case, if it played relatively in tune across the range of the instrument and with a pleasant sound, I was happy. Trying to remember if I ended up with a sopranino or soprano mouthpiece. Fortunately my instrument came with an original mouthpiece. I felt the sound was too oboe like for my liking plus the learning the fingerings with any fluency put me off and I ended up selling the instrument. Cheers.
     
  16. kymarto

    kymarto Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hi Tim, Ioan Scaunas makes very good tárogató mpcs. He is an amazing player (see YouTube) and has the world's largest collection of Stowasser tarogatok. I believe his e-mail is jstarogato@aol.com. His English is limited but he does communicate.
    His mpcs are around $300. I have one. It would be my mpc of choice for loud playing--it has edge and much more projection that the Stowasser and Gruber mpcs I have.

    Speaking of edge--he has three flavors. Unless you want the Romanian buzzsaw sound, I would go with the least bright. He will pretty much make it to taste for you. Here is a page from 11th Muse.

    http://www.11thmuse.com/Scaunas.html

    I have had no luck adapting soprano sax mouthpieces. The tárogató requires the lower part of the chamber and upper part of the throat to be constricted to about 9-10mm. In the absence of that the instrument will play extremely flat and the intonation will be generally terrible. I have about six or seven mpcs and various tarogatok and I have done a lot of experimenting with mpc volumes. That is critical--not least because the actual range of movement for tuning is limited, and also because when you do move the mpc, the volume increase (that accounts a lot for tuning in conical woodwinds) happens behind the constriction in the throat, not in front of it as in the sax. I daresay that many of the intonational difficulties attributed to the instruments themselves (and there are plenty of those) are on account of mpc problems and not because of the tárogató body.

    For instance, I recently bought a Hammerschmidt tárogató. When I tried it out of the box with the included mpc, it was playing horribly: about a quarter tone flat near the bottom and more than a semitone flat in the short-tube notes. Putting a Stowasser mpc on corrected that immediately, but I also found some intonational differences between Stowasser mpcs that all played pretty well on my Stowasser. Another factor to be considered is playing style: many of the instruments themselves seem to get sharp as you head up the first octave near the top. This seems to be because they are designed to play with a very loose embouchure, which tends to flatten the top-tube notes more than the bottom-tube notes. I have done extensive work with crescents (actually usually wood putty)--and sometimes a good needle file--to tune the actual finger holes to either reduce or enlarge them. But the first thing is to get a decent mpc that plays relatively in tune and then adjust for individual note variations.

    Ioan is very knowledgeable and will help you get the best out of your instrument. He does, however, play in Romanian style. If you want a more rounded sound be sure to let him know. It is very much like the difference between classical and very-high-baffle sax mpcs.

    One final caution: there does not seem to be anything like a standard in body tenon sizes. Make sure he knows the exact inner diameter of your present mpc tenon receiver.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015

Share This Page

Our staff's websites:


Loading...