Nice sounding mouth piece for Yamaha YCL-255?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bannana8me, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. Bannana8me

    Bannana8me

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    What are peoples experience with upgrading the mouth piece on a Yamaha YCL-255 Bb?

    I know it is a low introduction model, but I would like to upgrade to get a better sound. Even if it's an expensive one, I can use it on a more professional model down the track.

    Is a quality ligature something I should consider too?

    I love the clarinet, but darn work really cuts into practice time.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
     
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  2. retread

    retread

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    If you are a beginner don't worry about the mouthpiece yet. And a new ligature comes into play only if you win the lottery.
     
  3. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    Well, the Yamaha student clarinets generally come with a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece. It really isn't terrible. However, if you think you hate your horn because of the mouthpiece, a) ask your instructor what he recommends and b) have him make sure you're either not doing something wrong or that there isn't something wrong with your horn, reed, mouthpiece, or ligature.

    One of the reasons why I stopped playing clarinet for several years, when I was much younger, was because I didn't know I could get a different mouthpiece.

    The best information that we can give you here is to make sure you have a decent mouthpiece. As I said, the 4C isn't bad. We have addressed the topic in some depth, so no need to go over it again. As said, your instructor is the best person to talk to.

    As far as a ligature is concerned, you just need one that fits your mouthpiece and reed and isn't damaged in some way -- that also means that if it's supposed to have two thumbscrews, you have two thumbscrews. For me, a different ligature made some reeds either playable or playable longer than a stock sheet metal one, but it's not something to really worry about until you've played for a long while. Looks like a standard Yamaha ligature is all of $10 on Amazon. If you want to go with more interesting looking, the Luyben ones are about $11. Your local music store might be cheaper. FWIW, I generally used the sheet metal ones, a Rovner, or a Gigliotti. And I only used the sheet metal and Rovner ones because that's what my instructors used.

    For more than enough ligature reading, check out this thread from our clarinet content experts.
     
  4. saxhound

    saxhound Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    +1 on the Luyben. I have been playing clarinet for 52 years. I have used, Selmer, Bonade, Van Doren & Rovner over the years, and the Luyben beats them all. The best part is if you drop it (or accidentally step on it like I did with my Bonade) there is no damage.

    IIRC, my instructor had me play on a student mouthpiece for almost four years before he had me upgrade. Back in the day, the Woodwind Company pieces were the standard. I still play on that G8 I bought in 8th grade. Unfortunately, the company is not around any longer.

    I haven't played either of them, but lots of folks rave about the David Hite Premiere and the Fobes Debut. Both are very affordable.
     
  5. Bannana8me

    Bannana8me

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    Thanks very much for your thoughts.

    My teacher is a school student learning clarinet too. Im not 100% sure she has the full experience as she does contradict advice on this forum. Don't get me wrong, she has certainly launched my interest and got me on the right trail, but in a country low population area, and no other tutor available in the region, this is going to be as good as it gets.

    My and her clarinet reed has the saxophone sound, not the smooth sound of the clarinets on commercial cd's. I'd love to get that rich smooth tone.

    With Bb clarinet mouth pieces, all the brands that are available, are they all a standard barrel fitting size? Will each mouth piece hold the same pitch e.g. not put the clarinet out of tune?

    Im thinking of getting a Vandoren B45 (B45 Dot) Bb Clarinet Mouthpiece. Its a bit on the pricie side, but I want to give myself every chance of success.

    Again, thanks for your thoughts on the tuning consistency with different brand mouth pieces.
     
  6. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    You'll find many teachers, even college professors have "one way" for a player to learn.

    not that they are wrong or anything but they are teaching specific techniques to equate to specific playing characteristics. It goes along the same lines that many want their students on Buffet R13s. Not that you can't have another clarinet, but they are simply used to a specific thing. They know those specific things in granular detail and teach around it. Once you go outside of their "box" of knowledge they feel as if they cannot teach you the specifics of their knowledge and if there is a problem, then it is because you are out of that "box" of knowledge.

    You'll find this very often in classical teachers.

    Once you try a jazz teachers you'll often find much contradictory information to that classical teacher.

    And online forum doesn't follow one "line" methodology either, thus it will be contradicted. Plus online there is a gigantic negative. We cannot see nor hear you play. You can describe it, but often as not the descriptions are often lacking. As if you are not trained already in certain things, it makes it very difficult to describe those things that you are not highly trained in.

    The lure of the clarinet woody, pingy tone is one that I strived for too in the past (like that "bucket" sound you get from Selmer Paris saxophones). I was mostly a Leblanc player striving for that "pingy" tone. Not until I started doing design analysis on clarinets did I fully understand how that "ping" was created. As soon as I bought an R13 .. bam .. there it was.
    Of course this required a very good classical embouchure, if I used a lazy embouchure or thin reed that particular tonal quality was not there.

    The difference between a student clarinet and a professional one is quite drastic. A student clarinet is designed for ease of students covering the toneholes. Thus to get a good, consistent tone and ease of playability. A professional clarinet is designed for tone, and a balance of backpressure along the upper joint leading to the lower joint, and toneholes designs to provide tonal color flexibility. You could make the argument that "Engineering-wise", there's more in common of a recorder to a student clarinet, than to a professional clarinet.

    Back to your mouthpiece. A Vandoren B45 is a very good general mouthpiece. You may change your reed selection based on that mouthpiece, or you may not. Reeds too are designed differently. Student type reeds have a longer thinner cut by comparison, making it easier for initial tone production but not the "full" tone many more advanced players may strive for.

    As a beginner student is is much more accustomed to strive for technical ability unless something you have is holding you back.
    Of course, many people like to tinker anyways and incrementally improve their equipment. Thus a B45 is a nice general mouthpiece.
     
  7. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    Provided it doesn't say "German" or "Oehler," the answer is "yes."

    I think you may be asking, "If I just grab another mouthpiece and start playing, is everything going to be the same?" That's "no." Every mouthpiece has some variances. Some of those can be good, like it's easier to play a specific note or range of notes in tune, some of those can be bad, like your altissimo is now more piercing than pure.

    That's not exactly ideal. It's definitely not difficult to find a clarinet instructor that actually plays clarinet. I strongly recommend that you look for one.

    I'll again refer you to my comment above about instructors. After that, it's practice.

    As saxhound kinda hinted, provided you already have a decent mouthpiece, there's no particular reason to go out and get another one. Yes, in my particular case, changing the mouthpiece -- and it was to a Vandoren B45, IIRC -- made an extremely big difference in everything, but that was because the mouthpiece I had been using was a piece of junk. (FWIW, I later switched to a Vandoren B40, which I eventually traded for a Selmer C85.)

    In one sense, I really don't care. It's your money, after all. However, what I want is more people to pick up a woodwind and stay with it. If you're dropping $100 every couple weeks to get the latest shiny, you might decide that playing clarinet isn't worth it and that's not a good thing.

    Steve speaks truth, thus he is quoted.

    For me, I had a lot less of this when learning clarinet than learning saxophone. I never had a clarinet teacher tell me that I needed an X model clarinet or a Y model mouthpiece. However, if I studied extensively with Mitchell Lurie (as an example; I didn't), I'd probably teach a lot like him.
     
  8. Bannana8me

    Bannana8me

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    Thanks heaps for your advice and thoughts. It's a gold mine of information.

    On the Selmer C85 Bb Clarinet Mouthpiece there are 2 options, 115 medium & 120 wide. Im guessing its the air intake component? As Im new, what would be best for the future playing sound?

    Also, on a personal note. My high school clarinet teacher couldn't make it last night to our weekly lesson. Im guessing she gave late notice to the country music school, and I travel a fair disatnce to class. So I had the head piano teacher. She is an expert in piano, reading music but knows little about the actual clarinet.
    Long story short we started playing together, and omg, it was incredible. We played the songs I was familiar with, and the sound was incredible. When I woke up this morning I was still thinking how incredible the sound was playing together. Im used to playing solo and setting my own pace, but the piano accompaniment has opened up new doors and goals. Last night was like that feeling when you can first ride a bike...unforgettable.
    Playing together, it was so moving, it has put a rocket back into my focus on practice.

    Thanks for the tips on mouth piece size.
     
  9. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

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    There shouldn't really be that much difference in air needed between them. They both would probably be about equal, are you able to play on both of them before you buy one?
    And playing an accompanied solo is definitely more rewarding (and difficult) than just playing it by yourself.
     
  10. Bannana8me

    Bannana8me

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    I would love to try both, but living in a country area, clarinet stuff is only by mail.

    Regarding the Selmer C85 Bb Clarinet Mouthpiece, the 2 options are 115 medium & 120 wide. Other then the physical difference what is the difference between the two?
     
  11. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Selmer makes 3 versions of that
    https://www.selmer.fr/compdetail.php?groupe=comp&instru=CLAR&tonalite=UT&type=BECS&modele=C85

    a 105, 115 and 120
    the numbers are the tip opening
    I had all 3 at one time comparing them. The 115 probably would be the best to get with your clarinet. The 120 if you want to support ease of more dynamics.
    But keep in mind you'll probably use a slightly softer reed as you use a more open tip.

    ===
    With your teacher
    You may want to have 4 sessions (or more) with the clarinet specific teacher
    and then 1 session (the 5th one) with the piano teacher and play duets. You can work on a specific duet with your clarinet teacher.
    This may be excellent inspiration to improve.
     
  12. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    I use the C85/120. However, as I've often said, I'm different. I also played saxophones and huge things like the Bb contrabass clarinet. I'd go with Steve's comments and recommendations more than mine.
     

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