Untitled Document
     
Advertisement Click to advertise with us!
     

How do I play with an almost horizontal Bass Clarinet mouthpiece?

Concert band is starting up this year again for high school, and my band teacher gave me a really nice bass clarinet. The only problem is, the neck makes the mouth piece almost 100% horizontal, and the looseness of the mouthpiece and neck also make it fall.
Before when I played in middle school and as a freshmen, my bass clarinet neck make my mouthpiece point up, which worked well and is what I learned how to play.
I have been trying to play on this horizontal mouthpiece for maybe 30-60 minutes, and I can't play a low note or even a middle B w/o either angling my instrument almost completely below me, or working my way to the note from the middle.
I'm also seeing online when I search how to play bass clarinet, every single one of the players are playing with an angled mouthpiece.
I know this mouthpiece works, because before it was giving to me, a senior was using it and was pretty good too.

What do I do?
 
I know what you mean....
The position makes you play with more of an "over-bite" which is undesirable.
Are you using the "peg" instead of a neck strap?
If you are using the peg your options are limited.
Using the peg, students tend to place the instrument further out, thus messing with the playing angle.
Try a strap.
If you use the neck strap (which I do not prefer to use) you can snug the BC closer to your body and tilt your head up (a very-little bit).
That will improve the angle a bit.

If the above doesn't work for you, you will have to push your jaw out more (as in an exaggerated under-bite).

A colleague of mine plays this way and he sounds excellent.

I hope that this helps.
btw: I am the bass clarinetist in a professional orchestra, thus I have practical experience.
 

saxhound

Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
There was a thread here several years ago about aftermarket necks that had the proper angle. Unfortunately, it seems that whoever was making them (Charles Bay, I think), was not producing them any longer.
 
I usually ended up using a combination of neck strap/peg, especially for long gigs. I like to sit on the edge of my chair, with weight on my feet such that I could stand up at any time without shifting my weight. From this position, I get the bass clarinet angled down underneath the chair slightly so that I can get a good angle to the mouthpiece as I am sitting up straight.
 
Top Bottom