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Looking for a mouthpiece recommendation for a LeBlanc Dynamic

Hello,

nice to be here :)

Can somone recommend a "middle of the road" kind of mouthpiece to use with an older LeBlanc Dynamic?
I am not in a position in the moment to get lots of different ones to try out.
So I was wondering if there would be something that works fine with the larger bore and is not too restricted regarding reed choice.
I am on medium strength usually.

Sound wise I am aiming for the old lyrical sound in Jazz and Klezmer but as always I guess thats much more to my skills then the hardware.

Thanks a lot for all hints.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
Yes, it is much more related to skills and experience than anything else; and more importantly being open to changing your playing style and ever experimenting and practicing.

I'm not a Klezmer skilled clarinetest at all. On FaceBook, Tom Puwalski has a webpage and he seems very experienced in this style.
There are also many other YouTube/Web pages related to it, such as this basic info page https://www.dansr.com/vandoren/resources/the-klezmer-clarinet.

Learning and practicing specific skills like making the clarinet sound laughing, or crying is a lot of throat work, learning new skills (like articulation without using the tongue and using your throat for articulation); learning to hum while playing, etc.). There are so many techniques that really require someone to help you along the way .. yes, a private teacher. It's hard to move towards a target without that experience identifying the best method for you.

You don't mention anything about your current mouthpiece and reed, or any past teachers, experience, years playing etc. This is why it's probably best to find a teacher and they'll help you along the way.

back to your original question.
A large bore clarinet with medium wide toneholes can accomodate many mouthpieces. The larger bore does accommodate the player being able to blow more for louder louds, at an easier pressure/feedback pace than a small bore clarinet. Thus, if you don't use any electronics while playing and need some amplification then a large tip mouthpiece like Vandoren 5JB or 7JB.

At this point your current reed does not matter, as you'll probably have to change to accomodate the mouthpieces tip opening, facing curve and your playing ability. If you want to use the same reed and reed strength then you will probably limit your search to a mouthpiece just like your current one, to be safe.
 
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Hello Steve,
thanks. Of course I wholeheartedly agree with the what you write about the skills etc.
Thats what I do teach my students ( I am a professional drummer / teacher and play guitar and piano too. )
That said: It was always a wish for me to learn the clarinet which I finally started doing last year.
So, I am a complete beginner still. Focussing mostly on intonation and tone in general.
The mouthpiece I am using is the old one that came with the no-name clarinet I had been using since last year.
The LeBlanc was a gift from a musician friend of mine. It used to belong to his father.
Where I am currently, I have no access to a clarinet teacher ( unless online of course ).
However, there is a sax-player that did share some basics with me and made sure I do not make bad mistakes on the embouchure fundamentals.
Apart from that I just rely on the quite helpful Keith Stein book.
However the sax-player told me she does not know too much about the clarinet specifics, regarding mouthpieces etc. pp.

I am aware that most of the sound is independent of the hardware, however I just wanted to see, if there is something to consider regarding the horn mouthpiece combination in respect to timbre, intonation etc.
Mentioning Jazz / Klezmer was more to illustrate in which general direction I am interested to focus my sound. As I am not a spring chicken anymore I am well aware, that I will not have enough time left to master the instrument in various styles :)
I have always been interested and fascinated with the darker lyrical, expressive side of the clarinet sound.

Thanks again.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
I couldn't find my copy of "Art of Clarinet playing" book, but I did find my copy of the saxophone one from Larry Teal. Ironically, I went to the same places as Stein - University of Michigan, Interlochen.

But If I recall he goes from top to bottom of the clarinet and embouchure, fingers, etc.
I wrote this Embouchure info ages ago ==> https://www.woodwindforum.com/clarinetperfection/embouchure/
and I actually have a basic embouchure YouTube video coming up probably this weekend.

But with your background especially guitar and piano (I used to play and did competition judging for a while too) you should have the ear training for intonation and improving your tone.
The tonguing is something new, but instead of synchronizing your hands and feet, it's your mouth and hands.
And learning to open your throat as if you are yawning while playing. Of course the easy thing is your playing one note at a time and not an entire chord.

In this thread I reviewed a bunch of mouthpieces on several clarinets

and one about a few Leblanc clarinets


If I had a Leblanc Dynamic as my main instrument I probably would just use my old Woodwind K9 mouthpiece.
info about the old, vintage Woodwind brand here (it was later bought by Leblanc) ==> https://www.woodwindforum.com/clarinetperfection/woodwind/

either that or a Vandoren mouthpiece such as a ... 5RV Lyre; or B40 or B45 variants.
shown here==> https://www.woodwindforum.com/clarinetperfection/vandoren/

I prefer the darker tone and quicker response of the Woodwind model though. But ones in good shape are harder to find as they haven't been made in decades.

Is there a brand or any markings on your mouthpiece ?
 
Hello and thanks for the info,
yes, my ear traning unfortunately gives me the ability to spot my tone deficits quite easily :)
So far what I do is play long notes trying to hold the tone as stable as possible.
Playing sometimes with a drone note to practice intervals and get the intonation right.
Also started to play small melodies I like that emphasize the switch from tones that need a noticeable embouchure change.

I do not have the ability to get my hands on vintage stuff here, let alone find someone who could reface a vintage mouthpiece.
Hence I thought that just getting something current from a store like a Vandoren should be easier.
Keith Stein mentiones in his book, that all mouthpieces need refacing since they vary so much even when new but I suppose that might have changed since the 50s? :)

My mouthpiece does not have a brand marking... only to teeth markings :D
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
Yes, I review some of the mouthpiece table issues here ==>
but over time since they are mostly rubber, depending upon storage, the table may warp.

Embouchure wise ... well, I really need my "basic embouchure" video to do .. I should go to that now while I'm thinking of it. But ti's along Steins except I review how the upper/lower lip placement changes dependent upon the angle of the mpc. Of course, keeping the head up. I think that book shows some weird head positions not to do.

But getting a Vandoren should be good. The manufacturing methods have really improved over the years, decades.

EDIT: threw a quick video about the Embouchure correction up on YouTube.
 
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