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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000798.txt from 1997/12

Subj: Re: patches and pressure
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 15:54:41 -0500

In response to Shouryu's question:

>Um...Do mouthpiece patches really alter tone?

Bill Hausmann said:

>>. . . . . .I think the most significant difference patches >>could possibly
make would be a slight reduction of bone >>conducted sound getting to the
player's ear. . . . . .

I believe we have two things to consider here, the sound the player hears and
the sound that a listener hears. I've related this story in longer form
before will repeat it for newcomers and try to keep it short.

After playing with double-lip embouchure for about 40 years, I took some
lessons after I retired (from my day job - not from the clarinet). One of
the first questions I was asked was, "Why do you use double lip embouchure".
My response was that it was the only way I could make a sound that I liked.
The teacher asked to see my mouthpiece, put on a patch, and asked me to play
the same passage single lip. His comment was, "It sounds the same to me",
and indicated that my tone was just fine either way.

>From this I would conclude that some of us have a much greater effect from
bone conduction and for us the presence of a patch is *huge* rather than

Neil Leupold (in a longer note that I'm not quoting) discussed the effect of
a patch in opening the oral cavity and the importance of reduced jaw
pressure. I found that, with the patch I could use single or double lip and
felt the sound was the same. With single and the patch, I found I could use
less jaw pressure and started adjusting reeds differently for the reduced

With less pressure, the oral cavity started to open up. For the first time
in all those years of playing, I found that the advice in my early lesson
books about opening the oral cavity for the altissimo was something I could
actually do, *and it worked*, for better dynamic control and better
intonation. Bofre this, like many others, I had been increasing pressure for
the altissimo.

I'm now playing most single lip, but make use of increased oral cavity size,
differently adjusted reeds and less jaw pressure whether using single or

Don Yungkurth (

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