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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000831.txt from 1998/03

From: Lee Hickling <hickling@-----.Net>
Subj: Re: Vandoren Mouthpiece
Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 11:44:19 -0500

Like any reed player, I am interested in mouthpieces, reeds, ligatures,
tuning barrels and all the things that have been under discussion here on
the Klarinet list. I'm probably going to have to shop for a barrel if the
one in my cherished old Conn finally cracks through. It was damaged on
outdoor jobs, and repaired once. I think a replacement will be the way to
go if the crack recurs and spreads.

But as a player, I have usually come back to the original mouthpiece, and
to the mouthpieces that came with both my saxophones. And I find that
almost any reed, carefully selected by holding it up to a bright light,
works fine for me -- even if it's one of the despised Ricos. What makes the
most difference in my sound and my intonation is whether I play every day,
and how much I play.

As a teacher, I try to steer my students away from preoccupation with
brands of reeds and makes of mouthpieces and toward clearing time in their
lives to put in at least an hour a day. Most of them don't do it, and many
of them can't because of the other things going on in their lives. But
those who do are the ones who begin to excel, while the ones who hope a new
setup of some kind will make them sound like a pro make little to no
progress toward mastery.

Did anyone see the PBS interview Sir David Frost did with Wynton Marsalis
recently? Marsalis mentioned "shedding" and had to explain that it meant
what used to be called "woodshedding," or in other words, practice. Frost
asked how much he practiced. Marsalis said, I thought a little
apologetically, "Not as much as I used to ... maybe four or five hours a day."

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