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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000898.txt from 1998/04

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: Mouthpiece Facings & Reed Strength
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 06:05:19 -0400

On Thu, 16 Apr 1998, C E Field wrote:
> I am wondering what the relationship is between mouthpiece facing and ree=
> strength needed to produce a good tone in all registers. I would think
> that, theoretically, an open mouthpiece and a hard reed would be a good
> match and a close mouthpiece and a softer reed would, likewise, be a
> good match. I am trying to envision the reed vibrations. It seems to me
> that student mouthpieces tend to be medium close and "jazz" mouthpieces
> tend to be open. Is that reasonably accurate?

Actually, it is the opposite. Close mouthpieces require harder reeds, and
open mouthpieces require softer reeds. If you think about it, the softer
reed will close off immediately on a close tip mouthpiece. The larger tip
opening allows for more flexibility with regard to closing off.

> I routinely use a 2 to 2.5 Vandoren V12 reed (or, more recently, a Morr=
and a Vandoren M13 mouthpiece (which I think is close) and BG Revelation
ligature. (Using this setup, I play on Buffet R13 Bb and A clarinets and an
old Dupont C hard rubber clarinet.) Listeners (including other musicians--e=
an oboist!) tell me I have a "round" tone. Sometimes I feel "inadequate" fo=
not using a harder reed but my setup seems to work for me.

The M13 mouthpiece has the following schedule and tip opening:

104 tip opening (1.04)

What this means frankly, is that the tip is very close, and the curve
schedule is quite short. If you are playing on 2 or 2.5 reeds, you either
have no strength in the embouchure, or you never play above a high C. On
the bright side, if you are using the now defunct Morre reeds at strengths
2.25, they are equivilant to a 3 or 3.5 V12 Vandoren....this is a more
appropriate and closer matchup to the M13 Vandoren reed.

Generally, the more advanced player will have a longer curve schedule in
his mouthpiece setup - probably a deeper baffle as well. Such a
mouthpiece could be seen as:

104-105 tip opening

This is similar to the Marcellus M13 facing, and it is similar to the
closer Kasper mouthpieces.

Roger Garrett

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