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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000438.txt from 1999/06

Subj: [kl] Doodad anxiety: reed players vs. brassholes
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 20:53:25 -0400

Myth: People who play reed instruments are much more mindful of details
(that's the nice way to put it -- I think most people mean that we're
nitpickers, fussbudgets and anal retentive wackos) compared to the brass
players. According to conventional wisdom, instead of experimenting
anxiously with umpty-jillion mouthpieces and reeds, the brassholes are
happy-go-lucky types who just slap any old mouthpiece on there and start
blatting away.


Truth: The brassholes are as bad as we are. I've been spying on them. I
bought an old cornet a week ago, started snuffling around for information,
and discovered sites with the same kinds of everlasting back-and-forth that
we've gotten into here and on the bulletin board. When it comes to the
instruments themselves, the brassholes are just as fussy about models,
vintage vs. modern, etc. as we are. The main difference is that we spread
our obsession with the various accessories out over reeds *and* mouthpieces
*and* barrels, while the cornet and trumpet players focus nearly all of their
equipment neurosis with laser intensity on mouthpieces. They memorize
measurements and their purported benefits down to thousandths of an inch and
fret endlessly over which one is just right for their horns, their music and
their chops. Sound familiar? Some of these folks get out their power drills
and modify their mpcs, or make their own. Clyde E. Hunt, who runs an online
music store ( with information and links for trumpet
players, warns his readers not to succumb to "the drawer full of mouthpieces
syndrome." I've seen the same advice on so many other sites that it's clear
the gadget freaks among us are just as attracted to trumpets as they are to
reed instruments, and just as likely to blame equipment instead of lack of
practice for whatever nasty sounds they emit. Next time someone makes
invidious comparisons, send the person over to the
newsgroup, where mouthpiece discussions flourish, any day of the week.

(feebly denies being a brasshole wannabe)

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