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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000915.txt from 2002/06

Subj: [kl] wiseman cases, mouthpieces and stuff
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 17:47:36 -0400

I borrowed a wiseman case once, it was OK, but it was really heavy! Yamaha has a new case out that is basically a laptop case with an insert to hold an A-Bb. It is very light,small and a joy to travel with.

Lets,talk mouthpieces. If you're a decent player and get a good sound, have reeds that work on that particular mouthpiece. I would find it hard to believe, that you could travel 1/4 of the way around, the world walk up to a table of different mouthpieces and find the "ultimate" set up. Anything that any of the good mouthpiece makers have is worth way more than a "lets see if my reed plays on this" kind of trial. If find that trying a mouthpiece can take well over a week, will require going through at least 3 different brand of reeds as well as many different strength. It requires many min. with a tuner and with luck some time with an ensemble. Maybe it's just me but unless you're playing on total crap, and if you are you probably wouldn't be flying to Europe for a convention, you're just not going to find it.
I know mouthpiece makers, and equipment sellers love these shows, they sell a lot of stuff there, I myself have bought my share of all sorts of things at the "fests", but at age 42, after 20years in the military, years of playing weddings and Bar Mitvahs I have learned one very important lesson. Get ready, Here it comes, years of experience boiled down in a simple phrase.

YOU CAN"T BUY GAME!!!!!!! You can't buy a sound, you can't buy technique, you can't buy mastery! But you can invest in them. When I was a kid, there was a brand of sneaker, PF Fliers, that could make you run faster, jump higher. To my knowledge, they make neither mouthpieces, reeds, or clarinets. So go to the convention, Pick peoples brains, find the good players, ask them what they did, what they practiced, how they learned to do what they do.

I've just switched to the Yamaha Se-V clarinet. It think it is the best clarinet being built today. It tunes better and it has a great sound. I'm now also a Yamaha performing artist. I liked the horn that much, but I want to say, as good as this clarinet is. It is possible to make it sound bad!! It's possible to play it without any musical sensitivity. So can any clarinet. The computer thing comes to mind. Garbage in, garbage out. Or as Loren Kitt said in a lesson once, "I like to think I can make any Clarinet sound equally bad".

Sorry about the rant
Tom Puwalski, Yamaha performing Artist, former principal Clarinetist with the US Army Field Band, author of a "Clarinetists Guide to Klezmer" and most importantly clarinetist with Lox&Vodka, the eastcoast's hottest klezmer Band. Check out


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