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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000373.txt from 2003/10

From: "John Hansken" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Mouthpiece pitch
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2003 18:45:16 -0400

Walter... What is this special corrosive-resistant grease called and where
can I find info on it...

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
Subject: Re: [kl] Mouthpiece pitch

> In a message dated 10/10/2003 7:55:14 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
> > To one of the mouthpiece craftsmen on the List:
> > How meaningful is the sound of a mouthpiece alone? When you're
> > refacing or manufacturing a mouthpiece, and you're ready to test it, do
> > you listen to the mouthpiece alone (in addition to playing it on an
> > instrument)?>>
> Yes, I have been reading messages, but I have only been responding to
direct inquiries. Fortunately or un-fortunately, I have been literally
consumed with work. (This week's IMEA auditions brought a half dozen
desperate teens to my door with stuck keys, leaking pads, etc. and I
literally did not have the heart to turn them away.) Well, at least I'm
working, when so many are not.
> Topic one - how meaningful is the sound of the mouthpiece alone?
> To me, none at all. I never play on the mouthpiece alone. I can't possibly
see what that one dimensional tect could tell me.
> Last night I was working on bass clarinet mouthpieces. To test I played
the bass clarinet excerpts from "Sigfried", "On the Trail", "Daphnis and
Chloe - Suite #2" and the William Schuman Symphony with the wild bass
clarinet part.
> Using those four I can tect virtually any aspect of the mouthpiece's
playing charteristics. I also have the tuner on and constantly scan for any
tuning abnormalities.
> Second Question - Toby, you asked this about a week and a half ago, about
my use of alcohol in cleaning clarinets. You asked, I believe, if it rusted
the keys and if it dried out the wood.
> I waited awhile to answer this. I ran a test. I took a blue needle spring
and soaked it in my alcohol, intermittently for a week. I let it dry out
then poured alcohol over it again, I must have done this six times. At the
end of the week, the spring had NO RUST on it.
> In terms of alcohol drying out wood, I will agree that it has the
possibility of doing so. Anytime I use alcohol and swabs to clean a clarinet
I then oil the area lightly after I have it clean and dry.
> When you are conasantly repairing clarinets, one of the things you see
very often is an accumulation of greasy, oily GUNK. Alcohol cuts through it
and leaves no sticky debris.
> After I clean out rod and a hinge tube with alcohol, I make sure that
nothing is leaft in the mechanism, like old grit, etc., that would hinder
the motion of the key. Then I lightly apply a special corrosive-resistant
grease I (not oil)to the key. In the 25 years I have used this grease on my
own clarinets (two Bb's, one A, Eb, Bass, C) I have never had a key bind or
get sticky from oil build up.
> Walter
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