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 Mouthpieces
Author: markeymark (---.cpe.net.cable.rogers.com)
Date:   2004-07-20 02:54

Hello to all.
I need a little help with teminology and general understanding of mouthpeices.
I am a novice player and hobbiest repairman. Recently I have purchased a "bunch" of vintage mouthpieces - and I need some help identifying the parts and how they affect tone.
Can anyone check my answers?
1. Tips - the top of the mouthpeice (round thin tip area)?
2. Rails - the flat part that goes to the tip?
3. Lay - ????
4. Facing ??
5. Sidewalls??

*Now... as you mess with one of the other... how does that change tone.
*What would a starter / intermediate / expert mouthpeice be?
*How would/ what would change to make a beginner mouthpiece to an expert?

Thanks in advance to all of your input and help.

Markeymark



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 Re: Mouthpieces
Author: Mark Charette (---.sneezy.org)
Date:   2004-07-20 03:00

See http://www.woodwind.org/clarinet/Equipment/MBL/Mouthpiece.html for the defintions of the words.

For what affects what ... the answer is not simple, since all dimensions are tightly interrelated.

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 Re: Mouthpieces
Author: BobD (65.54.98.---)
Date:   2004-07-20 12:57

Mark...may I suggest that you set up your regular horn with your regular reed and mouthpiece and play it to your satisfaction. Then take the worst mp you bought and change the setup by only changing the mp....and see how it sounds. Then using a suitable relatively fine garnet paper placed on a flat glass start experimenting by sanding the "playing side" of the mp. After each few passes try the mp again and see what happens. You can periodically visually compare the profile of the experimental mp with your regular one. I am a firm believer that one learns by doing.

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 Re: Mouthpieces
Author: hans (---.sympatico.ca)
Date:   2004-07-20 14:13

markeymark,

This may help you....

The flat part, on which the reed is placed, is called the "table", the two sides of the opening covered by the reed are called the "side rails", and the fourth side of the opening is called the "end rail". The side rails curve away from the reed so that at the "tip" of the mouthpiece, they are farthest from the reed. This gap between the tip of the reed and the end rail is called the "opening". The area of non-contact between the rails and the reed is called the "lay". The entire set of measurements on the face of the mouthpiece is called the "facing".

The bevel inside the tip is called the "baffle"; the size and shape of the throat is the "tone chamber"; and the opening into the barrel is the "bore". The tone chamber has a major influence on tone quality.

The point where the rails leave the reed is similar to a fulcrum, even though the thick end of the reed does not leave the table. Thus, the longer the lay is, the stiffer the reed will have to be in order to overcome the longer vibrating section. The more open the mouthpiece, the softer the reed will have to be in order to close the mouthpiece easily. These principles should be used to guide the choice of a reed.

A mouthpiece which is too open will be rough in sound, while one which is not open enough will lack volume and flexibility and will seem "stuffy".

Regards,
Hans

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 Re: Mouthpieces
Author: Don Berger (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date:   2004-07-20 14:38

M M - I agree with BobD's "educational" mouthpiece refacing advice. I use Silicon Carbide [SiC to chemists etc] paper/cloth, fine grit, 1500, 1200, 800 to "flatten the table", which demonstrates to you where the "curve/facing/lay" begins, usually about halfway on the "wind-cut" [opening]. About 20 mm from the tip is average. Then a few "back-lifting" strokes [at a time] [all of this on a very flat surface] is sufficient to make a moderate change in mp performance. To "polish" the table and lay I use a sheet or so of newspaper [newsprint] which will "shine" the table, rails and tip, removing the fine scratches left by the "sanding". Needless to say, like scraping reeds, you cannot put "it" back on, so its a trial/evaluation/success? procedure, step-wise. Thats my amateur's method, hopefully some of our "pros" will give you better advice. LUCK, Don

Thanx, Mark, Don

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