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 Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: sarah.huskey 
Date:   2010-06-04 21:23

I've been playing B-flat for quite a while now and have recently purchased a bass clarinet. I need a mouthpiece - I know I do not like the Vandoren B45 for bass clarinet (or b-flat). I play on a Vandoren M13 with my b-flat and it works well for me.

My bass clarinet is a Yamaha 221 - any suggestions of what type of mouthpiece my work for me?

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2010-06-04 21:54

Tough call. Bass is quite a different beast from soprano (embouchure-wise, air, support and everything) and so your mouthpiece needs may be different as well.

Being a parsimonious and cautious character, I started with a Behn Ouverture (a student mouthpiece), and so far I am happy with it.


Post Edited (2010-06-04 21:55)

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: tdinap 
Date:   2010-06-04 22:13

I play an M13 on Bb as well (for what it's worth), and I just started playing bass this past fall. I started on what I think was an old B45 with a junky metal ligature, but quickly switched to a Hite mouthpiece and what looks like a BG ligature (but without the logo on the side) on a recommendation. I found that both items independently felt significantly better than the previous setup.

Quick note: the Hite required harder reeds than the B45--I found Vandoren 3.5's worked well for me.

I didn't do any looking around at different models, as I don't actually own any part of the setup, but it turned out pretty well for a bass beginner like myself. (I was somewhat surprised, too, because I hate the Hite Premiere soprano mouthpiece.)


Post Edited (2010-06-04 22:14)

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: pewd 
Date:   2010-06-04 22:57

Fobes Basso Nova
Rovner Dark Ligature
vandoren blue box #3.0

- Paul Dods
Dallas, Texas

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: tkillian 
Date:   2010-06-04 23:02

I think the Fobes is amazing!

I am a college and public school teacher for 21 years, AND my college friends suggested the Fobes.

Its amazing and he is great to deal with.

I also second the Rovner ligature.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: William 
Date:   2010-06-04 23:34

IMHO--you can do no better than a Walter Grabner CXZ_LB mouthpiece. It is a top pro model and you may think, a bit pricey, but his mouthpieces are worth every penny. He has other mpcies from which to choose--here is his site: http://www.clarinetxpress.com/bass.html

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2010-06-05 00:26

I agree with William on the mouthpiece recommendation. The bass clarinet can be difficult enough, and if you have the money the Grabner or the Fobes should be at the top of your list to try. I play the Grabner mentioned above, and don't think I'll be considering another mouthpiece for some time.

Regarding comments above, I disagree that the bass requires significant differences in embouchure, air support, and everything. I play bass with the same foundational concepts that I play soprano.

That being said, I also play sax without issue with a clarinet embouchure.


Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: USFBassClarinet 
Date:   2010-06-05 00:52

If you don't like the B45, you might try a B44, I find it plays very different from the B45.

The Grabner is a good way to go.
I haven't played the Fobes, but have heard good things about them from others as well.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: LCL 
Date:   2010-06-05 01:17


I have played BC since 1959 and currently have a Leblanc Low C professional on which I use a Pomarico Crystal Jazz mpc. It is very open and many will tell you that that is not the best option. But it works wonderfully for me, since I need and always have used relatively soft reeds (2 to 2-1/2). Some will tell you that is not good or correct either, but it works for me. I use a Rovner Dark ligature and a Legere reed. I also own a Fobes, Grabner and Backun and all of these have worked well in the past.

Regards and best of luck with your quest - you will no doubt see that I've been at it a long time!


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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: Ed 
Date:   2010-06-05 02:41

Any Fobes mouthpieces that I have played- from the Debut up to the pro models are all superb. Clark does an especially nice job with bass mouthpieces.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2010-06-05 15:08

I play a Selmer C# and have been very successful in my teaching when recommending them to students. I don't like the B45 either on bass. They can be inconsistent though, as I've discovered are all mouthpieces no matter who makes them. I suggest you try several of what ever type you try. Most of the time I have people send them to Dave McClune to "voice" properly if they aren't completely satisfied with the ones they try, in which case I suggest picking the best of at least 3 or 4 and sending it to him. Or you can get one that he's already voiced directly from him. I prefer choosing the best one first and then sending it if necessary. My back up is a Forbes RR facing which plays very much like the Vandoren-McClune C*. There are other good ones as well so if you're inclined you should try as many as you can. If you're not I don't think you will go wrong with a C* and can always get it voiced later when you're more experienced. That will be the same with whatever you get because as you become more proficient on the bass your needs will probably change. ESP http://eddiesclarinet.com

PS. I have some good hints on playing bass on my website if you're interested in check it out, it's free of course.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: William 
Date:   2010-06-05 15:15

Opps--I should have mentioned that I also have a Pomarico "Jazz" 1 crystal bass clarinet mouthpiece that plays very nicely--so well that I used it for almost a year. But I finally realized that my Grabner mpc played just a "little bit" better in terms of tone quality, dynamic flexability and response--especially on those G#5 & A5 notes.

Concerning reeds, up until last Thursday, I was playing Legere #3 reeds on my Grabner, but now am experimenting with the new Forestone bass clarinet reeds that Lars sent me. I played both the F3.5 & F2.5 during our 3 hour Capitol City Band rehearsal and was particularing impressed by the tone quality and eveness of response of these new reeds. They both started out a bit on the stiff side, but as they warmed up, began to play quite nicely for me and retained their resilience for the entire time I kept them on my mouthpiece. I will be playing the other two F2.5 & F3.5 reeds for this Sundays 3 hr rehearsal and suspect I will never go back to the Legeres. The superior tone quality of these new Forestones is what I like over the Legeres, plus the better response in the upper register. I also have a couple F4.5's that seemed too stiff for me to use, but I might tr them with my Pomarico Jazz and see how it goes. More later..........

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: 2E 
Date:   2010-06-06 01:54

LCL wrote:

"I also own a Fobes, Grabner and Backun and all of these have worked well in the past."

I also didn't like the Vandoren B44 or B45 when I tried them and am considering trying a few Backun bass mouthpieces, can you share any more information on them? Otherwise I'll try some Grabner CXZ_LB mouthpieces.

I'm currently playing on a Selmer E facing, and also have a Selmer C* which is also quite good with Vandoren size 3 reeds.


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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: SteveG_CT 
Date:   2010-06-06 05:45

I'm in a similar situation having recently started playing bass again after playing nothing but Bb soprano for the past 10 years. I've been experimenting with a couple of different mouthpieces and so far the one I like the best is a Fobes Basso Nova.

I should note however that you may need to be a little careful with reed selection with the Fobes mouthpieces. Although you often hear that Fobes mouthpieces are more or less designed to work with Vandoren reeds I have found that the Vandoren blue box reeds are too narrow (barely extend past the inside edges of the side rails) for either of the two mouthpieces I have tried. Rico reeds seem to fit perfectly however.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: 2E 
Date:   2010-06-06 08:05

You can also try tenor saxophone reeds on bass clarinet mouthpieces. They seem to be a bit thicker and larger sound than bass clarinet reeds, not to mention the larger selection of cuts available for jazz saxophonists. I'd really like to know more about the backun bass mouthpieces so I know whether to order a bunch in to try or not.

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: Chetclarinet 
Date:   2010-06-06 13:46

I currently play on either a Kaspar Cicero bass mouthpiece, also beautifully voiced by Dave McClune. Dave has a great feel for bass mouthpieces! I am also currently checking out a great sounding bass mouthpiece made by Brad Behn. This moutphiece has a beautiful, dark sound with great projection. These mouthpieces are very expensive and I do feel that a good Selmer C * will do the job for most players

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: Gandalfe 
Date:   2010-06-07 17:56

Everyone who has played my Grabner mouthpieces (on alto, bass, contra alto and contra bass) has wanted one. But what you want and what you can afford can often be two different things. So this thread is a very nice FAQ for mouthpieces to consider.

Jim and Suzy

Pacifica Big Band
Seattle, Washington

Post Edited (2010-06-07 17:56)

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 Re: Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece
Author: sbrodt54 
Date:   2010-06-07 18:13

One more to throw into the fray, Brad Behn bass clarinet pieces. I have recently played both the Selmer blank and the Zinner blank, they both played VERY well.

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