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 "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: denkii (---.cpe.net.cable.rogers.com - (Rogers Cable) Richmond Hill, ON Canada)
Date:   2011-11-27 22:25

Hey everyone!

So I've been playing jazz on my B45 Prof 88 and I just wanted to try out some "jazz" mouthpieces. I recently went to a music store and tried out a few Vandorens and a JodyJazz. After trying the closed tip ones and the more open tip 5JB I must say I really liked the volume and fullness I could get out of the 5JB (when using a #3 reed I felt it was the right strength to still be responsive but not have the really distorted duck quacking noise on the lower notes); however, the JodyJazz was pretty bad in my opinion, maybe I needed a #2 reed and the softest I had was only #2.5. Anyways, are there any other relatively big brand open-tip mouthpieces that would be available in most music stores? Or would it be better to get a few on trial from wwbw or other sites like that?

Thanks a lot!

Bjorn

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: William (---.dhcp.mdsn.wi.charter.com - (Charter Communications) Madison, WI United States)
Date:   2011-11-28 13:56

For starters: http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=317073&t=317070

IMOHO, there is no such thing as a "jazz" mouthpiece, but rather, the mouthipiece that plays like you want it to. What plays for me is not necessarily what will play for you--you need to discover your own. One bit of advice, rely less on the mouthpiece but more on the development of your concept of clarinet tambre (via listening) and the strength of your embouchure (via study and practice). So much is dependent on what you think is "jazz" or "good" and your own oral configuration, which you are pretty much born with.

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: chris moffatt (---.kaballero.com - (KABALLERO.COM LLC ACC BUSINESS) White Stone, VA United States)
Date:   2011-11-28 14:35

What William said - there is no such thing as a jazz mouthpiece. There ain't no such thing as a 'jazz clarinet' either. But there are jazz musicians.

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: SteveG_CT (159.245.32.---)
Date:   2011-11-28 15:27

chris moffatt wrote:

> What William said - there is no such thing as a jazz
> mouthpiece.

Agreed. As an example, Benny Goodman often played on a Woodwind G7* mouthpiece that was marketed by Woodwind Co as being "for dance and symphony players".

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: denkii (---.cpe.net.cable.rogers.com - (Rogers Cable) Richmond Hill, ON Canada)
Date:   2011-11-28 19:48

I actually read a bit on that thread, but when I was playing on the "open" tips I really just felt more powerful, and I really need the volume for the bands/ ensembles I'm playing in and I just thought open tips were a way of having greater volume. I guess I'll just go to other big stores in my area to try out some more. It just seems the clarinet retail mouthpiece market is littered with Vandorens and I don't mind using relatively smaller brands.

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: Arnoldstang (---.dsl.bell.ca - (Bell Canada) Hamilton, ON Canada)
Date:   2011-11-28 22:23

Try a Portnoy 2. It might work for you. It's about .050". Also Buddy Defranco....might be good... it's made by Bari BDF. Some people also like the Brilharts.

Freelance woodwind performer

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: Ed (---.dhcp.nwtn.ct.charter.com - (Charter Communications) Newtown, CT United States)
Date:   2011-11-28 23:26

I agree with the above comments about classifying pieces as jazz or classical, etc. I would also be careful about going too open as control and intonation may become an issue. Sometimes the really open mouthpieces give an illusion of a big sound, but may not project as well because it can get too diffuse.

Try a bunch of things of all types and see what clicks for you.

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: fuzzystradjazz (---.lar-wy.client.bresnan.net - (Bresnan Communications) Laramie, WY United States)
Date:   2011-11-28 23:31

denkii -

I think you'll find a good deal of your decision will be based on the clarinet/mouthpiece combination. I personally use a Pete Fountain crystal mouthpiece which (by stats) is a pretty run-of-the-mill mouthpiece (not a whole lot more "open" in playability than a Pyne Signature I have)...but when I put it on my "jazz" clarinet (an old albert system) - the sound I get it very open compared to my Pyne. Also, the mouthpiece FEELS more open, and gives me lots more control - it's odd, but it's what I experience when playing on it. I love it - but it has a lot to do with the combination of the mouthpiece and clarinet...more-so than "just" being a good mouthpiece. It plays much differently on my boehm system concert clarinet.

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 Jazz Clarinet Mouthpieces
Author: Arnoldstang (---.dsl.bell.ca - (Bell Canada) Hamilton, ON Canada)
Date:   2011-11-30 03:27

Call a spade a spade. The jazz idiom generally speaking requires equipment that has the capacity to play louder. This doesn't mean you have to be insensitive or crude all the time. It is just part of the idiom. Very respected mouthpiece makers even admit this. see Fobes, Grabner, Morgan, Pomarico, Krass, even Vandoren admits it. Lomax also. They all sell jazz clarinet mouthpieces. You can use any mouthpiece you want for jazz clarinet. Go ahead and get the smallest tip opening you can find and use a #5 Vandoren reed. It's your choice but for most people this won't work in the idiom.

Freelance woodwind performer

Post Edited (2011-11-30 03:54)

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: sfalexi (---.ags.bellsouth.net - (BellSouth.net) Augusta, GA United States)
Date:   2011-11-30 06:59

Arnoldstang wrote:

Go ahead and get the
> smallest tip opening you can find and use a #5 Vandoren reed.
> It's your choice but for most people this won't work in the
> idiom.
>

>
> Post Edited (2011-11-30 03:54)

That's pretty much what I play (small tip, hard reed) and I feel I can get pretty loud. Maybe I'd be louder on a more open mouthpiece, but I find I can do pretty well as is so I'm not worried about it.

I know you may have read or been told that an open mouthpiece is more "flexible", or better for bends or scoops, but don't believe that. You can bend, scoop, smear, gliss, whatever you want on any mouthpiece.

If you wanna try an open mouthpiece, go right ahead, but I say find a mouthpiece that works pretty darned well with you, and just work with it. I think it's more the player that gets the flexibility and volume than the mouthpiece. Heck, if you're comfortable with the mouthpiece you already have and just want to be louder, look at Doc Henderson's Power Barrel. B45 would probably be fine.

Alexi

Clarinetist with the 282nd Army Band - Fort Jackson's Own

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: Ed (---.dyn.optonline.net - (Optimum WiFi) Bronx, NY United States)
Date:   2011-11-30 11:53

There are as many approaches to playing and equipment as there are players. Everyone should find what works best for them

FWIW- I don't know what the current status is, but for years Eddie Daniels did pretty well on a traditional style mouthpiece with a pretty close tip.

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: denkii (---.cpe.net.cable.rogers.com - (Rogers Cable) Richmond Hill, ON Canada)
Date:   2011-12-01 00:14

Thanks a lot for the replies.

I've heard many good reviews on mouthpieces by some custom makers like Walter Grabner, that have relatively closed tips but still can have the volume and projection. Maybe it's just because I've been only trying Vandorens, or Vandoren "clones", and maybe that's the nature of their design for having larger tips? After getting a new clarinet, a while ago and getting a deal on a free ligature, I do feel that gear is almost too hyped (or at least not something a player at my level should worry about) but I really do feel that the 5JB made a noticeable difference. I might just try out some of Grabner's pieces including the Intermezzo to see if it's worth it.

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: ned (---.hdcz1.win.bigpond.net.au - (Telstra Internet) Melbourne, 07 Australia)
Date:   2011-12-01 01:54

Yes, as others have said, there's no such thing as a jazz mouthpiece - you DO have to have a jazz mouth though. I'm referring obviously to embouchure..........

''I must say I really liked the volume and fullness I could get out of the 5JB (when using a #3 ''

This is my set up, by the way. Works well for me with Rico Royal reeds.



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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: Buster (---.neo.res.rr.com - (Road Runner) Canton, OH United States)
Date:   2011-12-01 23:39

anybody ever even consider why "jazz" clarinet mouthpieces pragmatically are more open?

It's not an issue of volume, though I'm not about to get into some "drop your pants an' let's compete" fight about that.....

Just, perhaps, many approaching "jazz" clarinet are saxophonists that would feel uncomfortable on a smaller tip opening.

Conversely, as a clarinetist approaching the tenor sax, I prefer around a 4* or so that allows me to use a bit stiffer reed than the 7*- or larger- that seem to be more popular.

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: Arnoldstang (---.dsl.bell.ca - (Bell Canada) Hamilton, ON Canada)
Date:   2011-12-02 03:32

Is there a general agreement here that there is such a thing as a 'chamber mouthpiece' for clarinet? ie Mouthpieces that are more suited to that style of music.

Freelance woodwind performer

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: ned (---.hdcz1.win.bigpond.net.au - (Telstra Internet) Melbourne, 07 Australia)
Date:   2011-12-02 05:18

Buster writes ''anybody ever even consider why "jazz" clarinet mouthpieces pragmatically are more open?''

This is just MY situation I should point out. And that is, I want good volume to cut through six other players in the standard NO jazz combo.

I also want a broad, full tone.

Generally speaking I won't use a microphone, so a wide lay MP is mandatory (for me that is) in addition to a stiff(ish) reed. Currently Rico Royal 3 and 1/2.

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: Arnoldstang (---.dsl.bell.ca - (Bell Canada) Hamilton, ON Canada)
Date:   2011-12-02 20:53

Well this is my very point! Generally speaking the idiom requires a "jazz mouthpiece". There are many instances where one doesn't have the luxury of a microphone to help project over the din. It was true in Artie Shaw's time and also today.

Freelance woodwind performer

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: denkii (---.cpe.net.cable.rogers.com - (Rogers Cable) Richmond Hill, ON Canada)
Date:   2011-12-02 23:59

Similarly to ned, I also feel like I need a loud mouthpiece to actually be heard in the ensembles I play. If there was a closed tip mouthpiece that could be able to play loud I'd gladly try it, except I really don't know about all the physics and stuff.

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: oca (173.85.207.---)
Date:   2011-12-04 08:33

I'm very curious on the topic.
Why do you want a different mouth piece for a different genre?

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: davyd (---.dc.dc.cox.net - (Cox Communications) Annandale, VA United States)
Date:   2011-12-04 18:42

"There ain't no such thing as a 'jazz clarinet' either. But there are jazz musicians."

I'm not so sure even of that. There are musicians who are skilled in jazz techniques and knowledgeable about jazz styles, and those who are less so. How would Reginald Kell or Jack Brymer have fared with "Sing sing sing"?

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 Re:
Author: Buster (---.neo.res.rr.com - (Road Runner) Canton, OH United States)
Date:   2011-12-04 22:34

Just food for thought:

I have a very good mouthpiece that projects too much so I don't use it. (If you can't understand why stop reading.)

It is quite down the middle in measurements. .....but for the Mozart Quintet, or Brahms Sonati, it would simply be stupid.

For large orchestral work it can sound like I am bragging, so it stays stored away. (and no it's not for sale. It is simply a stupid piece of rubber.)

-When discussing "jazz" clarinet, or set-up, the definition of time-period is essential.

What style is needed for "Black Bottom Stomp", or the music of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, or the charts of Thad Jones/Mel Lewis is quite varied.

Last time I played "Black Bottom....." I really wished to get my hands on an acceptable old Albert System horn, but my search came up empty. Yet I found a way to sound like a period dixie-land clarinetist.

The lead clarinet voice in Glenn Miller is something entirely different, but is still within reach on a reasonable set-up.

Then you get to Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw etc..........

It comes to a point where you need to ask yourself are you emulating a person, or performing in a specific style. If you wish to emulate a person, vaya con Dios as your journey will be fraught with frustration. If you wish to emulate a style, then we're getting somewhere. With a bit of listening you can get it with about any set-up you wish. ----------Or you can search a particular mouthpiece for every specific decade of music at hand...............

Again, "jazz" style mouthpieces generally exist for saxophonists that are not comfortable on a smaller tip opening- but this is simply an issue of pragmatic comfort.

On my set-up I can play with just as much volume as a "jazz" piece. (Though it is not a competition.) I can "sound like" any style with a simple change in approach.

About the only thing I cannot do is play in the 'banda sinaloense' style- but if you have played that set-up you'll know what that entails and why it cannot be approximated by any reasonable mouthpiece.



Post Edited (2011-12-04 22:36)

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: ned (---.hdcz1.win.bigpond.net.au - (Telstra Internet) Box Hill, 07 Australia)
Date:   2011-12-05 00:02

Buster wrote: ''Last time I played "Black Bottom....." I really wished to get my hands on an acceptable old Albert System horn, but my search came up empty. Yet I found a way to sound like a period dixie-land clarinetist. ''

Buster, you must be one hell of a player to tackle this number, in Eb (concert) at about 230 b.p.m.

It beats me and I have been playing an Albert system since 1967.

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: ned (---.hdcz1.win.bigpond.net.au - (Telstra Internet) Box Hill, 07 Australia)
Date:   2011-12-05 00:44

Buster wrote: ''Last time I played "Black Bottom....." I really wished to get my hands on an acceptable old Albert System horn, but my search came up empty. Yet I found a way to sound like a period dixie-land clarinetist. ''

Buster, you must be one hell of a player to tackle this number, in Eb (concert) at about 230 b.p.m.

It beats me and I have been playing an Albert system since 1967.

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 Re:
Author: Buster (---.neo.res.rr.com - (Road Runner) Canton, OH United States)
Date:   2011-12-05 00:52

Ned,

You must be talking about a different chart, or you have a funky arrangement. And I don't try to project myself as a "hell of a clarinet player" lest you misunderstand my intentions. All I know is that I've quite successfully played the solo many a time.

*Jelly Roll Morton's "Black Bottom Stomp" begins in Bb concert for starters. It's around 230 yes, but the famous solo from the '26 recording (Omer Simeon on clar.) is technically not that challenging. ----Those are eight's you're hearin'- not 16th's. A 2 beat double rhythm.

(That famous solo is centered around Eb concert as the chart has modulated for all of the solos. The chart strays back to Bb for moments, but does conclude in the modulated key)

The clarinet solo is actually fairly simply when you look at it. Extremely idiomatic to the instrument. Consists of alternating Bb7 (V7) ornamented arppegios and Eb a'rppgs.... (simple V7-I) speaking in concert pitch. (so... C7-F for the clar.)

It does have an extended iidim7-V7 turn-around near the end, which may throw some not accustomed to the style (2 bars of a-dim7 followed by Bb7): but the adim7 is a straight broken descending arpeggio. (or bdim7-C7 for the clarinet.)

(I know- technically not a ii-V, but it serves as one. The b serves as a modulation to a secondary tonic of C. This C then turns into C7 which serves as a modulation back to the key center of F. Remember music of this period drew heavily from classic period compositions. These kinds of relationships are quite commonplace. We call it a ii-V just for the sake of simplicity.)

Stylistically much more challenging than technically me thinks.

(We didn't have a banjo player for one performance so my friend tried to 'interpret' it on soprano sax.- That ate him alive.)

-Jason



Post Edited (2011-12-05 06:40)

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 Re:
Author: Buster (---.neo.res.rr.com - (Road Runner) Canton, OH United States)
Date:   2011-12-05 01:06

found the original recording

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGAeqQNh3cI

clarinet solo at 1:15

as much of a Be-Bop head as I am, does it get any better than 6 or 7 musicians sittin' and jamming like this?



Post Edited (2011-12-05 01:09)

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 Re: "Jazz" mouthpieces
Author: ned (---.hdcz1.win.bigpond.net.au - (Telstra Internet) Box Hill, 07 Australia)
Date:   2011-12-05 05:11

''You must be talking about a different chart, or you have a funky arrangement.''

No..........this is the same classic recording I was alluding to...................it must be me then I suppose.

Do you also play the Morton version of Doctor Jazz in Db? It's on the same RCA LP I purchased in...............I've forgotten but.........1967 or thereabouts.

''6 or 7 musicians sittin' and jamming like this?''

This sounds very colourful but, I don't think they were jamming though Buster. All the writings I have read about JR Morton indicate that ALL of his musos were pretty much up there with respect to reading and that they followed fairly tight arrangements.

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 Re:
Author: Buster (---.neo.res.rr.com - (Road Runner) Canton, OH United States)
Date:   2011-12-05 06:37

None of this has to do with jazz mouthpieces, but as such,

I don't have the chart in front of me, but in listening to the recording alone I can hear the first A section is in Bb, the B section in Eb and the return of the A remains in Eb. A very common form for the time. (Which I see I stated in a confusing way earlier- I will edit it.)

Perhaps I misled with the pejorative "jammin'" to mean that all was improvisational. (And improvisation is a term that is quite misleading with what it actually entails. But that is worthy of a separate discussion.) Perhaps I would speak in looser words in my everyday settings and say they were swinging the **** out of it.

In speaking with David Baker (I have never personally seen the manuscript), the A section was sketched out with the thematic elements and played more or less as such, with few ornaments. In the B section, the solos were written out for the clarinet and trumpet (taken from what those players were improvising in earlier days.) I do not recall what was written for the banjo and piano.

Yet listen to the first "solo" in the B section. It is not a written solo for trumpet. That is the very common call-and-response "trio" of trumpet/trombone/clarinet that pervades this style of music; a call-and-response tradition carried over from Slave Spirituals.

The actual written solos are then presented without counter-melody.

However, when the A section returns and the original themes are presented, each voice is playing them in a planned improvisational manner (to take all the spirit out of it.) The themes are there, mutated in an improvisational manner, counter-melodies are then played in response to this, all fitting together in a jammin' little package.

*Jelly Roll was extremely fortunate to have gifted musicians for the Red Hot Peppers session. They could not only read music, but play the style- which did include improvisation. The arrangements certainly were quite well planned and executed, but to deny the improvisatory nature of certain elements is short-sighted.

It has been years since I played Dr. Jazz, and it was only once as none of us wanted to sing. Yet, the principle theme is clearly stated in the trumpet with the ever important clarinet counter-melody and trombone underpinning. (The Dixie-trio for lack of a better term.) And as I recall we played it in the original key as we copped it from the record.

-Jason



Post Edited (2011-12-05 06:43)

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