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 facing question
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2018-01-15 21:05

This is an equipment question. I sort of understand what a facing is, and that the more experienced a player gets, the more likely they are to get really picky about their mouthpiece and its facing.
Can someone give me the basics on facings, how facings affect the pitch, or refer me to an article that will give me that info?

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 Re: facing question
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2018-01-15 21:30

A facing generally refers to the tip opening (distance from the tip of the reed to the tip of the mouthpiece) and the length of the curve (point at which the mouthpiece begins to curve away from the reed).

The determining factor for pitch is generally not the facing, as pitch is determined far more by the internal volume of the mouthpiece. However, if a facing is not flexible enough, then it will not allow you to adjust the pitch of particular notes/ranges of the instrument.

Facings determine much of the resistance of a mouthpiece and how it's going to feel. Generally, the flatter the curve the less resistant and the more extreme the curve the more resistant. So a large tip opening with a short curve would provide the most resistance and a close tip opening with long curve would provide the least resistance.

Other factors including material, size of bore, window width, rail width, and baffle shape determine how a mouthpiece will play.

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 Re: facing question
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2018-01-15 22:02

Well then I am baffled. My problem is that I am 20 cents flat, across the board. Using the short barrel. I thought it was the facing, but maybe it is the mouthpiece itself, which is a Fobes Debut. Should I try something else, and if so, what? It had such good reviews online and seemed a good fit for an experienced wind player whose principal instrument was not clarinet. It's not an air problem...I play tuba with an orchestra, and play a variety of other winds including oboe, and have no pitch problems on any of them. On brasses, the cup volume can affect pitch, but there is a tuning slide. Why would a beginner-ish mouthpiece be of such a high internal volume as to be unplayable up to pitch?

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 Re: facing question
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-01-15 22:13

NBeaty - Well done!

During a lot of my past posts I've commented that the Vandoren M series mouthpieces are too long. So if you are playing on R13's mainly, I discourage using these mouthpieces, because the upper registers above C tend to go a shade flat.

As NBeaty pointed out - A facing will not help. The bore of a mouthpiece does matter a lot, as does a good barrel.

I can probably five you some general numbers as a guide. A tip opening of 1.07 or so is probably about a medium opening in the classical world. Some of the jazz players may like a tip opening around 1.15 to 1.20. If you play with a double lip usually something around 1.03 is about right. These are VERY general guidelines.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




Post Edited (2018-01-15 23:00)

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 Re: facing question
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2018-01-15 22:19

I think you posted this reply to the wrong initial post.....

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 Re: facing question
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-01-15 22:19

EaubeauHorn - Just read your second post. 20 cents is a lot. What strength reeds and what kind of reeds are you playing on?

Next is what horn are you using? The Fobes mouthpieces are pretty decent. So lets look at your reed strength and the brand. Also the brand of the horn.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: facing question
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-01-15 22:35

Hi EaubeauHorn, you stated that you are "Using the short barrel". I seriously doubt that it's your mouthpiece.

The standard Buffet barrel length length is 66mm. The shortest they go is 62mm.

Have you measured your barrel length? Do you have a digital caliper? If so, I'm sensing that your "short" barrel is actually longer than you think.


(Edited for grammatical errors.)



Post Edited (2018-01-15 22:58)

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 Re: facing question
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2018-01-15 22:37

The Fobes Debut shouldn't be an issue. More than likely it's a problem with your barrel length, reeds, and embouchure\voicing. Make sure that your voicing is high enough (say "knee" or "she") and that you aren't using reeds that are too soft, a strength 3 in vandoren or dadario blue box should be plenty adequate.

If your reeds are too soft and your voicing too low, it will drag your overall pitch down.

If you know anyone who is a clarinetist, have them try your instrument with their mouthpiece/reed setup to see if they are at pitch.

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 Re: facing question
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2018-01-16 05:36

I took a couple lessons with a fine clarinetist with a performance degree from Bard. She did not mention technical problems. The clarinet is a Ridenour Lyrique, which I bought new. I am going to use synthetic reeds because I have had enough of reed madness with oboe, and I was up to a 3 on a legere. The clarinet is well in tune with itself, but my tuner said I was 20 cents flat on all pitches. I didn't hear any difference in pitch with tongue position. Perhaps if I decide to get back into it I'll go back to that teacher, whom I respect a lot, and ask her this specific question. I don't think it is going to get answered on the internet (duh!) but I was hoping for something simple. The included pro mouthpiece with the clarinet, I sent back, because I was basically unable to play on it. So maybe there are embouchure strength issues despite my background.

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 Re: facing question
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-01-16 06:36

This is beginning to sound like a tuner issue. Are you sure you have A = 440?

Also, what mouthpiece are you using?

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 Re: facing question
Author: Burt 
Date:   2018-01-16 07:01

I bought 2 M30's at different times. They differed in length (until I had one cut) by 2mm. The longer one was flat even with a 64mm barrel.

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