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 Mouthpiece pitch tendency
Author: Luisebv 
Date:   2018-03-20 22:55

I would like to know if someone know about the mouthpiece tunning tendencies. Because i noticed that my best mouthpiece is the only one that is really in tune. I only have three mouthpieces (5RV, CL5, BD5) all on American pitch 440. But I noticed that my BD5 was the only that rarely need to pull out the barrel for tunning.

So I decide to check out my mouthpieces with my tunner (only the mouthpiece) they pitch on C, So the results was these:
5RV + 34 cents
CL5 + 10 cents
BD5 + 3 cents

Does anyone know that is normal to this mouthpiece pitch tendency? (or just is a factory inconsistency) And it could be fixed?

One easy solution could be a longer barrel, but already try that, and only make a mess on the resgiters of the clarinet. I don't know if could be possible fixed by refacing it or something else.

Thanks for the comments

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 Re: Mouthpiece pitch tendency
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-03-21 02:13

Mouthpieces vary, especially those made by Vandoren. Maybe try some more 5RVs and CL5s.

What I find interesting is that technically speaking, the BD5's tip is the most open out of the three, CL5's tip opening is similar to that of the BD5, and the 5RV is the least open tipped. And it seems that the more closer tipped mouthpiece you play, the sharper you become. Maybe try to not use as much pressure when playing on the 5RV and the CL5, since closer-tipped generally means you don't need to apply as much pressure. Generally speaking, again, since there are many factors like facing length.

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Mouthpiece pitch tendency
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-03-21 03:19

And to add, barrels have more than just length. They may have larger or smaller bores and they may have cylindrical or inverse taper bores. The mouthpiece and barrel combination has to match the clarinet bore structure, which may have some differences throughout the bore length. Talk to a good barrel maker who can help fix your problem.

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 Re: Mouthpiece pitch tendency
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2018-03-21 08:47

The mouthpiece plays the pitch that you voice. It's easy to bend the pitch an octave or so if all your fundamentals are sound. Somewhere around a C or B (concert pitch) is what usually works best, so it sounds like your voicing is fine. Hitting a C exactly with the mouthpiece is fairly arbitrary. I just checked my own set-up, and on a blind test I land about 20 cents flat on the C. That's not a concern because this set up and voicing allow me to play well in tune with focused tone.

It's best if you have to pull out slightly to be in tune in normal conditions. This allows you some flexibility to raise the pitch if you have to play without a proper warm-up or in a colder space (or with string players!).



Post Edited (2018-03-21 08:53)

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 Re: Mouthpiece pitch tendency
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2018-03-21 17:24

I can't speak for those mouthpiece but in general some makes and models do vary somewhat in pitch the same as some barrels of the same length do. It depends on the bore size and configuration, the dimensions of the baffle, side walls, material etc. I've had some mouthpieces in my career that I needed a slightly longer or shorter barrel to compensate.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Mouthpiece pitch tendency
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2018-03-21 22:51

Ray, just in general, how does the openness of the tip affect how the mouthpiece plays?

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 Re: Mouthpiece pitch tendency
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-03-22 06:21

Let's say you have a mouthpiece with tip opening 1.15 mm, somewhat open. And we're assuming you are using a reed of the proper strength, so not a soft reed to play jazz. If you don't apply any embouchure pressure at all, you will basically just be sending air into your instrument, and no sound will be created, since the reed is too far away from the mouthpiece to vibrate, and it is this vibration which produces sound on the clarinet.

But let's say you have a mouthpiece that is identical to the one mentioned before but has a smaller tip opening (let's say 1.05 mm). And you are still using the proper strength reed for this mouthpiece. You might still have to apply a bit of pressure, but you will need much less embouchure pressure to produce a good sound. That's because the reed tip is already closer to the mouthpiece tip due to the mouthpiece being more closed. So you don't have to use as much embouchure pressure to get the reed close enough to the mouthpiece in order to get it vibrating.

Eddie Daniels explains it pretty well in this video, in case I wasn't able to explain it well enough: https://youtu.be/10LxbdRJ-UQ

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Mouthpiece pitch tendency
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-03-22 06:22

there are other pros and cons of playing mouthpieces with different tip openings, but its hard to explain. I wanted to let you understand the fundamental difference and the reasoning behind it

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Mouthpiece pitch tendency
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2018-03-22 08:48

Ray,

I just want to be clear that you are not claiming that tip opening and pitch are correlated. It's actually the volume/shape of the mouthpiece interior (including the length of the mouthpiece as a whole) that are the primary design factors affecting pitch. Hopefully one of our resident experts on mouthpiece design will comment further.

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 Re: Mouthpiece pitch tendency
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-03-22 08:59

I think tip opening also plays a huge role. Watch this video up to 1:27, where Eddie Daniels appears to share the same opinion as I do: https://youtu.be/10LxbdRJ-UQ

I have personal experience as well, as I have had my mouthpiece closed down a bit to reduce the tip opening, although my tip opening is still pretty open. The result was that I did not have to apply as much pressure to produce a good sound.

-- Ray Zhang

Post Edited (2018-03-22 09:03)

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 Re: Mouthpiece pitch tendency
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2018-03-22 09:45

Eddie doesn't say anything at all about pitch in that portion of the video. Later he mentions in passing that a sound that isn't flabby is less likely to be flat. You seem to be falsely conflating things here. There is certainly a connection between biting and pitch but if your fundamentals are sound and you are using an appropriate reed, tip opening in and of itself is not a pitch determining factor. A more open tip can provide for greater flexibility of pitch but does not set the pitch per se. You do that.



Post Edited (2018-03-22 09:48)

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 Re: Mouthpiece pitch tendency
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-03-22 11:31

Sorry for the confusion, but I never said tip opening affects pitch. I was merely replying EaubeauHorn, who wanted to know "how does the openness of the tip affect how the mouthpiece plays".

-- Ray Zhang

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