Advertising and Web Hosting on Woodwind.Org!

Woodwind.OrgThe Clarinet BBoardThe C4 standard

  BBoard Equipment Study Resources Music General    
 New Topic  |  Go to Top  |  Go to Topic  |  Search  |  Help/Rules  |  Smileys/Notes  |  Log In   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 
 e-flat contra-alto reeds
Author: benjamin leis 
Date:   2001-11-20 15:41

I just borrowed a contra-alto clarinet for a wind ensemble that I play in. I took some of my contra-bass reeds and used them initially which seemed to work ok. I was wondering if there are actual specific contra alto reeds? I've also been told bari-sax reeds might work as well. Thanks for any info,

Reply To Message
 RE: e-flat contra-alto reeds
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2001-11-20 17:03

Depends on the instrument and what mouthpiece it takes. Some models use standard bass clarinet mouthpieces and so take bass clarinet reeds. Others are setup for contra- mouthpieces and reeds. Mine is the first type - uses a standard bass clar mpce setup. I will have to open the coffin at home and look before saying what model instrument it is, though.

I have heard of using sax reeds on contra-clarinets, as well as tenor sax reeds on bass-clarinets - success with this will depend on both the mouthpiece and the player.



Reply To Message
 RE: e-flat contra-alto reeds
Author: Ken Shaw 
Date:   2001-11-20 17:32

Benjamin -

Rico makes contra-alto reeds, but only in the cheap orange-box style. It's better than nothing, but not much.

For my Selmer Eb contra-alto, with a Selmer mouthpiece, I've found that Vandoren bass sax reeds are just the right size. (Vandoren doesn't make contra-alto reeds, and their contrabass reeds are made for the older Leblanc mouthpiece, which is considerably wider.)

Contra reeds last for a long time, so it's worthwhile to do some work on them. Contra reeds should be as soft as possible -- just stiff enough to avoid a "flapping" sound on loud low notes.

However, these reeds almost all warp down the center of the bottom, which kills the response and causes squeaks. Therefore, I buy Vandoren # 4s, which are much too stiff, and put them on a fine-tooth file (or 400 grit sandpaper over a sheet of plate glass). By the time I get them truly flat on the bottom and balance them from side to side, they're about # 2 or 2-1/2.

Good luck.

Ken Shaw

Reply To Message
 RE: e-flat contra-alto reeds
Author: William Hughes 
Date:   2001-11-20 17:39


Here are some useful threads re. the contra alto, various mouthpieces and reeds. You need to say what model contra and mpc you are using. There are some experienced players here who can advise you further.

Reply To Message
 RE: e-flat contra-alto reeds
Author: willie 
Date:   2001-11-21 03:53

Like Ken says, it depends on what mouthpiece you have. I have 2 mouthpices for my metal Leblanc contra alto. The stock Leblanc MPc is an older one that uses the full sized contra reed. It sounds best in the lower register but takes a bit more lung capacity. I use the VanDoren #2s on it. The other MPc is a Selmer C* and it is cut for the smaller reed. The bass sax reed fits about perfect, but is hard for me to find around here so I substiitute a LaVoz bari sax reed as it fits nice too. I have to work it over on 1500 grit wet-n-dry to get a better reed but it will work fine after this. The Lavoz bari reed is just a hair wider than the VD bari reed, so it seals better. However if you can find the bass sax reed in your area, go for it as it will sound better.

Reply To Message
 RE: e-flat contra-alto reeds
Author: David Spiegelthal 
Date:   2001-11-21 18:01

For EEb contra, you should be able to use bari sax reeds if contra clarinet reeds are unavailable. Despite advice to the contrary, I recommend fairly hard reeds (#4 or higher) and a mouthpiece that's more open than generally available -- I play on a refaced Bundy 3 which I've opened way up, and I use a combination of Marca and Vandoren #4 EEb contra reeds, and #4-1/2 Fred Hemke bari sax reeds.

Reply To Message
 Avail. Forums  |  Threaded View   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 

 Avail. Forums  |  Need a Login? Register Here 
 User Login
 User Name:
 Remember my login:
 Forgot Your Password?
Enter your email address or user name below and a new password will be sent to the email address associated with your profile.
Search Woodwind.Org

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

The Clarinet Pages
is sponsored by:

For Sale
Put your ads for items you'd like to sell here. Free! Please, no more than two at a time - ads removed after two weeks.

Music & Books
CDs, Sheet Music, and some of the greatest reference books ever written!

Accessories that every clarinetist needs - reed makers and shapers, ligatures, greases, oils, and preservatives ... and more!

Retailers and manufacturers of clarinets, both modern and early replica

Mouthpieces & Barrels
Fine makers of mouthpieces and barrels, from wood to crystal to hard rubber and plastic

Major events especially for clarinetists

Great reeds available from around the world

Services and products too varied to categorize! Repair, recording, news

Instrument repairs, restorations, adjustments, and overhauls.

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact