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 RE: Question about A clarinet
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2002-07-31 19:19

The resistance you feel when you play the clarinet is the combined effect of many factors, some but probably not all of which include:

reed strength -- "harder" reed, greater resistance
mouthpiece tip opening -- greater tip opening, greater resistance
mouthpiece facing length -- shorter facing, greater resistance
clarinet bore -- smaller bore, greater resistance

To some extent, an increase in resistance from one source can be offset by a reduction in resistance from some other source.

As I mentioned in my earlier response to this thread, A clarinets frequently have a smaller bore than their companion Bb (and, in general smaller bores than Bb's), this translates into greater resistance if you hold everything else constant. If your A clarinet is inherently more resistant than your Bb, a reed/mouthpiece combination that feels good on the Bb may very well feel too stiff on the A and a reed mouthpiece combination that feels good on the A may very well feel too soft on the Bb.

You can compensate for the increased resistance in the clarinet either with the mouthpiece or with the reed you're using (or both). In other words, if you have a mouthpiece you really like, you can use it to play the Mozart Concerto on your A or a Weber Concerto on your Bb by choosing an appropriate reed. However, if you are playing a piece that requires you to switch clarinets in the middle, this method of compensation probably won't work very well because you usually don't have time to change reeds. ("Uh, Conductor. Oh, Conductor! Could we please pause here [in the middle of this symphonic movement] so that I can change my reed?" ;^) ) If the difference between the two instruments isn't too great, you may be able to find a reed that strikes a happy medium between the two. Then you can use the same mouthpiece/reed with both. If the difference is so great that you cannot find a "happy medium" reed, then you will need to use a separate mouthpiece for each. (Though it could conceivably be two mouthpieces of the same make and model but with different reeds.)

Best regards,

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 Topics Author  Date
 Question about A clarinet  new
charles 2002-07-28 04:36 
 RE: Question about A clarinet  new
ron b 2002-07-28 06:06 
 RE: Question about A clarinet  new
Gordon (NZ) 2002-07-28 11:01 
 RE: Question about A clarinet  new
John O'Janpa 2002-07-28 12:40 
 RE: Question about A clarinet  new
Don Berger 2002-07-28 13:38 
 RE: Question about A clarinet  new
Richard 2002-07-28 16:11 
 RE: Question about A clarinet  new
Jack Kissinger 2002-07-28 16:49 
 RE: Question about A clarinet  new
JMcAulay 2002-07-28 20:37 
 RE: Question about A clarinet  new
charles 2002-07-29 01:55 
 RE: Question about A clarinet  new
ClarinetQween 2002-07-29 17:46 
 RE: Question about A clarinet  new
Paul Harris 2002-07-31 05:43 
 RE: Question about A clarinet  new
Gretchen 2002-07-31 14:51 
 RE: Question about A clarinet  new
Jack Kissinger 2002-07-31 19:19 

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