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Author: Susan 
Date:   1999-08-31 22:33

Is there a major difference (other than price) in using the black plastic mouthpiece as opposed to a clear plastic mouthpiece? What brand is best? Can anyone clue this clueless parent in? Thanks.

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 RE: mouthpiece
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-31 23:46

Mouthpieces vary all over the place in price, quality, and whatnot. For what type of player (beginner, intermediate, advanced)? What clarinet? There's enough people out here to get you started in the right directions.

Prices for good mouthpieces start at around $30 and go up into the $100s.

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 RE: mouthpiece
Author: William Fuller 
Date:   1999-09-01 05:01

The "clear plastic" mp you are referring to is probably not plastic but crystal. These are a bit more expensive and are very fragile. I recommend a hard rubber mp for durability and tone quality. Selmer makes some good ones as does LeBlanc (Larry Combs #3 or the K-10s). Yamaha has some of the best student line plastic mps on the market for around $20. Any of the above would be adequate for a beginner. Pro custom mps can cost as much as $250--not recommended ofor beginners unless $$ is of no problem to you. Good luck!!!.

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 RE: mouthpiece
Author: William Fuller 
Date:   1999-09-01 05:03

OOPS!!! Forgot to mention VanDorens M-13 Lyra, a very popular contemporary mp for around $75. And don't forget to get a Bonade inverted ligiture to go with it.

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 RE: mouthpiece
Author: Daniel 
Date:   1999-09-01 06:07

William Fuller wrote:
The "clear plastic" mp you are referring to is probably not plastic but crystal.

Pyne makes a clear plastic beginner model. Not sure if Bamber makes a clear plastic model for clarinet but i know he does for sax. They cost about the same as any other student model mouthpiece.

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 RE: mouthpiece
Author: John Scorgie 
Date:   1999-09-01 22:23

Susan -

Your question re black plastic v clear plastic could better be answered by a clarinet playing college chemistry major. Since none have yet volunteered an answer, I will do my best.

As I understand it, the color makes no difference because these modern thermoplastics or acrylic plastics can be made in any color of the rainbow, or clear. The basic material is the same.

Most of the mouthpiece makers offer their student (plastic) mouthpieces in black. Some offer them in clear plastic. At least one maker (Bilger?) offers you a choice between the two. Probably the only reason that some makers offer clear plastic mouthpieces is that there is a market demand for them due to their similarity in appearance to crystal (glass) mouthpieces.

So take your choice based on cosmetics. The reason that the clear plastic mouthpiece from maker X sounds different or responds different from the black plastic mouthpiece from maker Y is due to differences in design from maker to maker, and has nothing to do with the color of the mpce.

There is no "best" mouthpiece. Fortunately, these days you can buy excellent quality low priced mouthpieces (about $30) from several makers such as Fobes, Hawkins, Hite, Jewel, Pyne, Ridenour etc. If there is a good musical instrument dealer near you, they will have several of these "student" mpces in stock at all times.

Whatever you do, don't buy a crystal mouthpiece for a young player. Crystal is a fancy name for glass, and glass mouthpieces are very fragile at the tip. Young players have enough trouble trying to learn all of the elements that go into playing well without having to worry about fracturing the mpce tip each time the mpce is placed into the mouth.

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