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 
 Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: Clarie 
Date:   2008-07-14 00:46

What is the difference between a Vandoren B45 and a Vandoren 5RV lyre Bflat Clarinet mouthpiece?

Which is better suited for a beginner?

Thanks for your help.

Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2008-07-14 01:37


I would go with a beginner mouthpiece like the hite premiere, fobes debut, genussa and progress to a higher level after playing for a year or so.

They will likely be easier to control. Just a thought....

Sponsored by Backun/D'Addario/BG/Silverstein/ Artist Teacher and Soloist

Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: Tara 
Date:   2008-07-14 03:23

I teach in a large school district where there are 5 middle schools starting band in the 6th grade. Probably 80% of the kids start on Vandoren 5RVs (because we recommend them) and see great success. Most start on 2 1/2 reeds and I find that "formula" works well.

Just my opinion, but it comes with experience. Good luck!


Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2008-07-14 04:00

All other things equal, the 5RV Lyre mouthpiece is designed to be considerably less resistant (easier to blow) than the B45. So, if the choice is strictly between the two, the 5RV Lyre will likely be the better decision for a beginner. However, the 5RV (plain, no lyre) appears to be designed to be a little less resistant than the 5RV Lyre (though they are probably close) and, therefore, is perhaps an even better choice for most beginners. Within the Vandoren line, I think the mouthpiece most often recommended for beginners by members of this Board is the 5RV.

However, as beginner mouthpieces go, it is rather expensive. The mouthpieces David identified are designed specifically for beginners and most are likely to be around half the price of a Vandoren.

Best regards,

Post Edited (2008-07-14 13:51)

Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: stevensfo 
Date:   2008-07-14 10:56

-- "What is the difference between a Vandoren B45 and a Vandoren 5RV lyre Bflat Clarinet mouthpiece?" --

You can look at the chart here:

I tried both the 5RV (not the lyre) and B45 when I first started and the 5RV was much easier to use. It has a narrower tip opening and a shorter facing, so a little more forgiving of poor embouchures.


Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2008-07-16 03:05

The Vandoren B45 is a darker sounding mouthpiece and Vandoren 5RV lyre series is a bit brighter. That said, both are good, it depends on the students. I agree, if they are absolute beginners you should probably consider a less expensive mouthpiece but if the student takes well to the clarinet, depending on their age, they should move up to a better mouthpiece in a year or so. ESP

Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: mrn 
Date:   2008-07-16 16:52

When I was in school, the standard mouthpiece the band directors (including the head HS director, who was a clarinet player) wanted everyone to use (from beginner band on up) was the 5RV Lyre. We had a very competitive band program and our clarinet section was especially good, so I have no reason to think that that formula doesn't work.

I, on the hand, played on a Gigliotti P34 pretty much all the way through school. As time went on, I noticed an increasing number of student players in my area (Houston, Texas) using P34s. I will say this, though: I only picked that mouthpiece after my teacher had me go through a whole bag of different mouthpieces to find the best one for me. (and this was after having been playing for a few months--before that I used the Selmer HS* mouthpiece that came with the clarinet).

Ultimately you have to try several different mouthpieces to find what works best for you. However, nobody ever got fired for buying IBM, and nobody will ever give you a dirty look for using/recommending a 5RV Lyre.

Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2008-07-16 19:13


I (wisely) don't usually find myself disagreeing with you but, in this case, I have to. It's not just a matter of darker/brighter sound. The B45 is a much more resistant mouthpiece than the 5RV (with or without Lyre) or the Fobes, Hite, etc. beginner mouthpieces. There is a decent chance that a beginner may find it incredibly hard to blow, even with a light reed and, with no frame of reference to compare the experience to, may conclude that this is the way things have to be -- and may give up on the clarinet prematurely. Personally I think (and, if previous threads are any indication, I'm not alone) that, while the B45 may be fine for a more experienced player, it is a terrible mouthpiece to inflict on a beginner.


FWIW, I don't know the characteristics of the P34's facing length and chamber but, according to the chart in the WW&BW catalog, the P34 actually has a closer tip opening than the 5RV. And I can tell you, from having tried all the Gigliotti facings and having played a #3 for awhile, that it is the least inherently resistant of the Gigliotti line. It wouldn't surprise me, then, to find that, with an appropriately light reed, it might work fine for a beginner -- though, again, it is a little pricey for that role. And someone who started on it (or not) might very well prefer it later in their career, though I suspect they would want a stronger reed, in most cases.

Best regards,

Post Edited (2008-07-16 19:33)

Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   2008-07-16 19:42

Good wisdom/judgement, Jack, my and our? collective consideration of early-student mps, is to go for a student-type mp, that is, pitch! most inst.-supplied mps [unless refaced and opened], to NOT discourage a new student , its difficult in other ways also. I still prefer other [wider/longer?] facings] to a 5RVL, look on V D's charts if buying what they sell. Don

Thanx, Mark, Don

Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: blazian 
Date:   2008-07-16 20:09

My first mouthpiece was a stock Artley mouthpiece. I "graduated" to a 5RVL when I bought my Allegro in 7th grade. I ended up buying a Fobes Nova my freshman year of high school, and that's what I've been using, along with experimenting on random mouthpieces I come across in my junk clarinet purchases. I found the the Vito II mouthpiece isn't too bad.

- Martin

Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: Brenda Siewert 
Date:   2008-07-16 20:46

I think the B45 is harder to play in tune for a beginner than the 5RV. The schools around here recommend the 5RV for all beginners. I agree with David B. about the Hite Premier and the Fobes Debut. I believe they are preferable, but if forced to get one Vandoren, go for the 5RV.

Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: dim 
Date:   2008-07-19 08:02

for beginner is 5RV Lyre

Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2014-07-01 10:04

If it has to be a Vandoren mouthpiece, the 5RV is probably the best beginner choice, but I think the Hite Premier is a better beginner mouthpiece, and for about a third of the price.

Tony F.

Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: Claire Annette 
Date:   2014-07-02 07:32

For what it's worth (my opinion, that is ), I think the Fobes Debut is a great mouthpiece to start with.

Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: tylerleecutts 
Date:   2014-07-06 05:13

I think more consistent and thorough practice habits and a good amount of passion will get you a lot farther than choosing any particular mouthpiece. You are playing a musical instrument, and therefore the primary goal is music.

However, empirical evidence suggests some formulas may make the job a bit easier. Most commercial mouthpieces these days are excellent. I would recommend a Hite Premiere or maybe a 5RV. The more important factor is good reeds, otherwise your mouthpiece will sputter and get sluggish like a engine with bad gas.

Reply To Message
 Re: Clarinet Mouthpiece Question
Author: gwie 2017
Date:   2014-07-06 09:44

I start my beginners on the Fobes Debut or the Behn Overture these days. It's just much safer in case they drop it!

Having played dozens of the Debut and three of the Overture now, I find them much more consistent in how they play than the Vandoren mouthpieces I used to purchase for students, and at $35 they are much easier to convince parents to obtain right away.

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.

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

Major events especially for clarinetists

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

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

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

Retailers and manufacturers of clarinets, both modern and early replica

Instrument repairs, restorations, adjustments, and overhauls.

Great reeds available from around the world

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