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 
 Mouthpiece/Reed problem
Author: Ian. C 
Date:   2020-11-18 00:09

I am using a Vandoren 5RV Lyre mouthpiece, which is about 9 months old. Reeds used vary between 3.5 & 4 in strength.

The problem is this. After playing for about 30 minutes or so I can't get a sound out of it. Feels as if the Reed has completely covered and blocked the mouthpiece. Altering my embouchure doesn't help. The only way I can get it to play after that is to remove the Reed and put it on again. This is driving me to distraction.

Any thoughts and help would be appreciated Thank you.

Reply To Message
 Re: Mouthpiece/Reed problem
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2020-11-18 00:26

I immediately thought that you may be putting too much energy into "clamping down" on the reed (and may be a factor).........but.......

Perhaps you are just out on the tip with your embouchure. I recommend always being much closer to the point were the reed and mouthpiece come together (not necessary but it IS the most efficient posture). It's easy to find that spot by playing and open "G" and moving in more and more mouthpiece (while continuing to play that open "G") until you lose control and get nothing but an uncontrollable squawk. You just back up slightly to where you still get a good sound (that is point just before the connection between mouthpiece and reed) and that should be the "ideal spot" to place your embouchure.

Sure you can play with less mouthpiece and get good results but I'd recommend just trying this out.

.............Paul Aviles

Reply To Message
 Re: Mouthpiece/Reed problem
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2020-11-18 17:44

I agree with Paul that you are probably not taking enough MP in your mouth. The other possible solution is to use a more open mouthpiece and or one that has a longer lay, where the reed meets the rails. Either solution will take adjustment time to get used to but may solve your problem. You are simply collapsing the tip of the reed right now with your lower lip pressure.


Reply To Message
 Re: Mouthpiece/Reed problem
Author: bmcgar 2017
Date:   2020-11-18 20:23

I had a student who came to me with the same problem.

She not only wasn't taking enough mouthpiece in her mouth but she was also pinching hard, warping her reeds.

This may be the reason why the reed closes up on you after a while.


Reply To Message
 Re: Mouthpiece/Reed problem
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2020-11-18 22:24

Which mouthpiece were you using before (with which reeds)?

Is it possible that your embouchure is fatiguing with the new mouthpiece/reed combination, and causing you to (unknowingly) exert more and more pressure with your jaw or change the angle of the clarinet?

From your description, this possibility makes sense - as the slight break while readjusting your reed/ligature would refresh your embouchure for a short while.


Reply To Message
 Re: Mouthpiece/Reed problem
Author: JTJC 
Date:   2020-11-19 15:11

I find that if a new reed begins to get stuffy after a bit of playing it’s usually because the part of the flat side of the reed nearest the bottom of the slot and on to the table has swollen. This slightly raises the centre of the reed from the table at this crucial point. If you hold a straightedge across the reed you’ll see it’s higher in the middle than at the edges. The cure is to flatten the reed using a reed knife/Reedgeek at that point and then sealing the reed again. This will slightly soften the reed though. Once a reed had been broken in I find this doesn’t really happen as much.

I think Mojo has said before on this BB that some players ask for the table to be tweaked (made very slightly concave a the bottom of the slot) to allow for such swelling. However, I don’t find the swelling a problem with all reeds so having that solution permanently built into the table must have some effect on response where reeds aren’t swollen at that point.

Reply To Message
 Re: Mouthpiece/Reed problem
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2020-11-19 17:33

Another suggestion, something I've had students do when they "pinched" the reed because of to much presure on the reed, assuming they were taking enough MP in the firest place, is to pay double lip for a few minutes a day to see if you can play with less lower pressure. I don't advocate double lip, though I'm not againt it either, but it could be enlightening.


Reply To Message
 Re: Mouthpiece/Reed problem
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2020-11-19 18:03

Place the reed gently on a flat surface and see if it bounces down and up with gentle pressing at the bark cut. Sounds like the reed is collapsing as far as the facing. This can happen from the reed not broken properly, or not made from aged cane. Also slipping a thin paper behind the reed and pulling the tip away from the mouthpiece can prove if it has collapsed.
Also, if the reed is swelling into the mouthpiece window, the reed will rock back and forth on a flat surface and it means that the above reasons fit here too.

Reply To Message
 Re: Mouthpiece/Reed problem
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2020-11-22 00:59

The reeds you are paying on might be too stiff with the wide rails of the mouthpiece and a fairly open tip and facing. It's not as open as some of the others, the facing might also be uneven. Perhaps try out a few others. And it's also possible your embouchure is a tad bit weak. Plus what the others posted.

Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist 2015

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!

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

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

Major events especially for clarinetists

Retailers and manufacturers of clarinets, both modern and early replica

Great reeds available from around the world

Instrument repairs, restorations, adjustments, and overhauls.

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