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 French mouthpieces with German facing
Author: Chris Sereque 
Date:   2021-09-29 05:06

I have noticed that a lot of the newer Euro mouthpieces feature exceptionally long facings, so I tried this with a Zinner A blank. The facing length is around 22mm and the tip 1.02, but I may have to edit that. This takes a stiff reed, I had to clip it right off the Reedual, but is very dark, and articulates easily. Takes very little pressure. Does anyone have experience playing this sort of set-up?

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 Re: French mouthpieces with German facing
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2021-09-29 08:31

If you really want to German that up, I'd go with a longer facing (25mm) and a smaller tip opening (1.00 or smaller). Then use a #3 strength reed (maybe less...depends if you're using a German reed or not).

Then, LISTEN. You may think the combination feels like you've gone back to your Belwin Band Builder days, but the sound will be a nice consistent creamy sound and you'll be able to produce the full spectrum of dynamics. It may even be the next day (as it was my first time trying the legitimate German set up) that you realize what happened the day before. But if you accept will change your approach forever (in a good way!).

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

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 Re: French mouthpieces with German facing
Author: donald 
Date:   2021-09-30 02:08

Interesting to see this, I've got a box of 6 Wurlitzer mouthpieces (from 1970s/80s but in brand new condition) that I tried (not very hard) to sell... was thinking of getting one of them and putting a French facing on so see what would happen with a V12 reed (not too concerned about reed being too wide).

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 Re: French mouthpieces with German facing
Author: vintschevski 
Date:   2021-09-30 02:28

Chris, Vytas Krass offers a model of mouthpiece which, on his website, he used to call Velvet, then for a while called German, and now calls Velvet again. I play a V1 (Velvet, tip opening 1.00) and it's the only mouthpiece I have tried on which it is genuinely easy to play really stiff reeds: anything from Vandoren Traditional 4s to V12 5+. He calls the facing "long", but it's only 18 or 19 mm. So there is something in the "unique interior design" which really makes it play as it does, and I can't say what that is - you could probably spot it immediately, though. I just don't know enough about mouthpiece design, I take a blow it and see approach. But I know what hard work I can find it to play 3 strength reeds on a lot of the currently popular mouthpieces, whereas the stiffer reeds are a doddle on the Krass V1. So it doesn't seem to be a German style mouthpiece in the sense that Paul is using, nor is it like the Gleichweits which have really long facings, but quite wide tip-openings. It's no surprise that the tip-opening and facing alone can't explain how a mouthpiece plays.

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 Re: French mouthpieces with German facing
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2021-09-30 03:25

If you peer into a Wurlitzer you'll see an extreme "A-frame." In fact the throat looks more like one big opening into the bore.

Both the German mouthpiece and the clarinet (each taken separately) have an amount of that "German sound." So naturally paired together it's really something.

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

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 Re: French mouthpieces with German facing
Author: Chris Sereque 
Date:   2021-10-02 05:16

I don’t want to really go totally German, all of my studies were with Bonade students, and I really admire American players of the French style. Recently heard the Mendelssohn Concert Pieces with Andreas Ottensteiner and really loved it. I still prefer a focused dark American sound, having studied with Marcellus, and I don’t want to abandon what I know about the clarinet. However, German facings really articulate, and embouchure pressure is less than many French facings. Since any public playing I now do will probably be in a chamber music setting, the sizzle-less German facing may serve me better. Thanks for all the interesting info, clarinetists!

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 Re: French mouthpieces with German facing
Author: donald 
Date:   2021-10-03 02:39

If you are interested in facings that don't require much embouchure pressure AND are a bit "sizzle-less", there are two Vandoren facings you can try...
- the M30D. This is not the same tip opening as the M30, but instead around 1.09/1.07mm range with a long facing that suits an embouchure with little or no upward pressure. My wife (Dr Marie Ross) and I use that mouthpiece with V12 #3 reeds (and the odd home-made one). While it has the longer tenon and exterior grooves of a German style mouthpiece, it plays well in tune with Buffet clarinets (I use a barrel 1mm shorter but Marie doesn't). Despite a thicker tip rail, it responds well with the right reed. The Vandoren "D" mouthpiece blanks are supposed to make a bit more of a "German sound", and I've found this works great in chamber settings and smaller ensembles. Every so often (playing with a string section that sadly almost never plays pp and an MD who has little idea of delicacy) I DO find myself wanting to use a mouthpiece with a bit more Zing.
- If you can find one, the "no longer being produced" Vandoren Masters CL4 had pretty much the identical facing to the M30D but with a thinner tip rail and a clearer tone quality. I thought this was a much better mouthpiece than the BD5 etc, but I appear to be in the minority.
Btw, I recall enjoying your performance at the Oklahoma Symposium some years ago, and always hoped I'd get the chance to meet you and take some reed making lessons but the opportunity never came up.

Post Edited (2021-10-03 09:06)

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