|Selmer C85 120 Mouthpiece, Vandoren V12 Strength 3 Reed, Vandoren Optimum Ligature. |
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The right material
Any clarinet mouthpiece guide will tell you that when it comes to mouthpieces, the rule of the thumb states that softer materials can make darker sounds that are also less projecting. Conversely, harder materials for mouthpieces will create brighter sounds.
Most students' mouthpieces - or those that are used by novices are made of plastic because this material is more affordable and relatively more durable. The only setback is that the sound tends to be brighter than normal, making it difficult to focus.
If you want better-focused sound, you want to use a clarinet mouthpiece made of ebonite or hard rubber. This is the preferred material by jazz musicians and those who play classical music. An ebonite clarinet mouthpiece will not require a lot of projection and edge.
Crystal clarinet mouthpieces are mainly used for outdoor playing. They can create sounds that are bright and better projected so they are also popular choices for jazz players.
This material is rarely used for clarinet mouthpieces because it can create the warmest sound and the least projecting at that. This material is also less durable than plastic or rubber.
Another important point that a clarinet mouthpiece guide will tell you is that the sound quality that you want to produce depends on the type of bore that your mouthpiece has. A compact and more focused tone comes from a smaller bore while one that is dark and mellow can be produced by a larger one.
Important buying tips