Dear Mr Friedland,
I only recently discovered your clarinet corner and am finding your advice very helpful – following your advice on reed selection has allowed me to gain back some of my sanity!! It is wonderful that someone in your position takes the time to help others. Thank you. I have a question on mouthpiece selection.
A couple of years ago I made a big mistake when I quickly replaced a broken mouthpiece with a mouthpiece of the same model. It initially felt ok because of familiarity but I soon realised after purchase that it was really not ideal and extremely different from the first one. It caused me a lot of problems. Thankfully I have now saved enough to buy another mouthpiece.
So… I have ordered 8 different mouthpieces to try. These should be arriving next week. I wondered how I should go about testing these mouthpieces. Is it ok to play on all of them in one session or will that confuse the matter? I’m assuming the different mouthpieces will take to different reed strengths but If I keep changing reeds I might not get a clear idea of what the mouthpiece is like. I’m a bit confused! What are the most important things to look for? I would be so pleased to hear your ideas on this matter as I don’t want to make the same (rushed) mistake again.
Thank you so much for your time!
Please ,spare yourself the stress of trying all of the eight at one sitting and/or with one reed. That is close to suicide, and would be your absolute worst choice.
I suggest trying the one that at least on paper is close to the one that you had success with initially.play it for a few minutes and then put it down. Wait a reasonable interval then try the next and use the same reed, especially if you liked it on the first mouthiece.. If it doesn’t play as well, stop and put that reed back on the first and see if it isbetter, better sounding or more responsive.
If so, put that first mouthpiece aside, skip the second and go to the third.
You are making a choice now, at least choosing one and making it your model. You may discard it, however you are judging and measuring things, not just running in to the forest. Depending upon yourself you should rest frequently and have a few good reeds or bad ones to try.
A mouthpiece that will be good for you will always be better immediately
Incidentally I suffered the same thing as did you. I replaced a broken mouthiece with my spare and finished the concert on it, then was never ever able to duplicate the original…..never.
We are talking about inanimate objects: mouthpieces, and then there is the ear and unfortunately the brain. It is a romp in tiger country. Good luck, stay calm.
best wishes always, sherman friedland—–