Clarinet Corner Query:
I have two relatively simple questions concerning the bass clarinet, which I play exclusively. I am looking for a source for bass clarinet replacement pads and am having tremendous trouble locating someone that has them readily available. They have offered to make them to a custom fit, but I would like to have a way to get them quickly. What do you recommend?
The second questions concerns crystal mouthpieces for the bass clarinet. I read your articles concerning Pomarico, and I am considering this versus a high quality wood. I like something with a medium facing, but not bright. I would like something that allows ease of playing in the altissimo register I use the bass clarinet for both symphonic playing and church related solo playing. Thank you ahead of time for both the information you are sharing via your website and your advice on this matter. AS
Here are a couple of references for clarinet pads:
“J.L. SMITH & CO.” “901 Blairhill Road #400, Charlotte, NC 28217. … “J.R. MUSIC SUPPLY”, “93 Hazel Street, Woonsocket, RI 02895-0780. …
All bass clarinets seem to have different pads and you would have to give them your model and number I would imagine,
which may explain why you are having a problem. Try these two places.
As far as crystal mouthpieces for Bass Clarinet, Rosario Mazzeo, my teacher and friend for many years used a Pomarico on his bass as well as Bb. I sent him six or seven when he broke one of his, many years ago.
Crystal would be the most favorable material for a mouthpiece save for the problem of breakage, wherein the damage is usually terminal. Try Pomarico if you can find them or mouthpieces for Bass from them. I know of no other. There were two brothers , one in Argentina and the other in Italy and frankly though I had an absolutely beautiful Bb clarinet mouthpiece, unfortunately it was broken during a concert many years ago.
Mouthpieces are very personal as you would expect, the most stable material being hard rubber . Wood can and does change according to atmospheric conditions, and is very expensive. You say high quality, be prepared for high prices as well.
Mouthpieces, being so personal can be purchased for any number of dollars depending upon the seller and I am quite sure you can find someone to sell you what he or she calls a high quality mouthpiece, however the answer will always be how the mouthpiece plays for you and your particular way of playing. Mouthpieces do not have the characteristics many players give them. They are inert objects. It is the player that chooses the reed, makes the embouchure and after affixing the mouthpiece, plays. Too often sellers and makers assign certain qualities to the mouthpieces themselves. But the peramaters for making the mouthpieces remain narrow, with only small variation.
Good luck. I hope this has helped in some way.