907 W Irving Park Rd Itasca, IL 60143-2023
Phone: 630-285-1485
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The Reed February 2015


The Reed February 2015

by Jeff B

Hey everyone this is Jeff B, I’m a Woodwind Expert at Music and Arts in beautiful Itasca, Illinois

Today I would like to discuss mouthpieces and the importance of upgrading them!

All players at a certain point in their musical journey start to outgrow the student level mouthpiece that they started with. As important as it is to get a better instrument to help with playing abilities, one of the first steps to improving a player’s potential is by upgrading the mouthpiece. A better quality mouthpiece can improve the sound of a clarinet for any player including those who are using student level instruments.

For a student clarinetist I would recommend a Vandoren B45. It includes a wider tip opening between the mouthpiece and the reed; this allows for more air to pass through the instrument, making it easier to play. The better quality materials like the hard rubber, will allow a better resonance and sound than the stock mouthpiece that came with the instrument.

For a progressing clarinetist or someone who’s been playing for a few years, I’d recommend a Vandoren 5RV. It’s one of their best sellers with a smaller tip opening that allows the player more control of their sound. It will be a big change for the player but they should notice almost immediately that their sound is more centered and focused than a beginner level mouthpiece or even the Vandoren B45.

For a high school or advanced player, I would recommend a Vandoren M13. Its closed facing will give you optimum control over the quality of your sound. You’d notice a sound difference almost immediately. The smaller tip would be quite a bit for the player to get used to, but once they do, they should notice how much more focus and purity they have in their sound!

With anything in the music world I’d recommend trying them all out and seeing which one you like the best. Each mouthpiece is going to sound a little different for each individual player. Luckily we keep each one in store and would love to help you test out a few to help you be the best clarinetist you can be.

Music and Arts is determined to help each player achieve their full potential. In the coming months I’ll be updating this blog on different subjects in the Woodwind world. Be on the lookout for guides on helpful suggestions when you’re finally ready to upgrade your instrument. I’ll be posting comparisons of different brands and tips on how to find the best instrument for you and how you want to play.

If you have any questions on this subject or anything else you’d like to ask about woodwinds, feel free to call us at the Store at 630 285 1485!


Jeff B

Woodwind Expert

Music and Arts, Itasca