How to Buy
If you already know which Clarinet mouthpiece you want, then you can order online straight away. If, however, you’d like to test a few different models we can help you choose with our Approval system. You can buy up to 3 mouthpieces at once and try them at home for 14 days to decide which is best for you. Any you choose not to keep can be returned for a refund, less £3 each per mouthpiece for cleaning and re-stocking.
Simply browse our range and choose the model you wish to buy. All orders placed before 2pm (Mon-Fri) are sent out the same day. You can choose your speed of delivery at the basket page. All mouthpieces we send out are on 14-day approval so you can try them at home and return them (minus £3 re-stocking fee) should you not get on with it. If you are able to visit our store in Maidenhead, Berkshire, you can pre-book a testing room for the day/time of your choice. We can then help you with a range of mouthpieces to choose from that you can test back-to-back.
How much do Clarinet mouthpieces cost?
The cost can vary depending on the material and the level of mouthpiece. Basic beginner mouthpieces made of plastic can start from around £15-£25, and upgrade models made from hard rubber (ebonite) range from around £50-£200. The more expensive models are often made of premium materials and have more complex designs which give a more nuanced feel and response from the mouthpiece.
How to choose
There are a vast range of mouthpiece options on the market, but what can seem bewildering can be simplified quite easily. There are two main design factors to consider: firstly, the tip opening and secondly, the facing curve. How these two elements are designed will affect how the mouthpiece plays and to some degree how suitable it would be for certain experience levels and genres.
In simplified terms there are 3 types of tip opening; close, medium and open. Commonly beginners are best using a mouthpiece with a fairly close tip opening. This demands less of the player and makes the instrument easier to play as less of the reed is needing to vibrate. As you progress and develop the muscles in your playing embouchure it’s quite common to move to a medium or open tip. With the correct use and experience these mouthpieces will offer a broader, fuller tone with more projection. There are always exceptions to the rule, as some professional players like the feel of close tip openings. However, it would generally be agreed that beginners should start on a closer tip opening. So, for example a Yamaha 4C Clarinet mouthpiece would be an ideal starting point.
If you are upgrading from a student model, then you can perhaps start by looking at medium-open tip models. Our advice is to contact us to discuss your playing experience, goals and style with our award-winning experts. We can then help advise on the best models to compare for your circumstance. We will also factor in the facing curve style and how that can affect your choice and what might be the best options for you to try. We offer a range of makes and models from brands such as Vandoren, Backun, D’Addario, Yamaha, Selmer, Buffet, Meyer, Otto Link and more.
Classical vs Jazz Clarinet Mouthpieces
The vast majority of Clarinet mouthpieces are designed more towards the Classical genre of music. This would cover most players using their mouthpiece for grades, orchestral playing and most band situations.
There are a small number of Jazz Clarinet mouthpiece options which all commonly have a open tip, models such as the Vandoren 5JB and 7JB are most popular for this style.
How long do Clarinet mouthpieces last?
With the correct care and maintenance Clarinet mouthpieces should last many years. It can depend a little on the material, for example plastic will last a very long time unless it is dropped or damaged. The upgrade mouthpieces are commonly made from Ebonite and over a period of 10-30 years these can wear very slightly depending on use and care.
Plastic mouthpieces can be cleaned in warm water with a mild detergent such as Fairy Liquid. However, you must never use hot or warm water when cleaning Ebonite (Hard Rubber) mouthpieces as it can react negatively with the core material. Cold water and a soft cloth are advised. All mouthpieces benefit from regular cleaning with a sanitising spray such as Sterisol.