Squeaking? Blame the mouthpiece??

13th January 2017

Post Author: Prof. Anton Weinberg (

I am always concerned when teachers and players assume that squeaks on a mouthpiece are caused by the facing being crooked. Yes indeed, it might be a possibility, however my research over many years has found that a great majority of the mouthpieces used by clarinetists that we admire are indeed crooked.

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Not a surprise to any orthodontist who would already know that there are few who have totally symmetrical teeth or jaw formation. Why then is the aforementioned assumption by teachers so prevalent, especially when the baffle design can be far more responsible and have a far more significant effect on the tone? There is a similar problem with amateurs who were, or are, engineers and then decide to take up the instrument, perhaps as a hobby. Everything is judged by what it looks like symmetrically, when these details very often have little influence on the tonal results that are desired.

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Naturally it will always be possible to find mouthpieces that contradict my outlined points, but here I am discussing a consistency over many mouthpieces and not just narrow anecdotal experience.

*If you need any help with any mouthpiece, reed or similar issues please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we may be able to help…contact us

About the author: 

Professor Weinberg has held international professorships and musical directorships. Equally he has written, presented and directed productions for Radio, Television and Theatre in Europe, the USA, Canada and the UK. 

As a professional soloist of nearly 40 years Professor Weinberg has performed at all of the major international music festivals, as well as broadcasting regularly for the BBC. His research into the developement of stylistic personality in young students has been published and broadcast and he has made contributions to the music of over 30 internaional films and pop recordings. Anton Weinberg was the first Clarinetist in the history of the Royal Academy of Music to win both the Hawkes and Solomon Wind prizes.