Extra, Extra: Danderfer Centre of Music Education is OPEN, my 1st car, and the winning mouthpiece is… the HAWKINS!

Hello, good morning, and welcome to the Saturday Morning News Post!

Readers, what a whirlwind of activity these last few weeks have been.

Let’s start off with some good news. Ladies and gentlemen, the doors of the Danderfer Centre of Music Education are now open and we’re accepting students. HOORAAAYYY!

And by “doors” I mean the car doors and by “Centre of Woodwind Education,” I mean my beautiful 1990 Oldsmobile Cutless Ciera (the 1st car I’ve ever owned, as of 2 days ago!) That’s right, we are going mobile with this thing because that’s the way of the future!

… Coincidentally, that’s also the only option available when you don’t have a studio to teach from. Plus, let’s face it: people are busy, and young students are especially busy with school, homework, sports, facebook, TV, more facebook, etc. etc… It’s really a win-win for me to drive to people’s houses so that’s what I’m gonna do.

So to all Vancouver-area Danderfans out there, spread the word! And here’s a link to my Kijiji add to spread it with. :)

Moving on, I am happy to say the search for a new mouthpiece is OVER,… for now.

I tested dozens of mouthpieces looking for something different, something with a certain “je ne sais quoi”, something, well… louder.

In the end, I went with a Richard Hawkins “C series” mouthpiece because it had the balance of more volume but with a depth of character. It’s not that it was louder right away, it was the feeling that I could push it further. In other words, all mouthpieces get to a point where, when you’re blowing a LOT of air through them, the resistance builds up and they just won’t go any further/louder. So the trick was to find a mouthpiece that sounded good at a regular volume but would also take more “gas” before they hit that wall.

Did that make any sense to non-clarinetists?

Anyways, funny story, while trying dozens of mouthpieces I found I liked this mouthpiece right away, then I spent weeks comparing it to the others, my judgement getting progressively cloudier and finally,… I settled on the one I liked best at the beginning. Lesson learned.

The other lesson learned? TRY OUT MOUTHPIECES IN CONTEXT! For the first time, I asked a drummer, Joe Poole, to play while I tried out some of my final mouthpiece picks (4 in all) and what a difference it made. Some mouthpieces sounded louder on my own but couldn’t compete with the wide sonic range of a ride cymbal, also, a slightly lighter reed (producing a little bit more brightness) worked great with the drums but alone I would’ve said it was too bright.

Other mouthpieces I liked included an old Selmer E (which I’m gonna buy just to have it as a possible backup) and the Theo Wanne “jazz” mouthpiece (definitely a powerful sound but, with so little resistance, I found it lacked the possibility for nuance).

Alright, I’m gonna wrap it up now. Thanks for reading and have a great week everyone!

(pictured above: The Repin, St.-Petersburg State Academic Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture)

  • monkey

    Congrats on the Cutlas, those are hard to get!  Really your first car? This is amazing to me.