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Looking for a mouthpiece...

I think the title says it all, right?

Currently I own Yamaha 250 Student Model (basic, run of the mill beginner Clarinet) with the 4C mouthpiece that came with it.

Lately I've been really airy, and the sound quality has just decreased over time. I was told by a judge at a local solo contest to look into getting a new mouthpiece. In fact, I want to get a better one. But what should I choose?

I've been told Vandoren, or Gennusa, but I don't have a clue what to look in to. I want a mouthpiece that will offer a wide range of notes with nice sound quality all around. Basically I want to start to transition from beginner to intermediate. I currently play on Vandoren 3's (the blue box) Nothing fancy really. But, I think if I could get a better mouthpiece, it might make it easier for me to move up to a harder reed.

I'm looking to attend Pittsburg State University in the spring or fall semester of 2015, (by that time I'll have completed BCT and AIT for the Army) and plan to use my money earned from Basic Training to purchase a quality wooden Clarinet for chamber or symphony use. I plan to keep my Yamaha for things like marching band, or as a back up, and want a quality mouthpiece to go with it. Any help is greatly appreciated! :TrebleClef::Line6::bar::Space4::bar::Line0::end:
I may not be the wisest 'source of advice for you in that I am the rankest beginner here, and yes the double entendre was intentional. I have just been through the "buy your first clarinet" learning curve. My intention was to start out with an intermediate level instrument for several reasons that I have already gone into ad nauseum on this board. What I finally ended up doing was buying a very solid "N" Noblet and having it brought back to life a la the phoenix bird. I scoured the clarinet landscape. I found mine, a very nice model 40 for about $75 including the shipping. I found it on the Goodwill web site. It's a great place to find a used instrument if you are careful and read the descriptions CAREFULLY and do some research on the particular models.

I then spent another $80 to have all of the corks and pads replaced, the keys polished up and the body given an almond oil bath. I ended up with a very respectable intermediate level instrument for about $155. I get that repad and refurbish job for $80 because I bring him in a lot of business, about two per week, but there is fellow on "that site where you bid on things" that will do it for that price plus a small shipping charge. I suggest that you peruse the postings here and ask some of the VERY knowledgeable people here about which are the under rated "vintage" clarinets that are really worth looking into.

If you do decide to go this route, right now is your best chance at it. Until about August it is a buyers market. Then school starts up again and the prices rise accordingly. I actually started out this way with no intentions of learning to play, but I just got more and more involved in it and now I'm clarinet poor. In buying and either fixing them up or having them fixed up and then selling them for a modest profit, I've managed to pay for my personal pair of clarinets (two model 45 Noblets with refurbs on both), have a lot of fun, learn a lot about clarinets and pay for my lessons. In the process I have gathered a plethora of mouthpieces, ligatures, spare parts like barrels and lyres.

Speaking of mouthpieces, tell me what you have in mind and I'll send you two or three. You can try them out, keep the one you want and send the rest back. I'd be happy to help you out. It would be my chance to repay in a small way the kindness and patience that folks here on this board have shown me.

I do have a question though. If you are in or going into the Army, just which band are you considering marching with?
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