40 Contra Alto Clarinet Mouthpiece

Clark W Fobes San Francisco EEb Contra Alto Mouthpiece Musician's Friend
Clark W Fobes San Francisco EEb Contra Alto Mouthpiece Musician's Friend from www.musiciansfriend.com


In the world of woodwind instruments, the clarinet is renowned for its rich and versatile sound. While the standard B-flat clarinet is widely used, there are several other members of the clarinet family that offer unique tonal qualities. One such instrument is the contra alto clarinet, which produces a deep and resonant sound. In order to achieve the desired sound on a contra alto clarinet, it is crucial to select the right mouthpiece. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of a contra alto clarinet mouthpiece and provide valuable insights for musicians looking to enhance their playing experience.

What is a Contra Alto Clarinet Mouthpiece?

A contra alto clarinet mouthpiece is a component of the instrument that connects to the top of the clarinet's neck. It serves as the interface between the player and the instrument, affecting the tone, projection, and overall playability. The mouthpiece consists of a facing, baffle, chamber, and a tip opening, all of which contribute to the instrument's sound quality and response.

The Importance of the Mouthpiece

The mouthpiece is one of the most critical components of any wind instrument, including the contra alto clarinet. It has a direct impact on the sound produced and the control the player has over the instrument. A well-designed and properly matched mouthpiece can enhance the instrument's tonal characteristics and improve the overall playing experience.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Contra Alto Clarinet Mouthpiece

When selecting a contra alto clarinet mouthpiece, there are several factors to consider:

1. Material

The material of the mouthpiece can have a significant impact on the sound produced. Common materials include hard rubber, metal, and crystal. Each material has its own unique tonal qualities, so it's important to choose one that complements your playing style and desired sound.

2. Facing

The facing refers to the curve of the mouthpiece that comes into contact with the reed. It plays a crucial role in determining the response and ease of playing. A shorter facing may provide more resistance and control, while a longer facing can offer greater flexibility and a brighter sound.

3. Baffle

The baffle is the part of the mouthpiece that affects the sound's projection and brightness. A high baffle can produce a brighter and more focused sound, while a low baffle can result in a warmer and darker tone.

4. Chamber

The chamber is the internal space within the mouthpiece. It influences the overall tone and resonance of the instrument. A larger chamber can produce a darker and more mellow sound, while a smaller chamber can result in a brighter and more focused tone.

5. Tip Opening

The tip opening refers to the distance between the reed and the mouthpiece's tip. It affects the instrument's response and the amount of air required to produce a sound. A larger tip opening may provide more flexibility and a brighter sound, while a smaller tip opening can offer better control and a darker tone.

Popular Contra Alto Clarinet Mouthpiece Brands

There are several reputable brands that offer high-quality contra alto clarinet mouthpieces. Here are a few popular options:

1. Vandoren

Vandoren is a well-known brand in the woodwind instrument industry. They offer a range of mouthpieces for various clarinet types, including the contra alto clarinet. Vandoren mouthpieces are renowned for their consistent quality and excellent tonal characteristics.

2. Selmer

Selmer is another trusted brand that produces mouthpieces for the contra alto clarinet. Selmer mouthpieces are known for their precision and craftsmanship, delivering a rich and vibrant sound.

3. Yamaha

Yamaha is a renowned name in the music industry, and their contra alto clarinet mouthpieces are highly regarded. Yamaha mouthpieces are designed to provide excellent tonal balance and projection, making them a popular choice among professional musicians.

Tips for Choosing a Contra Alto Clarinet Mouthpiece

Choosing the right contra alto clarinet mouthpiece can greatly enhance your playing experience. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

1. Try Before You Buy

Whenever possible, try out different mouthpieces before making a purchase. Visit a reputable music store or consult with a knowledgeable clarinetist to test out various options and find the one that suits your playing style and preferences.

2. Consider Your Playing Style

Take into account your musical genre and playing style when selecting a mouthpiece. Different mouthpieces are designed to cater to specific playing styles, so choose one that complements your musical goals.

3. Seek Professional Advice

If you're unsure about which mouthpiece to choose, seek guidance from a professional clarinetist or a music teacher. They can offer valuable insights and recommendations based on their experience and expertise.

4. Experiment and Explore

Don't be afraid to experiment with different mouthpieces to find your ideal match. Each player is unique, and what works for one musician may not work for another. Explore different options and find the mouthpiece that allows you to achieve your desired sound.


The contra alto clarinet mouthpiece plays a crucial role in shaping the sound and playability of the instrument. By considering factors such as material, facing, baffle, chamber, and tip opening, musicians can select a mouthpiece that enhances their playing experience. With the right mouthpiece, clarinetists can unlock the full potential of their contra alto clarinet and produce a deep and resonant sound that captivates audiences.