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Backun Vocalise Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece (R, G & H models)

Backun Vocalise Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece (R, G & H models)

The Vocalise is a unique mouthpiece that goes all-in on the facing=tip vibe.

Let me back up and explain.

As a comparison, most Vandoren mouthpieces play around with the length of the facing and the tip opening (and baffle, and chamber) separately to create a mouthpiece with certain playing characteristics. That's one of the reasons why you will see a 5RV come in about 6 versions: the 5RV, 5RV-Profile 88, 5RV-13, 5RV-Lyre, 5RV-Lyre-13, and so on. Each of those has the same basic characteristics (most of the time; there are exceptions), but with variations in the tip opening, or the facing, or the chamber. And, that's why Vandoren has about 100 clarinet mouthpieces available.

Back to Backun

Morrie and Richard Hawkins (the designer of these mouthpieces who I went to High School with), make only three: The R, the G, and the H. For those wondering, those letters stand for Richard G Hawkins. Uh, huh. Clever.

The R is a short facing with a small tip opening. The G is medium/medium, and the H is long/large. Since these have no real analog in the Vandoren world (believe me, I've tried to draw a comparison so you know where to start...but I can't), I'll try to provide some direction for you:

The R will take hard reeds, and is quite resistant. Clarinetists who prefer harder reeds like a #4 will likely prefer this mouthpiece. The medium-sized G is more resistant than a B45, and as you can see, it has thinner rails. This will provide quicker response, but still carry over some of the "clarinet-like" resistance that many players prefer—especially if they spend most of their time playing soprano clarinet. These would take medium-hard reeds. I'd start with a 3 and work up from there. The H is a long facing with a large tip opening. It's pretty damn huge. For this you will want to try reeds that are softer. I'd start with a 2.5 and work up. Despite the big facing, it still has thin rails and a more tapered window. This is an interesting mouthpiece to describe; it's still got that clarinet-like resistance (unlike the B50), but will give you a big, dark sound.

I recommend purchasing individual reeds to try these mouthpieces. It's always better to use a new reed that matches the mouthpiece than to try a current reed with a new mouthpiece. You don't get a sense of the mouthpiece that way, because your reed is "used" to your current mouthpiece.

Finally, please have a look at my Trial Policy for details on Backun mouthpiece trials.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Linda Webber

I got the Vocalise H to replace a VD B45 that was older than the internet. What an upgrade! This mouthpiece really sings in clarion and altissimo. It works well with Legere reeds. It requires softer reeds than the B45 as it has a thicker tip rail.