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Incoming!! New Clarinet day!

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by newminglewoodblue, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    You bought a clarinet because you want to learn to play a particular riff in a Billie Holiday song but don’t know how to play clarinet? Well, okay then.
     
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  2. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Me too. Miss Burger would always tell me I was too sharp or too flat. And then she'd scream at all of us because we weren't professional muscians.
     
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  3. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    A clarinet well played is one of my favorite sounds. You'll probably be pretty squawky at first, but it's worth learning.
     
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  4. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cool! I wish I'd learned a woodwind instrument. Git jammin' on that ole timey jazz!
     
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  5. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Cool, one of the most interesting instruments I've heard in years is the Bass Clarinet. It has an unusual tone to to it, kinda half clarinet and half Alto sax.
     
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  6. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    Bb clarinet was my first instrument. I moved on to Eb alto and then tenor, alto and baritone sax

    As said earlier getting your embouchure built up will be your biggest challenge. At least it was for everybody that took it when I did. Breathing from the diaphragm was another eye opener.
    I’d get a fingering book, learn your scales, record yourself, and when you can get a live teacher
    Mouthpiece replacement, after you’ve gotten “decent” can be a good upgrade. Reeds, cork grease, and a spit rag are necessities. If you have a tuner that plays pitch (or a piano app) you can judge your relative pitch with that in a self taught situation.
    Good luck and have fun. Clarinet is not only a fun instrument to play it’s a gateway to other instruments
     
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  7. Chester P Squier

    Chester P Squier Tele-Meister

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    When you play the oboe, you need to do some cutting on the reeds. The upside is that you get to carry a knife. :)
     
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  8. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    I didn't take up the flute till I was 59, and I'm terrible, or rather I'm "desperate" as the Irish say. But I'm improving. it's just a great pleasure to learn something knew and stretch, and I tend to approach more "meditatively." Just trying to make it musical rather than "great."
     
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  9. Nubs

    Nubs Friend of Leo's

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    Played the clarinet from grades 4-10. I still remember how to play it. Also played baritone sax in the jazz band in 6th & 7th grades.

    Happy NCD!
     
  10. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    On all the other woodwinds, the octave key is an octave. On clarinet family instruments, it's an octave and a fifth - if you play a C in the lower register, then hit the octave key you get a G.

    On clarinet, sax, flute and oboe, the octave key is closed until you open it. On a bassoon it's open until you close it or use the whisper key lock.

    But on all the woodwinds if you hold down all the keys with your left hand, you get a C.
     
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  11. Sixmilecross

    Sixmilecross NEW MEMBER!

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    For inspiration look up Chloe Feoranzo. Unbelievable!
     
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  12. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I used it to extort lunch money from those losers in the percussion section. Lousy triangle players . . .
     
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  13. DjimiWrey

    DjimiWrey Tele-Meister

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    best wishes for your success and pleasure on the clari
    i'm just not man enough to do it

    takes EVERY dang muscle in your body to play the dang thang
    i gave up after 3 months
    LOVE the sound
    LOVE klezmer
    LOVE artie and benny
    HARDEST damn musical instrument i've ever tried to learn

    yes, im still a little emotional about it lol gonna go kick some more rocks
     
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  14. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    One great thing about an instrument like clarinet is it opens up a lot of different musical worlds-- marching bands, wind bands (basically a marching band that sits in chairs and doesn't march), classical quartets/trios/duets, orchestra, etc. I played 3rd clarinet in a couple of community bands and man, was that hard! We played very challenging pieces and I had to practice about 2h a day, 7d a week, in order to play my parts well. It was really fun doing July 4th celebrations for the community and other big shows. I also enjoy playing classical music with my relatives who play strings-- violins, cellos, as well as my pianist mother. She's 80 but still kills on the piano and has perfect pitch.
     
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  15. Nubs

    Nubs Friend of Leo's

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    Oh yeah, I almost forgot I played the bass clarinet for a few years too. Very large, curvy thing with a floor stand. You can really get some low notes from it if your lungs are good enough.
     
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  16. davidzferret

    davidzferret TDPRI Member

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    I play woodwind, better than I play guitar, on which I'm really a dabbler.

    The mouthpiece is, both acoustically and in the response to your playing, nearly half the instrument, but just like starting on say light guitar strings then deciding you want to go medium, or action setup preferences, what you need develops as your playing develops.

    Suggest you start on softish easy to find reeds, like number 2 rico royal, and use the mouthpiece that comes with the clarinet, wait till your embouchure muscles and sound develop a bit - at least six months and maybe twelve. Then go to a shop with a range of mouthpieces and reeds to try out, and find what you like.

    Both will affect your sound e.g. Mitchell Lurie reeds are classical sounding, LaVoz is better for jazz/R&B. In my experience the French reeds - vandoren - are no better than the american, but are more expensive. Classical mouthpieces don't lend themselves to bending notes, jazzier mouthpieces do. Vandoren mouthpieces are great - I play their B45 "Lyre", I can easily get a quarter tone bend with that because it has a wider opening 'lay' than a standard B45 which is a classical mouthpiece and tends to hold the note closer to its correct pitch. On alto sax I also use a mouthpiece that gives me an easy semitone bend. You bend from below the note rather than from the note up as on a guitar. Mouthpieces also vary in 'EQ' - some have lots of tops, others less so for a smoother mid sound.

    You can't make these choices until you've got some technique under your belt. And you will likely fall into bad habits without a decent teacher.

    When it all comes together it's a very satisfying instrument.

    David
     
  17. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yeah, it's like the Cello of clarinets! Love those low notes.
     
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  18. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    I played the sax for a couple years in school don’t remember too much

    The advice about the reeds and mouthpiece seem sound

    Make sure all the pads are fine and if it has cork that it’s not dried out and that you grease the joints once in a while
     
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  19. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    First thing: disinfect the whole instrument. If it's an all-wood one then don't leave it soaking. But certainly clean it in detail.
    Clean the case well too.

    +1 the softest reeds to start.

    I find a major step to sounding great playing the clarinet is having new pads and new cork correctly installed. You need to fit the pads carefully and test them (light leak test or strip of paper). It's a tedious job to replace pads but worth it. Compare playing a $50 beater guitar borrowed from the kid next door to a Custom Shop version or a PLEK job on that beater guitar. No comparison in the ease of getting the best sounds from that guitar. The pads are like guitar frets. Most of the clarinet squawks and shrieks come from poorly fitting pads.

    Oh, take pictures of the clarinet fully assembled for reference and only take the minimal parts off that you need to at a time. It's a big puzzle if taken all apart. Don't pry any piece or strip any screw.

    This channel has several good videos on instrument care and repair. There are a few other videos, one that was quite detailed I couldn't find. But watch enough of them and you get to know what to do.


    https://www.amazon.com/clarinet-pad-kit/s?k=clarinet+pad+kit&tag=tdpri-20

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  20. newminglewoodblue

    newminglewoodblue Tele-Meister

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    Gotta find inspiration somewhere, and to quote a great American (Jerry Garcia) "Once in awhile you can get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at things right"
     
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