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Clarinets Bass Clarinets...

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,627
Who knows anything about bass clarinets? I've got the possibility of picking one up (and one of my musical employees is hassling me into getting hold of one).
So- what's the gen on these lovely sounding bits of kit then?
What's to look out for when getting one, who makes decent mouthpieces for them (I'm assuming Vandoren represents a good default all-rounder?)? Are Bass Clarient reeds interchangeable with tenor sax reeds, etc etc...
Any words of wisdom appreciated...
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,382
What I want is an Eppelsheim contracbass clarinet. http://www.eppelsheim.com/kontrabass_klarinette.php?lang=en

It almost thinks it's a saxophone, which is a good thing in my book. Made of metal and available in black or brass finish.


John Surman plays some great bass clarinet. From looking up close during the interval of one of his gigs, I think he plays a Bari clear plastic reed on his mouthpiece and it sounds fine.


I think that bass clarinet reeds are pretty much the same width as tenor sax reeds, but shorter in length. They can be swapped around but the cut is different and so is the sound.

Rhys

Rhys
 
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Sweet Dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
505
I can't answer any of your questions. But I just wanted to say that when I bought my clarinet I was actually looking at bass clarinets and would have gotten one of those instead if I could have found an inexpensive one. But alas inexpensive bass clarinets are hard to find! In fact, I highly recommend picking one up if you find a deal on one (assuming it's all there and works). I don't think you'd have difficulty reselling it potentially at a profit. I scoured on-line used music stores and every time I found a bass clarinet it was quite expensive, even if it has damage or missing parts!

So I ended up with a standard Bb clarinet. In fact, I only paid about $300 for my also sax, and I don't think I ever saw a bass clarinet that cheap. I think bass clarinets are really cool. I'd still like to have one just for fun.
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,093
Sorry, no words of wisdom but I've always associated the bass clarinet with Marcus Miller... Beautiful


 
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Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,999
Any words of wisdom appreciated...
Don't know, but I know a man who does.

Last year at the Musikmesse, clarnibass off of SOTW was specifically looking for good cheap ones. And he is a bass clarinetist/technician, so I'm sure if you PM him there he may give you some good info. I'd ask him

Plus our very own Stephen Howard and Griff will also know a thing or two.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,953
Go for it. I used to have a Pedler (obtained from Rupert). I seem to recall it went to help fund a bari. Much nicer to play than the horrible squeaky usual clarinets. ISTR tenor reeds are a bit longer than bass clari ones but work ok.
 

Sweet Dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
505
Sorry, no words of wisdom but I've always associated the bass clarinet with Marcus Miller... Beautiful
Yeah, that is a sweet sounding instrument to be sure. It's a monster to carry around on stage though, but I guess it's beats a double bass for portability. I'm surprised we don't see more of these just being used as bass instruments in general.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,627
Yeah, that is a sweet sounding instrument to be sure. It's a monster to carry around on stage though, but I guess it's beats a double bass for portability. I'm surprised we don't see more of these just being used as bass instruments in general.
then agian my gigging kit with that band tends to be tenor sax, soprano sax, blues harps played through a guitar amp, musical saw and theramin already!
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I think an alphorn is a much better sounding instrument than the bass clarinet but even more to cart around...
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
Plastic bass clari's in my experience are pretty rubbish, avoid.

I play on an old Noblet student type (wooden of course) which sounds pretty good, picked up second hand for about £600.
If you can find a Yamaha they're pretty good but really you'll need a Selmer, which will cost an arm and both legs.

Tenor reeds do work but the tip should really be more rounded than a tenor reed to fit the mouthpiece.
As for mouthpiece I use a Pomarico Jazz XX crystalite - nice big open lay but possible to play quite nicely as well as with punch, and not too ridiculous in price compared to some!

Hope that helps.

Nick
 

Pete C

Member
Messages
344
Miller & Sanborne

Have just watched & listened to the clip of David Sanborne driving a clumsy tractor through Marcus Miller's beautiful bass clarinet work on Sentimental mood (above) - how insensitive!

Pete
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
Nice trade between the barisaxophone and bass clarinet. http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=698748

This a song that Glenn Shambroom wrote and arranged for saxaphone quartet (AATB). The name of the song is "Little Black Shirt". It's Shambroom on barisax (The Martin Baritone, what else ...??) and Scott Shetler bass clarinet. The other saxmen is Billy Novick alto, Paul Ahlstrand alto and Scott Shetler tenor. All players are from Boston. Ther must be something in the water!?!?!

Thomas
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,627
Thats lovely- also just provided me with a bit of a lunchtime play-along on my harmonica! :)
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Nice trade between the barisaxophone and bass clarinet. http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=698748

This a song that Glenn Shambroom wrote and arranged for saxaphone quartet (AATB). The name of the song is "Little Black Shirt". It's Shambroom on barisax (The Martin Baritone, what else ...??) and Scott Shetler bass clarinet. The other saxmen is Billy Novick alto, Paul Ahlstrand alto and Scott Shetler tenor. All players are from Boston. Ther must be something in the water!?!?!

Thomas
Tea?
 

Ville K.

Member
Messages
58
For me the bass clarinet is something I will probably always associate with two very diverse and talented musicians: John Surman and Eric Dolphy.

I have never really been that fond about clarinets but thanks to people like Dolphy and Surman I'd love to get my hands on the bass clarinet!
 
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cherrybyte

Member
Messages
110
Plastic bass clari's in my experience are pretty rubbish, avoid.

I play on an old Noblet student type (wooden of course) which sounds pretty good, picked up second hand for about £600.
If you can find a Yamaha they're pretty good but really you'll need a Selmer, which will cost an arm and both legs.

Tenor reeds do work but the tip should really be more rounded than a tenor reed to fit the mouthpiece.
As for mouthpiece I use a Pomarico Jazz XX crystalite - nice big open lay but possible to play quite nicely as well as with punch, and not too ridiculous in price compared to some!

Hope that helps.

Nick
Yeah..??..try a Yam 221mk2 + a modified Pillinger standard 7C yam student m/p played with 3.5 Barisax plasticovers, works for me..perhaps not for you, took me a long time of swapping things around to get there, as tip don't bother over the first two octaves, top stuff is not whats its for, makes a great change from the Bari in terms of tone colour...Ohh..i'm just having started a serious go at Euphonium, gives even more...'Just do it Jules'
 
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