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Clarinets The Clarinet Thread

OutToLunch!

New Member
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Searched but did not find a general discussion thread for clarinet so I figured I'd make one. Discuss all things clarinet here: soprano, alto, bass, contrabass, playing technique, general advice, etc.

Anyone here double on clarinet? I just got a standard Bb clarinet and am loving it so far.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
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3,680
I started on the clarinet when I was nine, five years before starting on the sax. I played up to grade eight (UK exam system for learning instruments) but got very bored with the classical-bias to the tuition. By that time I was playing sax much more, and I've hardly played the clarinet for the lst twenty five years. However, a couple of weeks ago my nine year old daughter was givena clari by her school, so I've been playing it again recently. I've quite enjoyed it. Feels a bit strange compared to my tenor sax, with the tiny tip opening on a clarinet mouthpiece (I play a 0.125" opening on tenor) but after a few minutes I get used to it.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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I've been playing the damn thing for 40 years and teaching it for 20. I'm still crap at it.
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
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1,026
I bought my son an upgrade from his student clarinet YCL250, as a surprise, in an attempt to encourage him to keep playing (his guitar has much more street cred for a teenager!). End result is that I now have beautiful Buffet R13 which I occasionally take out of the box and try to play (learning from Abracadabra), whilst he has stuck to the plastic Yamaha - because it sounds better!

.......invaluable but expensive lesson learnt here!
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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I'm not all surprised by that. I reckon the only reason wooden clarinets usually sound better than plastic ones ones is that the manufacturers put more effort and care into making them. If they did the same for plastic ones they would sound just as good. But they won't cos they'd never sell any.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
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My 16 year old daughter plays clarinet. On the advice of the cafe collective, we bought her a 2nd hand Yamaha 62ii (I think).
As an attempt to get her to play a little more, we went for joint fun lessons over the summer hols. Our teacher got some clarinet and alto sax duets ready for us. However my daughter doesn't like Jazz and I'm not made keen on classical music. Because I'd like her to play (anything would be good!) I have played the classical pieces. We have enjoyed playing together.
She is a much better musicial then I am - she can read the dots and get the rhythm immediately, and she has perfect pitch, so she can tell me when I'm out of tune (the meter shows she is spot on too!) but I have been playing longer (2.5 years for me, about 5 months for her) so have a little more skill around the instrument.
Rather frustratingly for me and our teacher, she can "just play" the clarinet, think how much better she'd be if she practiced! So, she came home from her lesson on Monday declaring she'll be taking grade 4 in March, most impressed.
Now all we need is for her to practice a little! :welldone :D
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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My 16 year old daughter plays clarinet. On the advice of the cafe collective, we bought her a 2nd hand Yamaha 62ii (I think).
As an attempt to get her to play a little more, we went for joint fun lessons over the summer hols. Our teacher got some clarinet and alto sax duets ready for us. However my daughter doesn't like Jazz and I'm not made keen on classical music. Because I'd like her to play (anything would be good!) I have played the classical pieces. We have enjoyed playing together.
She is a much better musicial then I am - she can read the dots and get the rhythm immediately, and she has perfect pitch, so she can tell me when I'm out of tune (the meter shows she is spot on too!) but I have been playing longer (2.5 years for me, about 5 months for her) so have a little more skill around the instrument.
Rather frustratingly for me and our teacher, she can "just play" the clarinet, think how much better she'd be if she practiced! So, she came home from her lesson on Monday declaring she'll be taking grade 4 in March, most impressed.
Now all we need is for her to practice a little! :welldone :D
Keep her going, I've got a similar situation with my oldest boy, music just oozes out of him. He picked out and played March of the Toreadors on his clarinet by ear the day he got it, 6 years ago....

Biggest dificulty is getting him to practice, cos he's bored with the tutorials/books. I had a word with his teacher (also my teacher) about this just before the summer break, and there seems to be a bigger emphasis on the fun stuff now. But my son does realise that he needs to keep on with the exerrcises to build up his proficiency.

A lot seems to depend on the teacher, and discussing progress/problems seems to help a lot.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
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Kev,

the teacher (also my teacher) is good, and she's discussed with my daughter what sort of things she'd like to play. The teacher has shelves of music that she will loan to you, so we're not having to waste money on pieces that my daughter might not like. My daughter seems to enjoy practicing once she gets started, it's just finding the time in amongst the AS-level homework, volunteering, etc. But she's taking AS music (at least and hopefully A-level) so knows she needs to reach grade 5 (or 6?) ability before the end of the course. And when she plays it sounds great, hence my frustration :D
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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...And when she plays it sounds great, hence my frustration :D
Be grateful that she's got a talent you'd love, and that you can enjoy seeing her develop it and entertain others. It's the way I handle it. I just want to be able to play along with my wife and kids (backing only...), and it's hard getting to that level. But I'm sure that you have many other talents that she doesn't have.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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My 16 year old daughter plays clarinet. On the advice of the cafe collective, we bought her a 2nd hand Yamaha 62ii (I think).
As an attempt to get her to play a little more, we went for joint fun lessons over the summer hols. Our teacher got some clarinet and alto sax duets ready for us. However my daughter doesn't like Jazz and I'm not made keen on classical music. Because I'd like her to play (anything would be good!) I have played the classical pieces. We have enjoyed playing together.
She is a much better musicial then I am - she can read the dots and get the rhythm immediately, and she has perfect pitch, so she can tell me when I'm out of tune (the meter shows she is spot on too!) but I have been playing longer (2.5 years for me, about 5 months for her) so have a little more skill around the instrument.
Rather frustratingly for me and our teacher, she can "just play" the clarinet, think how much better she'd be if she practiced! So, she came home from her lesson on Monday declaring she'll be taking grade 4 in March, most impressed.
Now all we need is for her to practice a little! :welldone :D
This sounds remarkably similar to my (currently) annoying 15 year-old nephew (he used to be a nice boy! Teenagers...). He 'just plays' the trumpet and cornet and seems to have genuine talent - but hardly practices. He's in the senior wind band with his local authority music service.

Whereas the guitar which he took up at 13 (he has an early stage case of GAS - he's already got 4!) you struggle to keep him away from it and for such a young age seems to be quite accomplished (his teacher who's in his late 20s and has his own rock band of course has god-like status, far out-ranking mere parents or uncles).
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
Biggest difficulty is getting him to practice, cos he's bored with the tutorials/books.
Yes I've got one like that! (Violin this time) it's very easy to get bogged down with all that grade stuff to the point of boredom/insanity, she doesn't like the ABRSM songs at all and thinks they are old fashioned, and in fairness their not the "coolest" of songs for a young person to play.
We have lots of fun playing swing and blues to the point now were we can bounce stuff off each other which of course is giving her another dimension to music and a new found enthusiasm.
 
Messages
509
i have a dilemma, i have been offered a Selmer series 10 wooden clarinet which is in "as new condition" the guy wants £375 for it
my only problem is that i currently use a Rudell Carte plastic clari which to be honest does the job just fine and im not sure given that i play the sax more, that i really need to upgrade, a bad attack of GAS perhaps?
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
i have a dilemma, i have been offered a Selmer series 10 wooden clarinet which is in "as new condition" the guy wants £375 for it
my only problem is that i currently use a Rudell Carte plastic clari which to be honest does the job just fine and im not sure given that i play the sax more, that i really need to upgrade, a bad attack of GAS perhaps?
Given my experience, have a play of the Selmer and decide whether the sound is worth the investment!
 

baritonesax

Member
Messages
256
i have a dilemma, i have been offered a Selmer series 10 wooden clarinet which is in "as new condition" the guy wants £375 for it
my only problem is that i currently use a Rudell Carte plastic clari which to be honest does the job just fine and im not sure given that i play the sax more, that i really need to upgrade, a bad attack of GAS perhaps?
Zoot, that Selmer ought to be a much, much better instrument than your plastic fantastic. It's also extremely cheap. I think that a fair price would be at least twice that if the condition's as good as he says.
 
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509
Zoot, that Selmer ought to be a much, much better instrument than your plastic fantastic. It's also extremely cheap. I think that a fair price would be at least twice that if the condition's as good as he says.
i know that it is in pristine condition because Ive seen it and even held it, i just haven't had the nerve to play it,if i were a Benny Goodman or an Artie shaw it would be an easy choice.
but i am just an average clarinetist, but it is a Selmer and oh! help!!!!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Don't worry about the name, just get on with it and play a little. Plenty of kids with rich parents starting out on better kit than that - and treating it like junk.
 

rudjarl

Senile Member. Scandinavian Ambassadour of CaSLM
Messages
657
Any other first instrument clarinettists on here?
There are indeed. I started playing the clarinet in 1971 and left it for my A5 in 1975. Have hardly touched the thing since, until recently.
 

SallySax

Member
Messages
75
Any other first instrument clarinettists on here?
Me too, although sadly it is neglected and alone in its' case, having been usurped by my Alto. Now, on the rare occasions my clarinet sees the light of day, my fat sausage fingers have trouble finding the correct holes!
 
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