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#31 barry-clari

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 09:57

Jason I suspect might have solved his issues seeing as he last contributed to this thread in early 2004, just under 15 years ago, and 2 years before I knew the ABRSM had a forum...
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#32 Alberto

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 09:50

Hello all,

 

seeing that this thread has revived a bit, I am going to ask for a little advice.

Currently I have been playing for about 9 months and I am very happy with the improvement I have made so far! However, I can still hear that my tone is not so great, and specifically in some notes:

 

- C# right before the break, in the upper joint.

- G-Bb, at the break. This I have seen that some people struggle a lot with as well.

 

I have tried to play these notes isolated, taking very good care that the holes are properly covered and my embouchure is good, but things don't improve a lot. My question is, can I do something in specific while practicing to improve my tone with these notes?

 

I want to know if I can do something myself before I start blaming my instrument (which, ok, it's not that great: Thomann CL-17BB, with a Selmer concept mouthpiece, using vandoren classic strength 3 reeds).

 

Thanks a lot in advance!


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#33 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 11:08

Do you have a tutor, Alberto?  I'm coming round to the idea that for instruments like the clarinet, it's challenging for new learners to be objective about tone production and the best ways to achieve a good quality.  It's one among a great number of factors that caused me to focus on just piano and reluctantly give up clarinet and flute for now.

 

Anyway, have you considered that the no. 3 reed is too hard?

 

There are lots of resources for practising over the break. A quick google search threw up this: http://www.gatewayba...g-The-Break.pdf


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#34 Alberto

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 11:35

I don't have a tutor at the moment and I will probably keep it as a self-learning activity. I am aware it will take longer than usual, but clarinet playing is just a hobby for me.

 

I have tried strengths 2 and 2'5 for Vandoren Classic, V12, 56 and V21 and they are soft for me. I tend to produce more squeaks, and strength 3 doesn't feel hard to blow, so I don't think it is the strength.

 

Fluidity around the break is not the issue really, I practice every day fingering around it (specially now, I am learning how to play Bolero). Really, it is mostly C# and Bb that sound muffled


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#35 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 19 August 2021 - 10:07

I've recently returned to learning clarinet after a break of several years.  Last time, I was getting a bit fed up with the whole reeds issue - I've dallied with various woodwinds over the years and ended up almost exclusively playing recorder because no reeds are involved.  I have tried branching out into flute but I find holding it incredibly awkward so have gone back to clarinet, and firmly intend to use only plastic reeds.  Last time I was playing I tried some Légères which seemed fine to me, though my teacher really wasn't happy about it.  I tried one other sort, can't remember what it was, but I thought the tone was horrible.  There wasn't that much choice at the time.  Now there seem to be a lot more plastic reeds available and as I don't have a teacher I can do as I please!

 

I have bought a number of reeds to try out, and so far I really like the Forestones, so the point of this post is to give them a plug if you haven't come across them.  They are apparently made out of bamboo fibres bound together with some sort of plastic, so maybe they should be regarded as a kind of hybrid.  It's early days and my embouchure needs a lot of rebuilding so I'm sticking to softer ones for now.  I like both the traditional and the white bamboo; am finding the premium a bit hard and haven't tried the black bamboo.  They are substantially cheaper than Légères so, if they last as well, could be a bargain.


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#36 Zixi

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 09:53

I'm at the trying out reeds stage. So far, I've played a few notes and got some sounds. It's on hold because we're decorating the final rooms here. But I'd like to ask:

 

1. How long do reeds last? (I guess this might be the length of string question).

2. How do you know when to replace them?


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#37 Maruja

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 12:07

I use Légeres (2 1/2) and they last for a very long time. As I understand it, the pros who use plastic tend to go for the Légeres, so if it's good enough for them.... I first started to use them when I was beginning clarinet, because it was one less thing to think about - you can get very bogged down in things like reeds, mouth pieces and all the technical stuff.  If I sqeaked, I knew it was not because of the reed, but something to do with air pressure, covering tone holes, breathing etc and not a dodgy reed. Légeres are expensive, but many people will only use a small number of reeds out of a box and chuck the others, so I am not sure if there is a great deal of difference in price at the end of the day. 

 

If you use cane, and you are a beginner, you will probably chip the reeds , so you need to throw them away when the tip is damaged. As you progress you learn to handle them more carefully (at least that is my experience) so that is no longer a problem. I would say you throw them away when they no longer sound as good as they did in the beginning, or they might soften, or certainly lose their punch.

 

Hope this helps

 

Maruja


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#38 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 12:53

1. How long do reeds last?

 

Till they're worn out

 

2. How do you know when to replace them?

 

Replace them when they're worn out!


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#39 Zixi

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Posted 08 September 2021 - 13:59

@Maruja - Yes, that does help a lot. Thank you! :)

 

@OaG - rofl!


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#40 barry-clari the second

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Posted 09 September 2021 - 17:43

1. How long do reeds last?


Till they're worn out

2. How do you know when to replace them?


Replace them when they're worn out!
Do you know what : that’s really very sound and reasonable advice : the answer very much falls under ‘how long is a piece of string’!

Generally any of the following with a cane reed = replace

- a chip/split
- bad discolouring or mottling
- an inability to control the tone
- lip fatigue setting in prematurely when playing
- poor tuning with no ability to change it
- ‘snap crackle and pop’ sound behind the reed only controllable by biting
- reed gets weak and soggy very quickly
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#41 Zixi

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 08:19

Thanks barry-clari, that helps too. I can be somewhat absolute about things I'm afraid; so a list is very useful even if it amounts to OaG's 'replace when worn out!' :lol: :lol: :lol:


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#42 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 09:19

I can't resist bringing your attention to this, in case you haven't seen it before....

 

In the beginning was the piece of string (current cost, a few cents), then came the ligature, and now full circle back to the string (though at a slightly higher cost) https://www.thomann....arinet_s_06.htm


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#43 Zixi

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 09:28

I am seriously impressed with that. I'm in awe at the cost. I'm wondering whether having a pile of those would be better than gold bars under the bed. Titanium is extremely light after all. I wonder where the 'cost' is? Titanium is cheap.


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#44 Maruja

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 09:28

My goodness! There must be a mistake! Or pehaps not...?


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#45 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 10:07

My goodness! There must be a mistake! Or pehaps not...?

 

To be fair, it is their top model; they do a more basic universal fitting one (if, of course, you can live without the titanium rocking mechanism - a big ask, I know) for as little as €149 :)


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