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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000163.txt from 1995/03

From: Lynn Thomas <thomas@-----.ORG>
Subj: Re: bass clarinet
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 1995 10:17:42 -0500

Linda -

I have played on a number of different bass clarinets throughout my life,
and find that the most satisfying, warm tones come from quality wooden
instruments. That, and the fact that if you look at a resin bass
sideways, the keys bend...:) They are too inconsistent for a
professional to have to deal with on a regular basis. And yes, we would
like to have an extended range instrument if we can find it at the right

My gig is that of principal clarinetist, and occasional eefer, and bass
(when there are juicy parts, plus it gives the other clarinetists a
chance to play 1st once in a while, and keeps the troops happy!) Since I
am not the only person who will play this instrument, it makes sense that
it be of sound construction. While I have repair experience, I don't have
the patience/time/desire to continually work on it, and the orchestra does
not have the money to continually send it out to a quality repairman such as
Mike Hammer.

If you are playing out of doors, it does make sense to use a resin bass
for those performances. Resins seem to be unaware of humidity, rain,
bugs, etc...! Since we don't do too many of those type of concerts, that
is not our real concern, however. When I was in high school, I played
on one of the Selmer resin basses in the Lancaster Youth Symphony and
other assorted places (Selmer was the first to come out with the peg in
the 70s, I'm dating myself). It had a very nice tone, but being a
clarinetist, however, I found that the resin bass "couldn't handle" a lot of
the technical passages - it "got behind me" so to speak. The resins haven't
changed much since then, either. Prompt and accurate technical response is
very important - anyone who has ever played Hindemith (especially the Septet)
is well aware of this! I want my bass to respond as well as my B-flat,A
or eefer; this is basically the reason I won't consider a "resin monster"!


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