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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000460.txt from 1997/09

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: Blowing Resistance
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 16:06:30 -0400

Dennis asks a very good question....

Undoubtedly, the choice of clarinet with a little resistance to blow
against was, in his case, perhaps not the best choice. However, to have a
clarinet that is completely non-resistant is also a problem in that the
resonant qualities one expects and associates with a little resistance can
be very lacking. Stuffiness as opposed to resistance are different
animals! My last R-13 was very free blowing, and it was wonderful for
chamber music and some solo literature. On the other hand, my current
R-13 Prestige is more resistant, and allows me to blow at loud volumes
without the pitch dropping. I do have to remain in the peak of playing
condition to maintain a centered pitch however.

Additionally, a free blowing mouthpiece can be a problem......harder reeds
sometimes solves the problem, but, ideally, I find it best (personally) to
play on a mouthpiece that is free-blowing yet still retains resistance.
Hard to describe.......easiest to demonstrate. As I read back through
what I have read, I realize it may not make sense.

Oh well....I tried!

Roger Garrett

On Tue, 9 Sep 1997, Dennis Nord wrote:

> Roger Garrett mentioned something I don't recall seeing discussed, at
> least not recently -- ". . .I mean ease of blowing, quality of
> resistance, . . ."
> In selecting a quality instrument, what should one look for in terms of
> resistance and ease of blowing assuming the setup is OK (mouthpiece,
> reed, ligature).
> The reason for asking is that I've had 40 years of "buyer's remorse."
> When my teacher helped me select a new clarinet when I was 12 years old
> (1957), we had three to choose from, Emil Lyon, France (nobody's ever
> heard of them.) We quickly eliminated #3. I liked #2 because it played
> easiest. My teacher said, "Take #1. You need a little resistance to
> work against."
> To this day I think that choice was a mistake. Altho the instrument has
> wonderful tone, it has never had sufficient volume or projection.
> So, what's it feel like to play a top-of-the-line clarinet?
> free-blowing, or is it work? How does one chose?
> Dennis Nord

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