Advertising and Web Hosting on Woodwind.Org!

Klarinet Archive - Posting 000053.txt from 1997/12

From: Roger Shilcock <>
Subj: Re: Bass clarinet necks
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 1997 08:22:45 -0500

This makes a lot of sense to me.
Roger S.

On Mon, 1 Dec 1997, Da Shouryu-man wrote:

> Date: Mon, 1 Dec 1997 10:21:58 -0700 (MST)
> From: Da Shouryu-man <>
> Reply-To:
> To:
> Subject: Bass clarinet necks
> The problem with the bass clarinet neck is not really a problem at all.
> As a clarinet major with an emphasis on low clarinets (all low clarinets),
> I have encountered this topic many times with different people. I also
> moderately proficient with saxes (all, sans the soprano and sopranino).
> In truth, there is no such thing as a 'sax embochure (sp?)'. The
> embochures of
> the saxes and clarinets are the same fundamentally. The real difference
> is pressure. The construction of the saxophone requires that from the
> middle C (fourth space) and up, you can play with pretty much the same
> pressure the clarinets, and virtually the same embochure altogether.
> Anything below the middle C requires less and less pressure on the reed.
> This holds true with all saxes in my experience (I am told that the
> soprano requires an unusally loose embochure, however). The ANGLE has
> NOTHING to do with the sound, only ARTICULATION. Saxes, in general, do
> not use the exact same tonguing method clarinetists use (or SHOULD use, as
> the case often is), which is the tip of the tounge striking only the tip
> of the reed. Because of the angle that the mouthpiece is inserted,
> saxists cannot tongue as fast with this method with so much mouthpiece in
> their mouth. This is because the tongue must be pulled back farther into
> the mouth to make a tip to tip connection. Clarinetists do not have this
> problem because the mouthpiece is angled up more--we have the same amount
> of mouthpiece in our mouths, but it doesn't protrude as far back due to
> the angle, so our tongues can remain relatively less strained than saxes.
> Saxes generally tongue a little farther back on their tongue instead to
> compensate for the angle.
> Now, to apply this to bass clarinet. Since the angle of general necks
> place the angle much like saxes, use the same embochure as you would on a
> clarinet and sax. It's not different, really. (Note: Generally, you
> play on softer reeds on lower instruments, so the pressure won't be quite
> as firm; that is the one notable difference between sop. clar. and bass
> clar.) Instead of tonguing tip to tip as you would on clarinet, tongue as
> you would on sax, a bit farther back on the tongue...I might even go so
> far as to suggest anchor tongue at first, then work your way closer to the
> tip of the tongue. It IS possible to tongue tip to tip on the 'incorrect'
> angled necks, but you most likely won't be able to tongue as fast. (This
> holds true on saxes as well.)
> The point? The emborchures are the same. Just alter the articulation
> slightly. Now, if you've been playing clarinet for forever and are
> completely new to bass, yes, it will be awkward. But it's really not all
> that different.
> Shouryu Nohe
> Coming soon! A whole new Dope-onna-rope! That's right! Shouryu is
> changing EVERYTHING!!! A new signature with new and improved design! A
> new web page with...>gasp<...USEFUL STUFF! Stay tuned in December when
> Warm Up gets a whole new makeover!!!
> (This does not mean, however, that Shouryu has a girlfriend yet.)

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact