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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001113.txt from 1998/03

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: "problem" notes
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 10:31:52 -0500

> >Roger Garrett wrote:
> >Bb concert (the one you tune them on)....usually sharp......tune at
> >barrel, but will drop throat tones too low often. Can tune at center of
> >instrument (between top and bottom joint) on many student grade
> >instruments.

> Karl Krelove wrote:
> This has not been my experience, but even if true I'm leary of pulling the
> center joint apart for routine tuning. The possibility of the thing coming
> apart or at least wobbling while playing it is greater, and the bridge keys
> may not function properly on some instruments. Also, the notes a 12th below,
> which are almost uniformly flat (see below), will be that much worse. I'd
> try pulling the bell out a little first (which will still flatten low E and
> F). I'd tune the instrument to a different note on a tuner and have the
> student learn to humor the concert Bb ("with the 'voicing'").

Pulling a Bb student grade instrument out 2 mm at the center will not
negatively affect the instrument coming apart (if corks are in good
shape), nor will it negatively impact on the bridge key mechanism if the
cork is still in place and the key mechanism is not bent. The issue is if
the student grade instrument is sharp on the Bb concert.......something
that is often the case. A bridge key mechanism can be easily adjusted for
a slight pull without detracting from the rest of the clarinet. Keep in
mind, each clarinet is different.....and many of the clarients that
require pulling at the center joint are not pro-line instruments.

For those jr. high band directors insterested in an article that deals
with this issue, please refer to Tom Ridenour's home page at:

Tom designed the Opus Clarinet made by Leblanc, and his discussion may
shed more light on some of the more common tuning problems experienced by
band directors and their students.

Roger Garrett

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