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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001138.txt from 1998/03

Subj: Re: Re: "problem" notes
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 10:31:26 -0500

In a message dated 3/22/98 8:33:48 AM, you wrote:

<<> >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'").

I must say I half agree with you: We ought to tune the clarinet to another
note besides concert Bb before the principal clarinetist gives the Bb tuning
note to the band. But in order for the clarinet to minimize detuning in the
first two modes or registers of the clarinets pulling at least some at the
middle joint is unavoidable.
Simply tuning to another note is the old head in the sand approach that avoids
rather than addresses the naturally sharp "c" of the right hand clarion.
There are two goals the player has in tuning:
tuning to the general pitch level of the other instrument(s), and getting the
clarinet better in tune with itself at that pitch level.
The article Roger Garrett mentions below gives the sanest (not the perfect)
approach I have ever been able to figure out, since it solves most of the
various problems. It's a little detailed to go into, but I think you know
how to get to my site and the article is there in the listings:
Pulling at the bell has little effect on the clarion "C", and almost none on
the clarion "D", which is also on the sharp side of most clarinets.
If those notes are still sharp after all this they may need to be tuned down.
That is no problem. I routinely do such things. It's not a universally
needed thing, since some clarinets of the same brand and model are sharper
than others on these pitches.
As for lipping down: There is a strict limit that the clarinet can lip any
tone down without losing the center and dissolving the shape of the tone. I
think the sharpness of most C's and D's is well past this strict limit, if one
desires to keep the integrity of color and shape along with pitch.
As for the middle joint slipping? Let's address that as a real fear rather
than sweeping it aside: For those educators who fear this problem I have a
virtually permanent solution for the cork: teflon tape.
It goes like this:
1. clean the cork with alcohol......not the kind bottled in bond!
2.take the teflon tape (available at most hardward stores) and wrap several
layers around the cork,
3.cut the end and simply press it to the tape already wrapped on the tenon.
4. Then put the tenon into the lower joint socket.
The socket will compress the tape into a very firm fit that will be virtually
permanent and will never need cork grease!
If the joint is still a bit loose, simply repeat the process on top of the
tape already there.
This works great for barrel and mouthpiece fitting too, and lasts and lasts
and lasts.
Does it look a bit funny?
Well, just laugh all the way to the bank.

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