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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001304.txt from 1999/01

From: "Kevin Fay (LCA)" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Roger Harvey's question about upgrading
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 22:54:43 -0500

James.P.Reed wrote:

<<<I'd like to reinforce Cindy's comments about sticking with your Noblet
and trying some different mouthpieces and ligatures for awhile. That's the
approach I've taken in the past year, having picked up and started playing
the clarinet at age 50. Personally, I don't think I could have told much of
a difference in my tonal quality or playing, in the beginning.>>>

This is excellent advice. According to D. Stanley Hasty, a somewhat
prominent teacher, the rule is something like "the farther the thing is from
your brain, the less important it is." 2 points--

1. The conception of sound in your head is far more important than your

2. If you want to worry about equipment, worry about the reed/mouthpiece
combination first--it's really much more important. Think of it this
way--the reed/mouthpiece is the guitar; the clarinet is the amplifier.
Sure, an intermediate clarinet can make some notes fuzzy or out of tune, but
the basic tone is the foundation of everything you do. Remember
(paraphrasing Hasty again, sorry): "tone isn't everything, it's the ONLY

Note that point 2 is in the context of your Noblet, which is actually a fine
instrument, you will see much more improvement by saving the cost of an
artist-level instrument and getting a great mouthpiece, like a Hite,
Hawkins, Dan Johnston, Jim Pyne or (my favorite by far) Greg Smith.

Scratch that--just buy a Greg Smith. Its only my opinion, but I'm right.
(This, for the humor deficient, is a joke).


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