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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000222.txt from 1999/04

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: [kl] re: Plastic Bundy
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 1999 11:37:05 -0400

On Sun, 4 Apr 1999, David Blumberg wrote:
> Can a plastic Bundy suit anybody for anything except Javelin practice? I don't
> think that anyone, anywhere can get a better sound on a Bundy then from a
> Signature, or Prestige. It's like comparing a car with 115 HP to one with 275
> in a race (at the same weight).

David's response above cracked me up this morning - I pictured a Bundy
clarinet hurling through the air - hmmmm.........quite a funny picture.

A quick personal story. When I was in the 7th and 8th grade (I started
clarinet in 7th grade), I had a very old, used plastic Vito clarinet. My
father saved out for me a "good" mouthpiece for when I was ready to use
it. After 7 months on the horn, he proclaimed me ready to use the better
mouthpiece and gave it to me to use. I don't remember what the brand was.
At any rate, it was no different to me than the other mouthpiece - and I
didn't understand why I was to use it. I have since used that knowledge
with the beginners I teach - as well as the more advanced students. When
they feel a difference or hear a difference when mouhpieces are changed,
then they are ready to step up to a better one. Until they notice the
difference (assuming the one they are on blows freely and is not just a
stuffy, poor quality mouthpiece), they might as well stay on the one they
have. I broke that mouthpiece by accident the second day I had it
(dropped it on a concrete floor) - and while it was the last mouthpiece I
have ever broken (knock on wood), I still remember my father's expression
when I took it to him and showed him the enormous chip - not a good day.

The rest of the story is that in 9th grade, my father offered me the use
of his Noblet clarinet (which today I think is still a great playing
instrument - hard to believe it i as good as it is for a mid-line
instrument) and, when I tried to play my solo on it, didn't like it as
well as the Vito. The thing is, I really WANTED to play on the Noblet, so
I wasn't altering my approach. The darn thing just didn't play as well as
my Vito. 20 years later, I tried both horns out side by side again and
there was no comparison. I sold the Vito the next day for $90, and was
happy to see my first horn go the way of clarinet heaven. I still have
the Noblet.
Roger Garrett
Professor of Clarinet
Director - Concert Band, Symphonic Winds & Titan Band
Advisor - Recording Studio
Illinois Wesleyan University

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