Klarinet Archive - Posting 000308.txt from 1999/04
From: "Dee D. Hays" <deehays@-----.com>
Subj: Re: [kl] Where to begin
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 14:59:40 -0400
Date: Monday, April 05, 1999 12:49 PM
Subject: [kl] Where to begin
>I recently picked up a 40 year old Bundy Clarinet that I use to play as a
>student 15 years ago. I played for about 3 years but don't remember much
>than the A tune a day Book. Does anybody have any ideas on where to pick
>up. Books etc. I don't plan on a teacher yet until I get passed the
>Any help would be greatly appreciated.
>Unable and Willing Student
1. Have the instrument checked out for any bad or marginal springs, corks,
or pads and get these fixed.
2. Start with a teacher right away. You'll get over the horrible spots
much faster and a teacher can spot any bad habits that you currently have or
might develop working on your own.
3. You probably used the stock mouthpiece when you were a student. Suggest
you get a better one right off the bat. Some ones that are frequently
recommended are the Vandoren B45, Hite Premier, and Fobes Debut. The first
one is hard rubber and the latter two are plastic (and less expensive). A
good mouthpiece makes a tremendous difference on ANY instrument.
4. Get good quality reeds (Vandoren, Rico Royal, Mitchell Lurie). The
plain, dirt cheap, regular Ricos should be limited to the break a reed a day
type of kid.
5. Don't start on too soft or too hard a reed. Too soft and you may start
pinching to get up to pitch on the higher notes (a difficult habit to
break). Too hard and you'll wear yourself out since your embouchure isn't
built up yet (later you will probably move up a bit though). Every one has
a different opinion but I would suggest that since you are an adult rather
than a young child not going any softer than 2.5 in the Mitchell Lurie or
Rico Royal (that's about a 2 in Vandorens which run harder).
6. Be patient with yourself. It takes a while to get things back. As
adults, we are accustomed to learning academic skills fairly quickly and
sometimes get frustrated when it takes time to master physical skills.
7. After a few months, you might want to find a local community band and
see if you can play if them.
Welcome back to the clarinet. It's a great joy to be able to make music
rather than just listening all the time.
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