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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000340.txt from 1999/04

Subj: [kl] Ideas on return to playing after long absence
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 06:29:15 -0400

Allen Jacks posted:

" 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 more
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 terrible
Any help would be greatly appreciated."

Allen, here's my saga:

Last December 1998, a short 4 months ago, I picked up my 55 year old
one-piece metal clarinet that I learned to play on 40 years ago, and
occasionally toodled on. Got lots of squeaks. Looked and discovered pads
were shot. Did research. Discovered technology had changed, and it would
probably be better for me to get a newer plastic or used wood
instrument--cost would have been about the same to buy or recondition old.
Planned to get an intermediate level used wood. Wound up with a new Buffet
R-13 (best laid plans and all that...).

Still had a couple of old band books around. Most fingerings came back.
Could even play a little. Started looking for a teacher. Took about a month
to find one within an easy commute of where I live. Got a good mouthpiece
and changed reeds on recommendation of teacher. Have made what I consider
dramatic progress in playing, technique, breathing (well, not as dramatic in
breathing, but in time) in a few months. A private teacher will help you
greatly, and will allow you to get past the "terrible stage" much sooner.
He/she will see/hear things that you are not even conscious of. I love
playing again.

It's been my experience in several widely different areas (analytic
geometry/calculus; ice skating; clarinet), that after a long absence (35
years, 20 years, 40 years, respectively), an instructor can make a tremendous
difference in progress and subsequent love of the activity in question.

Good luck. Send me a private email if you want more details.

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