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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000503.txt from 1999/06

From: LeliaLoban@-----.com
Subj: [kl] Doodad anxiety: reed players vs. brassholes
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 14:40:55 -0400

Bob Yoon wrote,
>>As a former trumpet player, I'd have to disagree. By nature, reed players
tend to be more equipment savvy than brass player since their instruments are
much more complex. Sure, I knew what was needed to know about mouthpieces
and different horns, but there just isn't the same amount of information one
needs to know. There are so many different things to worry about. One of
the reasons why I had quit clarinet for a while was because I was going nuts
over reeds, mouthpieces, pads, springs, etc. Trumpet maintenance? Make sure
you wash it regularly and try to keep it dent free. On the other hand, I
sometimes spend several hours on a reed. There was nothing that took up so
much time in terms of the trumpet.>>

That's because you have common sense. ;-)

I completely agree about the basic nature of the instruments, having recently
taken up clarinet restoration as a hobby, for my sins. Aside from the lack
of a reed, trumpets and cornets have nothing like all these itty-bitty parts
and screws and adjustments we deal with. The day before yesterday, the
rotted, brittle corks and felts inside my old (new-to-me) cornet
disintegrated while I was practicing. ("Practicing" is a euphemism for
making remarkably loud and excruciating noises, the way I imagine a weasel
might scream if someone held it down and twisted its tail violently.) Taking
the valves apart to measure for replacement felts and corks took me about two
minutes. Putting the horn back together took only another two minutes,
despite the fact that I'd never done this job before. Everything's marked.
Everything's large enough to manipulate easily with fingers as the only
tools. Everything unscrews in logical, obvious order. The few parts of each
valve have the valve number stamped on them, so it would really take some
effort to mix them up. (I've also found the serial number in seven different
places so far.) The corks and felts come in standard sizes and slip into
place, with no glue and no complicated adjustments.

But believe me, a lot of brassholes find ways to complicate things. I wasn't
exaggerating about their preoccupation with thousandths of an inch in the
bore, the taper, the diameter and the depth of the mouthpiece. They go on
and *on* and ON about that on the trumpet forums. Maybe I just need a little
more time to turn into a full-blown brassaholic, but before I start
obsessing over mouthpieces, I think I'd better learn how to croak out a
recognizable chromatic scale of more than one octave....

Lelia
(BLAAATTTT!)

P. S. This is Shadow Cat, taking over while my stupid pet human thinks she's
dozing off. She's way off-topic, so why don't you tell her to just shut up
about the cornet. In fact, why don't you tell her to go eave it in the
driveway so Kevin will back the car over it.

S.C.
(HISS!)

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