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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000478.txt from 2001/05

From: Cindy Christensen <>
Subj: [kl] Overblowing, (was clarinet history)
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 04:20:08 -0400

This also happened to a student of mine just after she got braces. She
was so depressed, she brought her Dad to her lesson because she thought
she was probably going to have to quit the clarinet. As it turned out,
she was taking too much mouthpiece in her mouth, perhaps to compensate
for the pain of the new braces. Once she took less mouthpiece, the
problem went away. Boy was she relieved.
Cindy in Germany

On Saturday, May 19, 2001, at 10:15 ,

> Perhaps I should be embarrassed to admit this, but occasionally I
> pick up my instrument with the intent of playing a scale from chalumeau
> upwards (that is, without fingering the register key), and only clarion
> notes come out. When this happens to me, I attempt to adjust my
> embouchure and tongue and to depress my register key a couple of times
> (just to convince myself that it isn't stuck open, which it never is),
> but nothing works. I remain stuck in the clarion register no matter
> what I try.
> The only cure (for me) is to move up the scale without touching the
> register key until finally I get so high that the reed drops down on its
> own accord to the register that I want. Once this happens, the problem
> does not recur.
> My point is: if this register jump happens unwillingly to me,
> then presumably it happened ages ago to other musicians as well. This
> assumes that a closed register key (on a instrument that is built to
> take advantage of the key when it is opened) is truly the same as an
> instrument with no register key at all --- which may not be true.
> I feel that someday, when I learn how to force myself down to the
> chalumeau register instantly, I will have learned something important.
> The obvious suspicion is a leaky pad or a sticky key or a weak spring;
> but so far, two different technicians have been unable to spot anything
> that needs fixing. I'm fairly certain that it's me, not the
> instrument.

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