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 Is my clarinet broken?
Author: theama 
Date:   2010-06-23 10:10

I was given a clarinet by my inlaw, but I think it's broken. Theres too much air coming out, I think. I have to blow really hard to get it to make a clean sound, and even then I can hear the air.

Am I just blowing wrong, or could it be broken? I haven't waxed the corks.

Also, I keep making a high-pitched squeek sometimes. Broken or is it be who can't play for sh*t?

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2010-06-23 10:21

If the reed you were using is the one that originally came with the clarinet, I'd consider buying a new reed. [tongue]

Joking aside - I'd make sure that I'd get a clean sound with just the barrel attached to the mouthpiece. If that's the case, re-check the clarinet.

--
Ben

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: theama 
Date:   2010-06-23 10:29

I get a sound, but also a lot of air. But I have to blow pretty hard.

It's easier if I press down on the reed. The reeds my inlaw used were 2 1/2 but the store I went to only had 3 1/2 and above. (I tried one of his, unused, reeds but it wasn't easy then either) Maybe that's the problem?
Is the reed supposed to be tight and snug on the mouthpiece?

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2010-06-23 10:31

theama,

After trying Ben's advice, I would suggest that you have a leak: one of the pads is not properly closing its tone hole. The pad is most likely on the upper joint, but could be on the lower joint.

In reality, the only way you will know for certain is to take it to someone who can diagnose it (a clarinetist or repair person) and fix the issue (the repair person).

Good luck!

James

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2010-06-23 11:35

A 3.5 reed is way too hard for ANY beginner, so try a 1.5 or a 2 and that should be much easier for you.

Chris.

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: Lelia Loban 2017
Date:   2010-06-23 13:18

James wrote,
>>In reality, the only way you will know for certain is to take it to someone who can diagnose it (a clarinetist or repair person) and fix the issue (the repair person).
>>

I agree. Do you have a teacher or have you joined a band? If not, and if you're trying to learn from an instruction book, then you need to ask a clarinet player or the repair person to show you exactly how to position the reed and how tight the ligature should be. It's much easier to learn these things when someone shows you.

You mention that you haven't "waxed" the corks. This may only be a matter of language translation, so please forgive me if I'm writing something you already know, but we never wax our corks. We grease them, with a special cork grease sold in music stores. If this clarinet hasn't been played in a long time, then the corks do need to be greased. Otherwise, the corks may break apart and fall off.

Also, I wonder whether your in-law explained that the reed needs to be moistened before you put it on the mouthpiece, and needs to stay moist while you play, in order to make a good clarinet sound.

Lelia
http://www.scoreexchange.com/profiles/Lelia_Loban
To hear the audio, click on the "Scorch Plug-In" box above the score.

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2010-06-23 13:33

Chris P,

FWIW: I always start beginners on Rico 2.5's. Never had a student who couldn't sound the instrument in the first lesson (much less five minutes).

This starts the student with a firm concept: it takes wind to play a wind instrument.

James

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2010-06-23 14:00

Fine if they have the chops for it, but if they don't then they'll only struggle.

Chris.

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: theama 
Date:   2010-06-23 14:03

Chris: thank you :) I'll make sure to get some smaller ones. I'll have to try a different store.
Is there a difference between brands?

Leila:
I meant "grease", yes. :P The people at the stores are rarely competent enough to know that much about clarinettes. I'll make sure to get some grease.
And yes, I learned to wet the reeds. Learned it all through the internet!

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: theama 
Date:   2010-06-23 14:03

Which is why I suck! :P

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2010-06-23 16:18

Hi, Thema. before you do much else, please try to find a competent teacher in your area. He or she will be able to tell you if the clarinet needs repairs, or what reed would be best for you.

I am not all that familiar with Norway, escept that I had a friend who lived in Lillehammer and Oslo, but he's now back in the US. Are you near a large city, where you might be able to find a teacher?

Jeff

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: marcia 
Date:   2010-06-23 16:22

>Which is why I suck! :P

NONONO....you have to blow!! [happy]

(sorry--couldn't resist)

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2010-06-23 16:27

"Fine if they have the chops for it, but if they don't then they'll only struggle."

Haven't yet had one that couldn't play a 2.5, in nine years of teaching, from seven year olds to eleven year olds (eleven is the standard beginning age in this area).

Doing so requires that they immediately use wind to play, and (if I have them from the start) allows their embouchure to develop quickly.

When I run across one that can't, I'll have them move down!

James

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: BobD 
Date:   2010-06-23 17:35

As others have suggested.....have a competent clarinet player give it a try.....

Bob Draznik

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2010-06-23 22:30

800-391-8762 Musician's friend. They carry reeds close to wholesale prices.

Since you are just starting out I'd suggest using #2 strengths, after a month or 2 jump up to 2 1/2.

A 3 1/2 reed is a pretty hard reed to start off on.

Also check out the mouthpiece and see if there are any chips on the mouthpiece, where the reed sits.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2010-06-23 22:50

James,

I have students that use the Rico 2s, 2.5s within a first few lessons. Give them a Vandoren and it's a different story. Rico cane is soft so that's why they can usually get a good noise. I would say a Rico 2 is about equivalent to a Vandoren 1.5

Peter Cigleris

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 Re: Is my clarinet broken?
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2010-06-23 23:51

I agree Peter,

Generally speaking another "advantage" of the Rico 2.5 is that they are cheap. Young kids over here are usually incapable of taking care of them (and I imagine I was too in the beginning). The next step after a couple of weeks is Vandoren 2.5's -- clearly a step up.

Starting on a Vandoren 2 would be just fine by me, but in my experience (and this will obviously change geographically) most aren't playing Vandoren's in the beginning.

James

Gnothi Seauton

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