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 Eb Alto Clarinet Tips Requested (Preferably with Breathing)
Author: orichic (---.lightspeed.dybhfl.sbcglobal.net - (SBC Internet Services) Deltona, FL United States)
Date:   2012-03-13 22:48

I just started on Eb Alto Clarinet today and Want a few Tips on it by Request

Before I say anything else, This Alto needs a few Repairs, new Pads and whatever else It might need and will get that by next week hopefully

Minus the Squeaking, the only other problem I have is Breathing

After playing just 2 measures of The Show Boy March by Will Huff, I find myself Gasping for Air and wanting to pass out, I've been playing Bb Clarinet for over 3 years about to be 4 and Alto Clarinet is the only one that makes me wanna pass out gasping for air, Me nor the Previous Owner know if it's just the player or the Instrument (it really does need a few repairs) so is there any tips to overcoming this Breathing Issue? Thanks!

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 Re: Eb Alto Clarinet Tips Requested (Preferably with Breathing)
Author: Chris P (---.as13285.net - (TalkTalk) Hove, B6 United Kingdom)
Date:   2012-03-13 23:50

The mouthpiece facing is most likely to be far wider than you're used to, so you're using more air than normal. If it's your own alto, try out as many different mouthpieces and reed strengths (use alto sax reeds) to see which works best for you so you don't feel you're going to pass out when you're playing it. Maybe you're trying too hard to hear yourself playing so you're using more air that way.

Chris.

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 Re: Eb Alto Clarinet Tips Requested (Preferably with Breathing)
Author: bethmhil (50.44.183.---)
Date:   2012-03-14 00:49

I also just began playing alto clarinet... that darn Percy Grainger and his pieces that require alto clarinet!

I am also finding the same issue. I play both soprano and bass clarinet proficiently, and alto clarinet is just in-between enough that it makes the instrument difficult to understand and control because there is so much resistance, at least for me. Breath control is difficult when there is so much resistance.

Something major that helps in any situation is playing long tones. Doing so will help you adjust to the reed, the mouthpiece, and the horn, whatever it might be.

BMH
Illinois State University, BME and BM Performance

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 Re: Eb Alto Clarinet Tips Requested (Preferably with Breathing)
Author: orichic (---.lightspeed.dybhfl.sbcglobal.net - (SBC Internet Services) Deltona, FL United States)
Date:   2012-03-14 01:10

The last person who played this had the same troubles, Him and my Band Director said it probably needs to be re-padded which I'm hopefully doing next week, I don't know if that IS The issue or it's just me because I feel like I'm blowing Every air I have in my Body just to produce a Sound and quickly Gasping for air.

I've Been playing Clarinet for over 3 years, I also play Eb Alto Clarinet For Concert Band and I also play Piano, Trombone, Hopefully Saxophone soon, I absolutely Love Marching Band, It's what I wanna go to college for, I'm a Sophomore at High School

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 Re: Eb Alto Clarinet Tips Requested (Preferably with Breathing)
Author: Lelia Loban (---.washdc.btas.verizon.net - (Verizon Internet Services) Alexandria, VA United States)
Date:   2012-03-14 14:27

In your situation, I'd wait to try new reeds or mouthpiece until that overhaul gets done. The repair work could make a huge difference. It seems to me that my alto clarinet, which is a pro-quality Selmer in good condition, requires about the same amount of air as my soprano clarinets -- but I remember having to blow like the Big Bad Wolf to get sound from a decrepit old school-owned alto many years ago. That alto clarinet had been abused by so many generations of kids, and the older school that dumped it on -- oops, I mean generously gave it to my (newly-built) school had done such a poor job of maintaining the instrument, that it was pretty much hopeless. When my conductor got the funds to replace that sorry piece of plumbing with a brand-new Bundy, the responsiveness was one of the most striking differences.

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: Eb Alto Clarinet Tips Requested (Preferably with Breathing)
Author: alto gether (---.qdsl.w.sea.openaccess.org - (Open Access Network Services LLC) Bellingham, WA United States)
Date:   2012-03-14 16:51

I find alto easiest of all sizes to play. If the tech fixes a lot of leaks and it becomes easily playable, good. If not, the price of a used AC is the smallest part of the equation. I spent $130 on mine, $80 on mouthpiece/reeds/ligature, and $300 so far on fixups.

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 Re: Eb Alto Clarinet Tips Requested (Preferably with Breathing)
Author: orichic (---.lightspeed.dybhfl.sbcglobal.net - (SBC Internet Services) Deltona, FL United States)
Date:   2012-03-29 23:14

Ok so I got it back repairs, new pads and new keys and all and we found out it was mostly the Reed, I've been using a Vandoren 2 1/2 Sax Reed but then tested on a 2 1/2 sax Rico Reed and it became A LOOOTTT EASIER TO PLAY!! Like my Gasping for air is now gone, It plays easy but there's still one big big huge problem with it

The Squeaking hasn't gone away, sometimes it chooses to play good but then it chooses to Squeak, I don't know what's wrong, can anyone help?

I've Been playing Clarinet for over 3 years, I also play Eb Alto Clarinet For Concert Band and I also play Piano, Trombone, Hopefully Saxophone soon, I absolutely Love Marching Band, It's what I wanna go to college for, I'm a Sophomore at High School

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 Re: Eb Alto Clarinet Tips Requested (Preferably with Breathing)
Author: LesleyM (---.scansafe.net - (ScanSafe) London, H9 United Kingdom)
Date:   2012-08-30 14:29

I have also just taken up the Eflat alto.

I don't have the breathing issues but maybe that is because i already play the sax - when I first started playing sax I had breathing issues due to high back pressure but now I have no issues. But I do have the squeak problem. Someone told me to put a little bit of tape over the hole in the key under yr LH index finger as this is not used for most playing and can squeak if you don't cover it.

Lx

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 Re: Eb Alto Clarinet Tips Requested (Preferably with Breathing)
Author: bradfordlloyd (12.69.53.---)
Date:   2012-08-30 17:45

I'm also playing alto clarinet this fall and had to spend considerable time and experimentation getting the set-up just right (a trip to the tech to fix any issues, relearning the mouthpiece, selecting some different reeds, etc.). I found that I like a softer reed than usual on clarinet (I usually play on a #4 vandoren, now playing alto on a #3) and that I prefer alto SAX reeds to alto clarinet reeds.

Because I play other clarinets more frequently (Bb & Eb soprano, primarily), I had to get reacquainted with finger position as well -- especially important because I play an open hole instrument!

With some set-up changes, practice, and patience, I'm now sounding far better and I'm even a little proud of the way it's coming along. Alto clarinet is definitely its own beast!

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 Re: Eb Alto Clarinet Tips Requested (Preferably with Breathing)
Author: g3clrnt (---.skyriver.net - (Skyriver Communications) San Diego, CA United States)
Date:   2012-08-30 23:11

I was fortunate enough to go to graduate school with several working alto clarinets! They were serviced/inspected annually. Playing the harmony clarinets in band was part of my assistantship. The alto was a battle at first but I found a winning combo of equipment that made playing alto fun and quite rewarding. The Yamaha alto paired with a selmer c* alto clar mp, Vandoren alto clarinet reed 3 or 3.5 and a Vandoren ligature, this setup combination was so precarious that even changing the ligature messed up the sound production! I also used both a neck strap and the peg. Our school was well stocked With a variety of instruments, ligatures, mouthpieces and even reeds so I did spend many weeks going through all the various combinations that worked for me.

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 Re: Eb Alto Clarinet Tips Requested (Preferably with Breathing)
Author: JamesOrlandoGarcia (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net - (AT&T Internet Services) Chicago, IL United States)
Date:   2012-08-31 15:20

If it is wood, you save the body for the winter and use it to warm your house as firewood. If it is plastic, you can do this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjiIcwBAaJs

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 Re: Eb Alto Clarinet Tips Requested (Preferably with Breathing)
Author: bradfordlloyd (12.69.53.---)
Date:   2012-08-31 19:21

Wow, JamesOrlandoGarcia, why the hate?

Did an alto clarinet player steal your lunch money when you were in junior high?

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