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 Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Cathy 
Date:   2001-04-10 20:10

Hi, Having just read Steve's mail I felt that i just had to write and tell you about my new intrest.
Never having played a muscial instrument before, I have taken up the clarinet. I love it, I'm really hooked, my boys hate it (lol) I have been playing for about 3 months.. I play for a least an hour 3 days (due to work) a week and a least 2 hours, 4 days a week. I am putting in for my Grade 1 exam in June. My teacher say's I am better then this but it is a good one to start with. My dream is to be good enough to play with others in a band or orchestra.
So far so good, I don't seem to have hit any real big problems, I'm sure there are some to come!!!
I have found the site really good but sometimes as a beginner do feel a little lost in what is being talked about.
Due to the site I have played around with reeds. I was making air sounds when blowing the lower notes. I changed liggature, position of ligature and switched to a harder reed. This has helped a lot and for the time being I am happy with the sound that I make!!
I have a Yamaha 26 2. I have no idea if this is a good clarinet or not. It does make a better sound than my friends sons and I do like the sound.

Must go need to practice my scales.

Keep up the intresting mail.
Cathy from Felixstowe in the UK

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Bob Arney 
Date:   2001-04-10 21:10

And congratulations to you also. You and Steve. 1960 must have been a vintage year for embryo clarinetists. Enjoy!
Bob A

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Mandy 
Date:   2001-04-10 21:40

Congratulations!I am a beginner too at a mere 28 years of age and have also been playing for three months,at the moment I'm having great fun playing grade 3 pieces and also muddling through much trickier pieces,if I like a piece of music I don't let the fact that it is a gade 5 or 6 exam piece put me off I just break it down into manageable chunks until I can play it through,fantastic satisfaction.
Don't let people belittle your efforts because you are not a school age student of the clarinet .I have had a feeling since I first picked up this wonderful instrument that it is going to be the greater part of my life from now on.
Don't worry the Yamaha is a top class student clarinet,I went for the Buffet B12 myself but also loved the 26,luckily after only a fortnight of playing the clarinet and owning the B12 my partner bought me an E13 for valentines day(how lucky am I.)
Keep up with your wonderful interest and who knows where it may take you.

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Christoffer 
Date:   2001-04-11 01:11

- - and here's another fellow beginner to wish you welcome aboard (I'm 29, by the way, and have taken up the clarinet after playing the recorder since I was a kid). I play an Yamaha 26II too. I think it is a perfectly OK horn. I do not have that much to compare with, but the first horn I ever tried was an old, no-name wooden one, and the Yamaha was definitely a progress from that, in ease of playing as well as sound.

Keep up the good work,
Chris from Copenhagen, Denmark

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Jeff Forman 
Date:   2001-04-11 01:23

And I took it up a year ago at the age of 46. Like Mandy, I play the music I like to hear and that I like to play, regardless of any level. I got the sheet Music to Clarinet Polka and Brahams Hungarian Dance No. 5 because I liked them, and I have worked them out to where they are smooth. Not terribly fast, mind you, but adequate. My teacher says that as long as I do the lessons, he doesn't mind my fooling around with the other stuff. But he wants me to do the Rubank Intermediate scales, techniques, studies, etc.

Good luck and I hope you get the smae level of pleasure from doing this as I am getting.


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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   2001-04-11 02:01

I took it up at ... 42. Never had played clarinet before.

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Pam 
Date:   2001-04-11 02:51

I played clarinet in school and then didn't play for almost 20 years and now I'm back and loving it more than ever. Hang in there. I am a beginner to the piano (started around Christmas 2000) so those beginner feelings are there for that instrument! 1960 was a great year to be born in! ;o)

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Jim 
Date:   2001-04-11 03:49

Studying an instrument as an adult might well ptresent some of the same problems that teaching adults to read presents; the available method books/ lesson materials are geared to the younger beginners. How many times can you play Twinkle Twinkle, Mary's Lamb or Hot Cross Buns?! Playing music you enjoy while using the books for technique sounds like a great way to maintain interest. The Rubank series actually contains little of the nursery rhyme songs.

Congrats to all the older beginners/ restarters. I started at age 11, put it away after college, and began again at 40 which was 10 years ago. Today I play in a community band, occasionally accompany my church choir and perform in an occasional "Talent Night."

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: RonD 
Date:   2001-04-11 04:39

In agreement with jim about the books. I restarted the clarinet after 40 years and select my own books, but I wanted to learn piano also so I started piano lessons about 6 months ago and sure enough my teacher is completely geared up to teach youngsters, so my introduction to the piano was such classics as The Funny Bunny The Happy Halibut and the all time classic Myrtle The Turtle from the John W. Schaum Pre A Piano course.
I have now started selecting my own books and have asked the teacher to work with me on a more appropiate level. To her credit she is working with me. The problem of course is that few adults undertake these kind of Projects and the teachers have little oppertunity to work with adult beginners.
I find that working on another instrument is very helpfull in advancing my skill levels on the clarinet.

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Mike Irish 
Date:   2001-04-11 04:42

well... I guess I would have been called a 41 year old RE BEGINER .... lol...

until last week turned 42..... hehe.... well, not totally true.... still trying to recover from years of not playing at all and trying to get a regular time to play.... still injoy it all thou.... didnt realize there were this many of us ol foggies here....

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   2001-04-11 04:46

RonD wrote:
> ... the all time classic
> Myrtle The Turtle

Hmmm ... the only one like that I remember is "Myrtle the Convertible Turtle" on 78 - from <b>way</b> back.

Thanks for the memories!

mark C.

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Todd W. 
Date:   2001-04-11 05:04


"The Happy Halibut"??? That one I'd like to learn, just to introduce it at a recital.

Another latecomer to the clarinet (58).

Todd W.

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: RonD 
Date:   2001-04-11 05:06

To Mark, not only do I remember 78s I still have some.

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: David Kinder 
Date:   2001-04-11 07:24


With your determination and practice schedule, I wouldn't see any reason why you wouldn't be able to enroll in a community college band ensemble. I've seen flute players change to french horn (with no prior experience) and they love it! Also, playing in an ensemble setting will help you with the way you hear the other voices and tune with them.

Just a thought.

Dave Kinder

P.S. I'm 23 and I'm picking the clarinet up after 2 years of neglect.

P.P.S. Your Yamaha YCL-26II is an excellent student instrument. You may want to ask your instructor about a mouthpiece upgrade. It can have a great effect on your sound, and make the instrument easier to play. (I use a Vandoren M13, but follow your teacher's recommendation.)

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Anji 
Date:   2001-04-11 12:07

Congrats on picking up the horn!

I'm knocking on the orchestra hall door, myself. My first year of preparation was good but, my 'unique' sense of timing is the limiting factor.

Along with the accoutrement of the horn, a good Metronome and tuner are really important.

Here's my standard newbie spiel;

1- It's all about the reed. This is THE gating element. If the reed doesn't perform,
nothing else will either. Check out the Legere synthetic reed, it really is good.

2- Get a medium-facing, medium-open mouthpiece, the best you can afford that
is readily available. As with any piece of musical equipment PLAY BEFORE
you purchase.

3- Lessons will make all the difference in the long haul. The first three weeks are
probably more important than any following period. If you already read music,
you're miles ahead of the pack.

4- Watch out for wrist strain, the thumbrest on these things should be reset to
keep your index finger and thumb directly opposed. A neckstrap, or modern
Super-Gizmo aftermarket thumbrest will both do the job. (I use a Gizmo.)

5- Retail prices for new horns are high. For that kind of money, it should have
4 doors and a steering wheel. As a cheapskate, I shop second-hand. The
Selmer Centered Tone, 9s and 10s have fantastic mechanics, good sound and
depressed prices. Cheap Buffets/Evettes (like my Master Model) are in more
demand, which drives prices up. Again, PLAY prior to purchase.

Congrats on picking up the Licorice Stick, it's a rewarding instrument.

Now where did I hide my GOOD reed?

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: jerry 
Date:   2001-04-11 12:11

No need to duplicate what I posted on Steve's thread but as a 62 year old beginner I would like to be able to play anything besides the "G" & "F" scales guys are making me jelous with all this Hurdy Gurdy, Merry Turtle stuff .............How does that go anyway.

If I could just get in more practice................a job gets in my way you know.

That's okay. Just a few more and I'll have lots of time to catch up. I too would like to do well enough to do the community band thing.

Good luck to all.

~ jerry

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Ken Shaw 
Date:   2001-04-11 14:29

Cathy -

Welcome aboard.

Everyone needs to work on the mechanics -- scales, arpeggios and so on, but you need to play the music you like, too. Children's songs are great if you put yourself in that mood. It gives you a chance to be a kid again for a few minutes.

When you tire of Hot Cross Buns, try a book of old favorites arranged for clarinet and piano (if you have a pianist), or just the vocal/piano version to play alone. Stephen Foster songs are perfect. There is (or at least used to be) a large size Dover edition of Foster sheet music, printed on good paper and only about $15. I often pick up an instrument before I leave for work in the morning and play a verse of Jeannie With the Light Brown Hair, or even Teddy Bears' Picnic.

It doesn't have to be hard to be good.

Come back often.

Ken Shaw

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: bob gardner 
Date:   2001-04-11 15:46

you have alot of support on this board. I have been back to the clarinet after trying to play in high school. Been at it a year and i really love it. This is from a 65 year young guy.

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: ron b 
Date:   2001-04-11 17:28

Hi, Cathy !
Wishing you all the best and many happy experiences playing the horn.
From another guy in the 65 bracket :])
- ron b -

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Mandy 
Date:   2001-04-11 19:40

The 'Learn as You Play' tutor published by Boosey and Hawkes is a good start for adult beginners including if you are teaching yourself(no kiddie type tunes and nice melodic pieces,the classical and the contemporary)It takes the student from the initial steps to approx,grade 3.

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 RE: Another 41 year old beginner
Author: Cathy 
Date:   2001-04-11 21:04

Hi, Mandy.
That's just the book that I am using, its good. Thanks for your words of encrougement. What other books would you suggest??

Reply To Message
 RE: Another Senior Player
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   2001-04-11 21:32

I've been playing cls, saxes and oboe for [gee whiz] 72 years, and still enjoy and LEARN every gig I play, tonite and 2 services Sunday, Church orch, tom. nite community band, later a BRDY musical and/or our symp. needing a 3rd or bass clarinet . So, join in the fun, its one of the good things in life!! Don

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 RE: Another Senior Player
Author: Jean Dagenais 
Date:   2001-04-11 22:35

Hello Mandy,

I think you are really well started, and I am sure your dream will come true. When I started to play a few years ago, I also had the same dream to play in a group, and it became true in January 2000.

This bb will provide you with a lot of help and support, something I would have love to have at the beginning.

I am now reading "The Educator's Guide to the Clarinet", by Tom Ridenour, and this book explain many subtil aspect of playing clarinets. It's reallly good.

Have a wonderful journey!

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 RE: Another Senior Player
Author: eilidh 
Date:   2001-04-12 22:11

benslow music trust in hertfordshire run good courses in chamber music and ensemble for beginners as well as for more advanced players
why dont you check them out on the web

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 RE: Another Senior Player
Author: Pam 
Date:   2001-04-13 01:25

To Ron D -- There is a John W. Schaum Adult beginner series of books for Piano -- that's what my piano teacher has me in. We get to play real songs that are a little more geared toward adults. Plus the good ole scales and Hanon book of exercises!

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 RE: Another Senior Player
Author: RonD 
Date:   2001-04-13 05:47

To Pam Thanks for the tip I was not aware of this series. I am fortunate to have a music store in town that has a big selection of the Schaum beginners books and the store has a specialist to handle the department. I will stop in soon to see what I can dig up. I have been cruising the music racks, I guess next time I'll ask for help from the experts.

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 RE: Another Senior Player
Author: Roger 
Date:   2001-04-13 13:44

Hey I've gotta have a piece of this---- I'm another of those 60 year young guys that's persuing his dreams and havin' a ball--- stick with it Cathy --- I'm starting to play with a friend on keyboard and we play at a couple of nursing homes each week -- interesting learning curve this playing with others.Roger from down under.

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 RE: Another Senior Player
Author: Mandy 
Date:   2001-04-13 19:48

Glad to be of assistance Cathy I am also using Time Pieces for Clarinet and the First Book of Clarinet Solos but I have just bought a great book called Winners Galore.
It has 65 short pieces up to about grade 3 standard about 99 percent of which you will probably know really well including popular light classics' t.v themes etc,plus it was only 3.95!I am also working on Finzi's Five Bagatelles and Suite from a Victorian Kitchen Garden by Paul Reade although I can by no means play them through yet I am having great fun trying and will get there in the end.I have a lot of cd's especially clarinet music and if a particular piece takes my fancy I just call my freindly neighbourhood music shop and order the sheet music.
There is also a cd to accompany the Learn as You Play book which is a great way of practicing playing with accompaniment.If you want to know any more details please feel free to email me off list.

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 RE: Another Senior Player
Author: Debbie 
Date:   2001-04-16 23:27

Okay, how about 1950's? I restarted at 48 and am soon to be 50. Its been a lot of fun. Sometimes I get discouraged because I want to progress faster than I am, but continue to practice and work with my teacher hoping to join the community band. I had actually tried to join the band but found they played a little too fast for me so I am honing my skills and plan to give it another shot in the future. I am so pleased to know how many have taken up the clarinet in the later years. Bravo!

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