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 opening case
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2017-08-11 23:22

From another thread:

"> What part of clarinet playing isn't problematic? =)

I think, opening the case."

That made me smile, but also I recalled a recent incident where I forgot to latch my case. I've seen other people forget and spill their instruments to the floor, but this was a first for me.

The case was on a patio table, and distracted from my normal procedure by something, I gathered my things and picked the case up by the handle. The cover opened and both my R13s tumbled out onto the table top. The lower joint of the Bb actually proceeded over the edge onto the concrete below, landing on the ringed end, fortunately. No damage, except to part of my poor mind! Horrors!

So in a sense even the opening of the case, if you include both boundaries of the operation, can in light of human frailty be problematic.

Anyone else ever done this?

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 Re: opening case
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2017-08-11 23:26

I'd like to say that I've never done that, I really would.

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 Re: opening case
Author: WhitePlainsDave 
Date:   2017-08-11 23:36

I'm not sure if the O.P. seeks remedy to this, especially given its infrequency, yet I will explore that angle.

I'm sure that I would be susceptible to this if I didn't use a case that springs open when its latches are released

(I subscribe the to idea of a minimalist case and a gig bag to hold it and the rest of my wares, rather than a large clarinet case that holds all.)

Recently I bought a cover for the case whose additional weight negates the springs to open it--making retrieval of its contents difficult if one hand must keep the case open while the other retrieves the instrument. To address this I cut a small wooden dowel to prop it open.

Consider employing a similar strategy combined with a mindset that says "if the dowel is down" the latches are shut, as simply in your situation a mental reminder, or if you prefer, "if the case is down the latches are shut"

This disciplined mindset comes from my first teacher, who felt there were basically 3 places for a clarinet: disassembled in a case, in your hands playing, or safely down, say on clarinet peg. To point it use to drive him bonkers if students, say, fetched for things with one hand, with the clarinet in the other--making each hand's content susceptible to damage.

I think in hindsight that this adherence to sensible rule was excellent training for the budding player, like posture when playing.

Yet another solution is a case of the dual handle type featured in the second picture here

...coincidently also a Pochette case.

As long as you pick it up with both handles, the clarinet not falling out should be the situation whether the latches are shut or not.

Perhaps yet another is use of two strong rare earth magnets, affixed to the case, that come together when the case is closed, creating what the engineers might call a "dead man switch for opening."

Post Edited (2017-08-12 00:33)

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 Re: opening case
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-08-12 00:58

Yeah, I've done it. Only once was there any real damage done. I was in Jr High and had just bought, with my teacher's help, an O'Brien crystal mouthpiece. It hit the floor and broke across the tip. It was the first and last crystal mouthpiece I ever owned.


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 Re: opening case
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2017-08-12 03:03

I did this with my Libertas clarinet once. The bottom joint landed on the top joint putting a large dent into the lowest tenon. Fortunately I was able to repair the damage with ebonite dust and epoxy and now you can't even tell it was ever dropped. Fortunately this lesson wasn't a very expensive one and now I always make sure my case is closed before I pick it up.


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 Re: opening case
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2017-08-12 03:50

Me, I have trouble opening and closing the typical clarinet case. I don't get along with cases that have snapping latches or little button locks. No matter what brand of clarinet I've played, I've never felt comfortable with the case it came with and have always transferred the instrument to something like the MAX case that has long zippers and a velcro patch below the handle. I know that when the zippers are zipped up and the velcro is in place, the contents are not going to spill out.

When you switch cases from the one provided with the instrument, sometimes the fit of the clarinet is not so good. Then you have to watch that keys are not bent when closing it.

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 Re: opening case
Author: Wes 
Date:   2017-08-12 05:53

My late oboe teacher was rehearsing at the LA Music Center. Afterward, his borrowed velcro-fastened double oboe/EH case opened by itself and spilled both instruments onto the sidewalk. He chased the EH bell down the sidewalk and luckily caught it just before it could have gone down a sewer entry port. The oboe and EH keys were bent, but it all got fixed ok. It would have been better to have good latches!

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 Re: opening case
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-08-12 06:14

Fortunately never happened to me, but when I was in middle school (junior high), I was leaving for school when I realized I forgot my clarinet. I was in the garage, and had my dirty shoes on. So I called for my mom to get it inside. I had those backpack cases for my E11 France and it looked fine, but it wasn't zipped! So when she grabbed it by the handle, the instrument roles out...

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: opening case
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2017-08-12 10:03

This happens relatively rarely to clarinet players. For some reason it happens more often to saxophone players (still not that often but often enough)...

By far most common is with zippers when the players forget to zip them (probably at least 80% of the times). Second most common is with some latches that can look closed when they open, or even can sometimes not "catch" when closing them if you are not especially careful. With good latches this almost never happens.

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