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 A Tale of Two Selmer Bass Clarinet Necks
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2017-11-11 17:43
Attachment:  IMG_0259.JPG (114k)
Attachment:  IMG_0260.JPG (118k)

Hi All,

There has been a lot of discussion on this BB over the past few years about the shape and angle of bass clarinet necks. Here are the two necks I now have for my Model 65 Selmer bass. The one with more of an up angle is the standard neck that comes with a new instrument. The flatter angle neck is the extra neck I purchased from Selmer.

You can see that each neck is a different design and the entire shape of each is quite different. I have not experimented with swapping the parts (I'm not really interested).

While conventional thinking would seem to lead one to believe that the flatter angle neck would work more comfortably with someone like myself who is a doubler on sax, this has not been the case. The more up angled neck is what I prefer. The different and more clarinet-like angle seems to give me more reed responsiveness; I have slowly migrated to that neck and use it now for all my playing.


Post Edited (2017-11-11 17:44)

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 Re: A Tale of Two Selmer Bass Clarinet Necks
Author: Chetclar 
Date:   2017-11-12 01:02

The more angled neck is indeed more comfortable. The only issue, is that the high C sharp and d have to sometimes played by lifting the left first finger, like the clarinet to get correct response. The normal angle neck allows the player to play these notes with the left first finger on the half-hole mechanism .I have had success professionally with both of these style necks, and played over 1200 performances of the Nutcracker with the arched neck because we played in a pit and the conductor was well above where I was seated.

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 Re: A Tale of Two Selmer Bass Clarinet Necks
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2017-11-12 02:25

Hi Chet,

Thanks for the tip on the 1/2 hole versus using the full finger venting. Funny that you should mention this as I have found that in some rapid passages involving the high C# and D, I have had to fully lift the first finger depending on the notes preceding these two.

But then, we do what needs to be done, right?


Post Edited (2017-11-12 02:50)

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 Re: A Tale of Two Selmer Bass Clarinet Necks
Author: windplr 
Date:   2017-12-17 22:20

I recently bought a new 67 b.c. Selmer allows you specify which neck to include, and I decided to go with the what Selmer calls the "large bent" (less upright angle) neck and am quite happy with it. At some point I'd like to try the other "small" bent neck to see what the playing differences are like.

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 Re: A Tale of Two Selmer Bass Clarinet Necks
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2017-12-19 07:44

I've had many bass clarinet students over the years and that included many doublers trying to learn the bass. it comes natural to some players and not others. As far as the angle goes, it's all a matter of comfort and intonation. My entire 50 BSO career I played my low C model 62 Selmer with the orignal neck. i had to tilt my neck back and under a bit to get the tone and control I desired. All the new basses come with a more angled neck which most of my students said was more comfortable but I was so used to mine I never changer necks or instruments. It's enterily up to the individual. As far as the half hole for high C#, D or above it really depends on the instrument not the neck. On my bass I play the C# opened like a clarnet and half hole for everythig above that but it's different on many on my other instruments I've played. And of course there's the alternative fingerings for the C# to the E or F. Check my bass fingering chart on my website to see them.. Some are very common among pros.


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