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 A almost always squeeks
Author: Vanroy 
Date:   2017-12-18 19:32

Hi,

I'm a beginner clarinet student (1 month). I have no problems playing all notes and almost never make a squeeking sound. Except when I'm playing the A key, then almost always a squeeking sound comes out of it. My teacher is on holiday till 10 january and i really want to solve this problem. I searched google but found nothing.

Kind regards,
Van Roy

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 Re: A almost always squeeks
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2017-12-18 21:19

Throat note A?
[A4]

~Robert L Schwebel
Mthpc: Behn Vintage, Lig: Ishimori, Reed: Aria 4, Legere Euro Signature 3.75, Horns: Uebel Superior, Ridenour Lyrique

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 Re: A almost always squeeks
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2017-12-18 21:36

If the hole under the key isn't opening right, a squeak might result. Is the pad under the A key ok, not loose and falling part way out? Not fuzzy-edged? There could also be something in the hole. Since Bb apparently works, it's likely any blockage is partial.

Note that the G# key also opens part way when pressing the A key. So the above questions may pertain to the G# key as well, though a loose G# pad would cause problems on G# too, and you indicate all the notes besides A seem ok.

There's a screw in the top of the G# key. It's there to adjust how far the G# key opens when the A key is pressed. If you tighten it too far you get different troubles, because then the G# key won't even close all the way. If you loosen it too far then the G# won't open as far as it should when you press the A key, and probably A will then sound flat and different, but it shouldn't make it squeak. So I doubt that adjustment screw is being a problem, but while you're in the neighborhood take a look at it and get an idea of how it is supposed to work anyway.

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 Re: A almost always squeeks
Author: Vanroy 
Date:   2017-12-19 00:57

Hi,

I asked the same question on some other forums and found the solution. Apperently I'm not tongueing right. I put my tongue too far on the reed.

Buy ty anyway for the help.
Vanroy

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 Re: A almost always squeeks
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-12-19 01:03

Vanroy wrote:

> I asked the same question on some other forums and found the
> solution. Apperently I'm not tongueing right. I put my tongue
> too far on the reed.

Did changing the way you're tonguing solve the problem?

Karl

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 Re: A almost always squeeks
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2017-12-19 04:13

Another thread I fail to understand at all.

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 Re: A almost always squeeks
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-12-19 07:22

Philip Caron wrote:

> Another thread I fail to understand at all.

How understandable it is depends a little on where it goes.

Mine wasn't a pointless question. Sometimes a persistent squeak has its cause in the player's faulty technique.

But sometimes it's caused by a mechanical problem on the instrument. If it's a mechanical problem, changing the player's technique to solve it can cause needless frustration and confusion and may end up making things worse.

Better to rule out any easy-to-fix problem on the instrument before meddling with technique. A good tech can sometimes save an inexperienced player (or sometimes even an experienced one) a lot of frustration and wasted effort.

So, my question was meant seriously - did a change of tonguing technique actually solve the problem?

Karl

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 Re: A almost always squeeks
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2017-12-19 19:59

Karl, I see why the question would be asked, since I can't imagine a tonguing technique that would cause throat A to squeak but no other symptoms. For that matter, it's hard for me to clearly connect "putting the tongue too far on the reed" to squeaking. Maybe too far indicates a tongue and even embouchure arrangement that fails to control the air stream & reed, but I don't see how it would affect one note unless there were also a mechanical problem with the instrument.

Which is all to say it's hard at this far remove to understand problems from vague, incomplete or inaccurate written descriptions. It's part of the forum territory, no? As a software engineer for a machine tool builder I used to provide phone support for customers who were experiencing difficulties, and just determining the actual symptoms they were getting was frequently fraught with many iterations of back-and-forth talk (and sometimes they weren't very up front about exactly what they were doing either.) In this written medium the process is even more unwieldy, much more so.

So, I wasn't complaining, just emanating a philosophical sigh.

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 Re: A almost always squeeks
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-12-19 21:43

Philip Caron wrote:

> Karl, I see why the question would be asked, since I can't
> imagine a tonguing technique that would cause throat A to
> squeak but no other symptoms.

I didn't take your post as a complaint. That was my original point, too. If it worked, I can't sit however many (thousands of?) miles away and say "it can't have been the cause." I wouldn't expect a single-note symptom like that to be a result of a general flaw in a player's technique, either. So I asked Vanroy to clarify whether or not he had tried changing where his tongue was hitting the reed and, if he had, did the change stop the squeaking. If it did, the discussion is over.

Vanroy, unfortunately, hasn't come back to talk about his results or what change he made to achieve it.

Karl

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