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 Lower Clarion Problems
Author: Clarinettti 
Date:   2017-12-19 05:51

Hello everyone,
I’ve recently developed a problem where my clarion D almost always squeaks when articulating. Additionally, I’ve had a long time problem where I get a clarion G when trying to make leaps larger than a sixth into the low clarion notes. Does anyone have any solutions? I assume it’s to do with improper voicings.

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 Re: Lower Clarion Problems
Author: jeffyx 
Date:   2017-12-19 06:29

I've had problems similar to this. I found that it means that you're taking in too much mouthpiece. I don't know how to explain it but for me, it meant biting less on the upper half of the mouthpieces and pointing the clarinet more down to prevent it.

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 Re: Lower Clarion Problems
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-12-19 06:30

Before you assume "improper voicings" are the cause, have you had a qualified tech check to make sure there are no mechanical explanations, especially leaks? I have very inexperienced students to whom "voicing" would be a complete mystery who have no trouble playing or leaping to D5.

That isn't meant to belittle you or your level of accomplishment. It's just that you should eliminate equipment-centered problems before trying to change your playing technique.

Karl

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 Re: Lower Clarion Problems
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2017-12-19 07:25

Well it could be any number of things wrong. It's always a good idea to have your horn checked for a leak first, especially if this recently started. Then it could be tongue placement, choking, reed problem, especially if they are unbalanced and or leaking, meanng not sealing on the facing of the mouthpiece. Could even be the mouthpiece itself. Aside from going to a tech, ask a decent player to play your clarinet to see if it's you or the clarnet. If all else fails take a lesson or two with a pro or at least an advanced student.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Lower Clarion Problems
Author: Clarinettti 
Date:   2017-12-19 07:58

Thank you for your guys’ input. I just got the horn readjusted a week ago, which is why I’m now looking for other answers. And I’ve been playing bass clarinet for a while (actually won Washington state solo competetion last year), but I recently picked up clarinet; the transition for the embouchure and tongue position has been difficult, so I was hoping that there were just some lingering problems there.

P.s, I meant leaps down e.g G5->B4. It seems to just be this specific range. G6->B5 for example is no problem



Post Edited (2017-12-19 08:05)

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 Re: Lower Clarion Problems
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-12-19 08:00

jeffyx wrote:

> I've had problems similar to this. I found that it means that
> you're taking in too much mouthpiece.

That *can* cause random squeaks. But usually not on a specific note. And it certainly isn't the only possible explanation.

Ed's advice to have a teacher or advanced student try your setup is excellent. But sometimes an experienced player can compensate for small leaks or other problems, often unconsciously. If someone else has the same trouble on your setup, you've located at least part of the problem in your equipment. If not, you may still want a tech to look closely to see if a problem too small to bother a pro may be large enough to frustrate your own efforts.

Karl

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 Re: Lower Clarion Problems
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-12-19 22:10

Clarinettti wrote:

> I just got the horn
> readjusted a week ago, which is why I’m now looking for other
> answers.

A lot depends on the competence of the repair person who did the readjustment. Did he/she know specifically about this problem you're asking about? If not, something small that may have seemed insignificant and not worth pushing up the price of the work may still be there.

> And I’ve been playing bass clarinet for a while
> (actually won Washington state solo competetion last year), but
> I recently picked up clarinet; the transition for the
> embouchure and tongue position has been difficult, so I was
> hoping that there were just some lingering problems there.
>

What did you change in your embouchure and tongue position?

> Additionally, I’ve had a
> long time problem where I get a clarion G when trying to make
> leaps larger than a sixth into the low clarion notes.

> P.s, I meant leaps down e.g G5->B4. It seems to just be this
> specific range. G6->B5 for example is no problem
>
So, as examples, leaps from F5 to B4 or G5 to C5 are not problems, nor are A5 to D5 or B5 to E5, but A5 to C5 or B5 to D5 cause the lower note to sound as a harmonic (G5)?

How easily do the upper 3 clarion notes speak? How do they tune? What kind of facing are you playing for Bb clarinet? What reeds?

"Voicing" is mostly an issue of tongue position, so it's possible you've overcompensated for whatever difference you felt or expected between bass and soprano clarinets. But, without hearing you, I suspect the problem is something in the physical setup - a small, still undetected leak somewhere in the middle of the clarinet, or a reed-mouthpiece mismatch. You may be taking too much reed in your mouth, especially if you're using a soft reed on a close-tipped mouthpiece. You could also be missing a tone hole (by a sliver around one of your fingers) when you move all those fingers together (since you're used to the larger bass finger spread), creating your own leak.

An experienced player who can hear and see you in person could tell you much more than we can.

Karl

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 Re: Lower Clarion Problems
Author: Burt 
Date:   2017-12-20 03:42

Could it be that you're not covering all the holes completely?

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 Re: Lower Clarion Problems
Author: Clarinettti 
Date:   2017-12-20 05:42

I think not covering the tone holes certainly could be a problem (I had a problem with my left middle finger causing squeaks on A5 until about a month ago), but it seems a little weird that G5->C5 is fine while G5->B4 has problems. In any case, I will bring this to my private teacher tomorrow. We’ve looked into this before but with no luck. However, I will get him to try my horn.

I’ve flattened out my chin, brought the corners up, and brought the back of the tongue much higher up to the “eee” position.

C5 can sometimes be a little hard to articulate and a little flat during initial attack (around 5 cents, easy to bring up), but others are fine. I’m currently playing an M15 with V12 4s.



Post Edited (2017-12-20 05:45)

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 Re: Lower Clarion Problems
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2017-12-20 07:05

Apologies if I belabor the fingering idea, but . . . for me the RH pinky has a harder time reaching the key for B4 than it does reaching the key for C5. The stretch for B4 requires the finger to fan out a bit further and curve down further. It's worse on my A clarinet than my Bb (both R13s).

I have a warm-up exercise for this pinky & issue. If I skip the warm-up on my A and just dive into something with enough sharps to require numerous RH B4s, then the base of my thumb gets sore and some of the RH fingers want to pull off the holes, particularly the index finger.

My own ideas about this mostly blame the thumb rest for being too low, and in the past I considered doing whatever to raise it, but the warm-up exercise seems to allow everything to work. Anyway, you might check hand angle and finger operation in a mirror.

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 Re: Lower Clarion Problems
Author: Clarinettti 
Date:   2017-12-20 09:55

Aha! I’ve found the problem. My enbouchure would break when going down to the lower clarion and my chin would come up. I must learn to keep it down at all times. Well regardless, thanks for all of your help.

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