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 Books for beginners?
Author: gregm59 
Date:   2018-01-29 23:56

I recently inherited my uncle's 1935 Selmer L-Series BT clarinet. He was a jazz musician in the 1930s through the late 1970s. The horn hasn't been played in close to 40 years, but it has been cared for by my father. I am interested in trying to learn some basics. Can anyone recommend a good beginner book or two that would be applicable to this horn (from some very basic research I've learned that the holes and keys configurations aren't necessarily always the same). Thanks.

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 Re: Books for beginners?
Author: Roys_toys 
Date:   2018-01-30 17:51


Welcome !
1/ the clarinet fingering system. The clarinet is very likely to be a Boehm system, which is pretty universal and the system that nearly all modern instruction books assume. If you want to be sure, look at pictures of modern clarinets and yours should look very similar. If yours has a lot fewer keys it will be a version of Simple system, which was / is still favoured by some jazz players, but I think Selmer L rules this out.
2/ I don't know what you mean by BT, but if this is a misprint for Bb ( B flat) that again is entirely normal and assumed by tuition books.
3/ Books. There are loads of starting books, and your ( Boehm) system will mean they are all usable. I only found the 3 volume set ( Beginner ,Intermediate, Advanced) by Prof Etheridge decades after I started, and I have ever since wished I had come across it much earlier. He also wrote the Clarinet for Dummies big seller and I appreciate his approach. I also like a multi instrument book called Improvise For Real where the author teaches that improvisation and ear development should come right at the start, not left until after you've "finished".It's what suits you.
4/ if the clarinet has been unplayed so long you need to take care to run it in. You can search for loads of advice on this aspect on this board.
Hope this is some help, good luck

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 Re: Books for beginners?
Author: gregm59 
Date:   2018-01-30 18:29

Thank you for the response. The L-Series (and I believe other Selmer series from the 1930s and 1040s) were designated "BT" which stood for Balanced Tone. Based upon my brief research it is my understanding that their BT clarinets predate their CT (Centered Tone) horns, but they could have been manufactured simultaneously as well.

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 Re: Books for beginners?
Author: LC007 
Date:   2018-01-30 19:30

Hi Greg,

Welcome to the forum. As a beginner myself, I went through a number of books/methods. The first one (as in book 1 of pretty much all methods ) are very similar as they assume the student knows nothing about the clarinet, as well as nothing about music notation. So they all teach the basic rudiments/technique using simple tunes. There is so much to learn at the beginning and most people will recommend getting at least a few lessons to start off right. I don't know your musical background or aspirations or what kind of music you would like to play. At the beginning you mostly need to learn how to form a decent embouchure and fingering to produce a nice clarinet tone. If you think you would like jazz or modern clarinet music, one book I got recently is "The Jazz Method for Clarinet" by John O'Neill. It is a great book with a lot of material.

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 Re: Books for beginners?
Author: gregm59 
Date:   2018-01-31 21:34

Thanks for the suggestions.

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