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 Metallic Tone?
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2018-02-10 05:27

Hi all,

I was just wondering if you could help me out with metallic tone with one of my clarinets. I just got a used clarinet that has a problem with the upper register where the tone starts sounding thin and metallic past the clarion D (fourth line). I've attached a file of me playing the chromatic scale from chalumeau E up to two-ledger line C, and then there's me just going up the scale at around 0:19, where the metallic tone is more obvious. I've tried lossening and tightening embouchure, swapping mouthpieces, barrels and bells, but the problem is still there.

I'm planning to take it in to a technician, but as it is a long weekend I might not get to that until Tuesday. In the meantime does anyone know what the problem could be? I can't seem to find any cracks (it's a wooden Jupiter), although some of the pads look like they've seen better days, could that be the problem? The lower registers sound perfectly fine, so I wonder too if it could be register key related?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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 Re: Metallic Tone?
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2018-02-10 06:12

No attachment. You might have better luck uploading to youtube and posting a link here.

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 Re: Metallic Tone?
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2018-02-10 06:17

Take 2. If not then I'll try to use something else.

Here's the link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wrXX-2QN2hOJu2ER1rbgAvptwvt4qUNe/view?usp=sharing

In the meantime I've done a little test where I take off the bottom joint and bell, and blow through the clarinet while blocking the bottom, and then doing the same while adding the bottom joint. I've noticed with the bottom joint that after a few seconds a bit of a squeaking sound comes out. Does this indicate that a leak which could be causing my problem be on the lower joint?



Post Edited (2018-02-10 08:54)

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 Re: Metallic Tone?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-10 10:36

I'd first check for a leak. Do you know how to check for leaks?

STEUER REEDS Importer played by Sabine Meyer

NEWLY DESIGNED "Vintage 1940 Cicero" Mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist




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 Re: Metallic Tone?
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2018-02-10 10:50

Hi Bob, please see my post just above yours, would that have been the correct method?

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 Re: Metallic Tone?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-10 10:56

Use this method my friend for an easy way to check for leaks. Very simple! Can be done on the lower register as well. Let me know how you make out. Cheers!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_pTdBmcRV8

STEUER REEDS Importer played by Sabine Meyer

NEWLY DESIGNED "Vintage 1940 Cicero" Mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist




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 Re: Metallic Tone?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-10 11:15

There are other ways to check for leaks, but this is so dang easy. It doesn't get any easier. You can spend $700 for a magnetic machine, but I don't have one and I've been repairing my horns and sometimes friends horns since the 1970's. I just hate doing repairs.

Players should check your horns often, mainly when things suddenly feel different, a squeak, resistance, stuffiness, basically the horn doesn't play freely.

Also if the barrel the mouthpiece, and the upper and middle joints wobble and you need tape or something because they are too loose. These can really cause the horns to leak as well. Replace these corks about once a year or so. You can learn how to do these yourself and it costs pennies. That's if a repairman isn't close by.

STEUER REEDS Importer played by Sabine Meyer

NEWLY DESIGNED "Vintage 1940 Cicero" Mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist




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 Re: Metallic Tone?
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2018-02-10 17:18

Loose and vibrating pad skin?

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

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 Re: Metallic Tone?
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2018-02-11 02:53

Thanks for the video Bob, that was quite helpful!

I wasn't able to detect anything specific using that test (I'm getting a distinct pop, although not as resonant as it seemed to be in the video, does that matter?) and another variation I found that involved blowing instead of sucking in on the joint, but I do notice that when I take off the lower joint and bell my tone is fine, but when I add the lower joint the metallic tone comes back.

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 Re: Metallic Tone?
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-02-11 08:24

gavalanche20, when you play clarion B, C, C#, D, D#, E, and F, do you squeak a lot on those notes?

Sometimes people in my band get a tone similar to yours when they pop open the register key. I find that it's usually a problem regarding voicing or not covering the tone holes well enough. So if you squeak a lot on those notes, maybe covering the tone holes better will help.

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Metallic Tone?
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2018-02-11 10:30

Leave the clarinet fully assembled, and work on embouchure and breath support.

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 Re: Metallic Tone?
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2018-02-11 11:54

Ray, I usually don’t squeak on those notes. I did try experimenting with finger placement on those notes but it doesn’t seem to help. I have tried adjusting embouchure and how much mouthpiece I take in but to no avail.

dorjepismo, I will try leaving the clarinet assembled to see if it might help but with all due respect I don’t see how embouchure could be causing my problem in this case. I don’t have this problem on my main clarinet.

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 Re: Metallic Tone?
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2018-02-11 17:57

My guess: 3-ring key. Iron the pad skin or re-level the pad or change the pad or adjust the bridge lever.

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

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 Re: Metallic Tone?
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2018-02-12 00:47

Gavalanche, my apologies. I posted without first reading thoroughly.

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