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 Instrument Switching
Author: CCO_woodwinduser 
Date:   2018-08-04 09:27

I've been dualing contra alto clarinet and bari sax for about 6 years. Recently my instructor had me switch to Bb soprano clarinet and Bb soprano sax. I've had them for a while and I get winded very easily, I get pain in the back of my head, and have bad tone/playing insues. Clarinet suffers in clarion range and I either overblow or get no sound, while soprano sax has the whole range out of whack on my end.
My setups are as follow: Leblanc 350 Contra Alto Clarinet with Leblanc Contrabass mouthpiece, Vito low A Bari Sax with Yamaha 5C mouthpiece, Artley 17s Bb clarinet with stock mouthpiece, and Winston 350GL Soprano Sax with Yanagisawa metal 5 mouthpiece. All on strength 3 reed.
Any ideas on why this is happening or tips and preventions to adapt easier?

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 Re: Instrument Switching
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2018-08-04 16:38

Have you had anyone play these instruments on their mpc/setup to determine that they are properly adjusted?

If so: it sounds as if you have too much mpc in your mouth AND/OR the setup is too resistant for you right now — move down in reed strength.


Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Instrument Switching
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-08-04 18:09

What does your instructor think about this? He or she is there in the room with you (unless this is a Skype relationship).

Getting "winded" (does that mean "out of breath?") and pain in the back of your head sound like indications that you're working much too hard. There could be several reasons for that, but your teacher ought to be able to tell you far better than anyone reading your post here. Has your teacher tried the instruments you're using? Was there a specific reason for the switch from larger instruments with larger mouthpieces that take lots of air to smaller instruments with smaller mouthpieces that take relatively less air?

Are you trying to play the soprano clarinet and sax the same way you used to play the contra-alto clarinet and bari sax? You'll have trouble making the change in approach if your equipment isn't supporting you. The instruments need to be in good mechanical condition, the mouthpieces need to be of good quality, and the reeds you use need to be a good match to the mouthpiece facings. These are things your teacher should help you check.


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 Re: Instrument Switching
Author: CCO_woodwinduser 
Date:   2018-08-05 01:43

To answer some questions, my instructor has had me work over the summer to help incoming students a bit (calls it band camp) and these are things I noticed on my own. From what I can guess, its to further help the rest. I did have these instruments adjusted and have been taught how to do some simple work and adjustments so theres no real problem there. To answer Karl, I do employ similar techniques as on the larger instruments and my reeds do match my mouthpieces. I can try lowering my reed strength, but I used 3 reeds before I switched to cotra and bari

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 Re: Instrument Switching
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-08-05 01:58

CCO_woodwinduser wrote:

> I do employ similar techniques as on the larger
> instruments and my reeds do match my mouthpieces. I can try
> lowering my reed strength, but I used 3 reeds before I switched
> to cotra and bari

That you played soprano clarinet before you started playing contra and bari changes the scenario. So you have had experience with the smaller instruments.

It isn't necessarily the case that overblowing the clarinet or soprano sax or getting no sound at all means that the reeds are too hard. It could also be that they're too soft and you're closing them off. Or, you're taking too much or too little reed in your mouth.


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