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 Clarinet Withdrawl Syndrome
Author: Speculator Sam 
Date:   2018-08-15 23:20

An experience sharing for those who are interested and/or maybe going or have gone through the same thing. I've been learning clarinet/bass clarinet for almost a year now, 11 months, and have had to get my bass repaired. I haven't practiced in two weeks and although I'm not upset or antsy, but do feel like I'm not filling in about 1-3hours of my free time in a productive manner.

Just like in sports/exercising, I know it's definitely good to take a longer break from musical instrument, especially if you've been practicing almost daily for hours a day. It allows the smaller muscle to recover properly, and if nothing else it gives the brain a break from being focused on constantly improving.

Anyone want to chime in and leave a comment? Thanks for reading.

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 Re: Clarinet Withdrawl Syndrome
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-08-15 23:54

There's nothing wrong with taking a break. Usually, some reason forces it - surgery, some pressing matter in our personal life, travel plans, etc.... Your break from playing has apparently been forced on you by your instrument's extended visit to the repair shop.

It once was true, from the tales I've often heard, that even world-famous musicians took summers off when serious summer concert venues, where they existed at all, tended to be more exposed to the elements and less acoustically favorable. Maybe they still do. Heifetz's summer vacations and his arduous routine, including a blister by blister description of the pain, to prepare for the coming fall season was the subject of a TV documentary. I remember stories being told by Philadelphia Orchestra members when I was much younger of their summer breaks (the principal players didn't play the summer season at Robin Hood Dell and even the Dell season was only 6 weeks long) and the 2 or 3 days of pain and suffering that resulted as they came back to the first rehearsals for the opening of the new concert season.

So, for the two weeks, look for other productive ways to fill the time.

Of course, if you still play both soprano and bass clarinet, you could just practice on the one that isn't in the shop. But the idea of a short vacation from practice routines is still a good idea.

Karl
Karl

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 Re: Clarinet Withdrawl Syndrome
Author: Speculator Sam 
Date:   2018-08-16 03:04

Thanks for the input kdk. I rent a bass from a rental company that supports the band programs here in Florida and when my bass is in their shop for repairs, they usually have a loaner soprano on hand. This time, they didn't because some other customer has that loaner instrument. Alas, I do agree with your input. I now want to look up that Heifetz documentary. Thanks again kdk.

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 Re: Clarinet Withdrawl Syndrome
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2018-08-16 03:50

I'm currently in the middle of six weeks mostly off while recovering from surgery, just playing whatever little I really need to with students. No practicing, no rehearsals, no performances. I'm using much of the time off to do a lot of clarinet related listening and studying and even some mental practicing.

The hardest part of my day is putting the clarinet away each night at the end of my teaching without playing it. It's definitely increasing my appetite for more! There have been other times in my life when getting the clarinet out of the case was the hardest thing to do. I can't relate to that person at all right now. I'm actually having a great time honing my skills from a non-playing perspective.

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 Re: Clarinet Withdrawl Syndrome
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-08-16 04:43

nellsonic wrote:

> The hardest part of my day is putting the clarinet away each
> night at the end of my teaching without playing it. It's
> definitely increasing my appetite for more! There have been
> other times in my life when getting the clarinet out of the
> case was the hardest thing to do. I can't relate to that person
> at all right now.

I had the same experience when, in August as a 20-year-old entering my 3rd year at Temple U. College of Music, I needed to have a tonsillectomy. I literally couldn't play for several weeks - all the air would go out through my nose because the muscles in my throat were so weakened. I've never felt as anxious to be able to play again as I did that fall.

Absence can indeed make the heart grow fonder.

Karl

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