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 Horn Or Player
Author: EbClarinet 
Date:   2019-09-06 01:00

I realize this is a clarinet board but I'm expecting to hear from those who play brass instruments or those who have a well rounded experience (even band directors) with all instruments.

I've noticed that trumpet and trombone players that have a college degree in music tend to gravitate back to a basic trumpet or basic trombone. Once they learn how to play the instrument in college or professionally, they can pick up a basic instrument and sound professionally on it.

I've also noticed this with those musicians/minstrels who are just gifted to have great tone quality. In college, I witnessed 2 saxophonists get on bass clarinet and have great tone quality from a basic student model horn. 1 of my professors is like this that he has a basic clarinet and he has great clarinet tone quality on it. What is going on with those that are like that?

I don't have a professional Bb Clarinet yet but I've noticed that off the fly I can generate professional clarinet sound (tone quality) from my student model horn. I have a Pyne mouthpiece and I had a HS Star in high school. A few times I've been able to pick up my clarinet and generate a good characteristic tone quality. Even my college peers and community band members thought well of my clarinet tone quality. The problem is that I don't know what I'm doing inside my mouth to consistently produce that great dark classical tone quality. I know how to produce great tone quality on C Clarinet and Eb Clarinet quality though.

So I ask the question; is it the horn or the player?

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 Re: Horn Or Player
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-09-06 01:22



full stop

.................Paul Aviles

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 Re: Horn Or Player
Author: Kaos 
Date:   2019-09-06 03:24

Player, like Paul Aviles said.
A pro horn only helps making things easier.

I am a young conservatory student that can't afford a professional horn so I'm still playing a Yamaha 26II MSUK my parents bought me 2nd hand as new.
My teacher said that my tone quality is so good that for now I can continue my studies and play in orchestra with it.
To be honest a pro horn is way easier to play and get a nice sound out of it, but if you learn to play good with what you have you can develop great tone quality and professional sound even from a student horn.

Of course if you "professionally"play a student model it should be good quality from a reputable brand (Yamaha, Buffet etc. not cheap chinese horns), kept in perfect working order and regularly serviced, replace the stock mouthpiece with a better one (I have vandoren B45), and you have to get the best tuning as possibile (I got a 66mm Yamaha barrel instead of the 64mm it came with) because student models often tend to play sharp.

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 Re: Horn Or Player
Author: Dibbs 
Date:   2019-09-06 14:14

100% the player.

Look at what someone like Tony Pay can do with an early instrument. By any of the normal criteria we would apply to instrument quality (intonation, evenness of scale, ergonomics etc.), those instruments are far worse than even the cheapest Chinese clarinet.

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 Re: Horn Or Player
Author: Ursa 
Date:   2019-09-06 17:47

It's the player, all the way.

Jazz clarinetist Kenny Davern famously played and recorded with a Conn 16N clarinet. Some of his record jackets even flaunted that fact.

Nice examples of these are easy to find on eBay for fifty bucks.

Back in May, I took in an evening of jazz at Fritzel's Jazz Club on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Their house band clarinetist, Tom Fischer, also plays a 16N, and he sounds wonderful. We had a very nice chat in between sets, too.

I sound my very best on a Yamaha YCL-20. It's been meticulously maintained and carefully tweaked over the years, but, still, it's an entry-level clarinet.

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 Re: Horn Or Player
Author: tdufka 
Date:   2019-09-07 05:59

Great post!

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 Re: Horn Or Player
Author: Tom H 
Date:   2019-09-07 06:00

It's both. I too can sound quite fine on my student Selmer or Yamaha. I've tried quite a few Buffets over the years and found they vary a bit in tone and "easiness" in playing. I just this summer tried my fellow pro's Buffet using my mouthpiece and liked it better than mine. I'd buy a new one if I had $6,000 U.S.

The Most Advanced Clarinet Book--Austin Macauley Publishers Amazon, Sheet Music Plus
Boreal Ballad for unaccompanied clarinet--Sheet Music Plus

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 Re: Horn Or Player
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-09-07 10:44

I agree that it's a lot to do with the player, but also for a weaker player, the instrument is a huge factor. I'm an adult beginner, trying to learn clarinet to strengthen the muscles that control my breathing and I definitely sound better on an expensive clarinet than on a cheap one. My teacher can play my slightly leaky E.J. Albert and make it sound great, but he is a professional singer. With my not-so-strong lungs I can't even get the high B and C to make a sound more then once out of every two times that I play them.

Having said that, I must say that I don't think people should be discouraged from playing wind instruments just because they do not have heroic lungs, and can produce only a slightly iffy tone. I reckon these instruments are like a gym workout for the lungs, and if anything, the rest of us probably have even more to gain from being allowed to try. The clarinet is a particularly nice instrument for that because it sounds lovely in anyone's hands, I think.

One of my great frustrations is that up until now, the clarinet was an instrument that could only really be learned with access to a good teacher and a great technician. I'm so glad that YouTube is now giving people access to good teaching, even if they live far from any other players.

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