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 Bridge Key Adjustment
Author: Bill_D 
Date:   2021-01-21 22:17

My new, previously owned, Ridenour clarinet has a problem. The lower Bb note is barely audible.

So, after watching the Backun adjusting bridge video on YouTube, I concluded that I need to adjust the bridge key.

When I hold down the lower joint Bb ring, the upper key/ring closes late (is open).

I think I need to bend the lower joint key up. Is this correct?

The upper and lower bridge keys have cork on the bottom. What is the purpose of the cork, e.g., bridge key adjustment or keeping the key motion quiet, or both?

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 Re: Bridge Key Adjustment
Author: crvsp 
Date:   2021-01-21 22:50

Can you upload and attach pictures of the key/ring here?

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 Re: Bridge Key Adjustment
Author: Bill_D 
Date:   2021-01-21 23:45

crvsp wrote:

> Can you upload and attach pictures of the key/ring here?

Are these the views you are asking for? See next post. I opened the photos, but they are very large in size. You should be able to see the upper and lower keys if the size is reduced. I'll try to reduce size to help viewing.

Post Edited (2021-01-21 23:55)

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 Re: Bridge Key Adjustment
Author: Bill_D 
Date:   2021-01-21 23:49

> crvsp wrote:
> > Can you upload and attach pictures of the key/ring here?

See subsequent post.

Post Edited (2021-01-22 00:31)

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 Re: Bridge Key Adjustment
Author: Burt 
Date:   2021-01-21 23:58

On the low Bb (Bb3 - below the staff), the LEFT hand closes all the holes on the upper joint regardless of whether the bottom joint is even attached. If the cork between the two parts of the bridge is too large, it will prevent the top hole on the lower joint from closing.

On the 1 and 1 fingering of the high Bb (Bb5), the right hand should close the hole on the top joint. If it doesn't, you need a thicker pad in the bridge joint. A quick emergency (and troubleshooting) fix is to rotate the bottom joint vs the top joint; this will close the top hole or leave it open further, depending on which way you rotate it.


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 Re: Bridge Key Adjustment
Author: Bill_D 
Date:   2021-01-22 00:06
Attachment:  Picture4.jpg (23k)
Attachment:  Picture3.jpg (21k)
Attachment:  Picture2.jpg (16k)
Attachment:  Picture1.jpg (19k)


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 Re: Bridge Key Adjustment
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2021-01-22 01:35

Let me start from scratch.

Turn the clarinet joints so that the bridge key is NOT together. Now play the low Bb. If that is MUCH better, what is happening is that the bridge key section of the top joint needs to be a little further OUT (or up). This is easy to bend slightly (carefully). I place a long stemmed micro screw driver underneath like a lever and just produce a small amount of torque (less is more .........keep checking after each attempt). You can reverse what you've done by placing your index finger over that upper joint bridge section (in the down or rest position; then while exerting some force on that, begin applying pressure to the cup between the first and second finger rings (also a matter of "feel" and doing a little at a time checking between).

Really the only problem with having too much space between the bridge mechanism (when the rings are DOWN) is that the 1 and 1 Bb won't speak. But if the situation is reversed you begin to lose the lower half of your horn!

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

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 Re: Bridge Key Adjustment
Author: Bill_D 
Date:   2021-01-22 02:52

Well, I'm embarrassed, but pleased that the low Bb is sounding normal today.

Yesterday was my first day with the clarinet, and I had the problem. After getting your suggestions, I put the clarinet together to troubleshoot further, but it played okay.

I don't know what was happening yesterday.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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 Re: Bridge Key Adjustment
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2021-01-22 03:03

You probably just didn’t have the joints aligned.

The foot corks that sit on the instrument are for venting adjustment. The corks between keys and levers are for regulation and silencing.

The nomenclature for the keys is:

The RH key with the three rings, and lower bridge, is the “three ring key”.
The LH key with the ring and pad, and upper bridge, is the “A/D ring key”.

- Matthew Simington

Post Edited (2021-01-22 03:05)

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 Re: Bridge Key Adjustment
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-01-22 18:47

It's much better to name the ring keys after the fingers that directly control them rather than using note names as far too often they can be misinterpreted.

Talking Boehm systems here, on the top joint you have the left thumb ring on the back, then the LH1 ring and LH2 ring on the front. On the lower joint you have the RH ring keys.

Some clarinets also have the LH3 ring for the forked Eb/Bb mechanism and that's as far as ring keys go.


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