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 Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Maruja 
Date:   2021-08-19 15:40

Help! I took out my clarinet this morning, all set to play, only to find that throat B and C are not sounding at all, and the next D up is pretty dicey. It was playing perfectly yesterday! I have changed the lig. the reed, fiddled with the adjustment etc. but nothing. I'd be grateful for any ideas about what could be wrong...

Maruja

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2021-08-19 16:08

What do you mean by throat B and C? Throat tones are those played towards the top of the instrument so to me this would mean the trill fingerings. If these notes are not playing have a tech take the trill keys off an check for buildup in the tone holes.

But it also sounds like you may be referring to the notes played in the lower clarion register "lower clarion B and C", aka the first notes played in the upper register. 99% of the time this is because of the Ab/Eb. Either the spring is not closing the pad all the way, the pad is not level or it is torn. Either way the best solution is to take it to a tech, it will be almost impossible to sort it out without repair knowledge.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2021-08-19 20:59

My guess is that you have fuzz from your swab in the register tube.


What's confusing:

If second register left hand high B (xoo|ooo) and C (ooo|ooo) don't work, the rest of the horn shouldn't either. B and C may not "speak" very clearly, or "grunt", but if they don't work at all the rest of the horn should have serious issues.

If you mean first register right hand B (xxx|xoo) and left hand C (xxx|ooo), those aren't referred to as "throat" tones - and none of the right hand notes should work.

If you mean second register LONG B (xxx|xxx xx) and C (xxx|xxx x) (as played with either pinky), are low E, F, and G affected? What adjustment did you make?

...


"Throat" usually refers to the first register open notes, especially when talking about specific G, Ab, A, and trills.

"High" usually refers to the second register high notes, usually B or C. Sometimes "open C", for high C.

Third register "standard high D", or "altissimo" D is (oxx|xoo x).
"Trill" high D is played with the second register Ab and/or trill keys.

"Long" notes are second register B and C (played with either pinky), or other second register right hand notes, like D.


Some people like first register C (xxx|ooo) as "C4", but I find this inherently ambiguous because it refers to the pitch, not the fingering.

- Matthew Simington


Post Edited (2021-08-20 01:16)

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-19 21:06

Hi Maruja,

I find this webpage below really helpful for figuring out how to say which notes I mean. If you click on the notes on the stave, it says at the top whether it is C4 or C5 or whatever, and people on this forum understand that.

https://www.8notes.com/clarinet/fingering/default.asp?notename=c5

Jen

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-19 21:08

Ooops, I just say Matthew's last line about the ambiguity of that way of expressing it. Sorry Matthew!

I really like your way of writing fingering with x and o for the covered and uncovered holes.

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-19 21:09

When I'm talking to my teacher about fingering, we also use Mark Charette's webpage of alternate fingerings:

https://www.wfg.woodwind.org/clarinet/cl_alt_2.html

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2021-08-19 21:46

Maruja wrote:

> Help! I took out my clarinet this morning, all set to play,
> only to find that throat B and C are not sounding at all, and
> the next D up is pretty dicey. It was playing perfectly
> yesterday! I have changed the lig. the reed, fiddled with the
> adjustment etc. but nothing. I'd be grateful for any ideas
> about what could be wrong...
>
> Maruja


Are there any obstructions in the bell, such as a clarinet swab?

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-08-19 21:54

There's no such thing as throat B and C unless you're using alternative fingerings in the lower register to get B and C utilising the throat G# and A keys in combination with the trill keys. The throat notes are lower register notes from open G (the 'all fingers off' one) to throat (or 'pinch') Bb.

If you mean upper register B and C (Sp. Th. xxx|xxxF/C for upper register C), then check there aren't any leaks elsewhere, the joints are correctly aligned and you're covering all the toneholes well. Also check if any keys have been bent which can happen as this can cause leaks or poor adjustment.

Check the adjusting screw on the throat G# key to be sure there's a small gap between it and the throat A key to be sure the G# pad is closing fully as that can cause everything to pack up. Slowly open the throat A key and check there's a delay before it makes contact with the adjusting screw. if there's no delay felt, then turn the adjusting screw anticlockwise until you can feel there's a small gap between the throat A key and the adjusting screw.

If you mean upper register B doesn't work when using either LH or RH pinky E/B keys on their own (Sp.Th.xxx|E/B xxx or Sp.Th.xxx|xxxE/B), then that's most likely due to the RH F/C touchpiece having got bent which can happen due to poor handling when assembling the instrument or if anything's putting pressure on the keywork when the instrument is in it's case.

If you have a soft case (backpack-style or similar), don't overload the zip-up pocket on the lid with tons of stuff or if it's a regular hard case, don't put anything on top of the instrument when it's in there and the lid is closed as that will put undue pressure on the keywork. Or if it's a badly made case like the hard plastic Vito cases which crushed the lower joint keywork when the lid was closed.

If you can't diagnose the problem, then you're best taking it to a specialist woodwind repairer as soon as you can and demonstrate the problem so they can see what you're doing which will give them a better idea of what's going on and how they can deal with it correctly.

Chris.

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: ebonite 
Date:   2021-08-19 23:01

If condensation develops in the register tube, it can sometimes stop the "middle line" B from working. I guess it might also affect the C. You can usually just blow the condensation out by taking the upper joint, putting your hand over the end, and blowing in the top end while opening the register key.

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: donald 
Date:   2021-08-20 00:39

A Cork grease tube that has lodged itself in the bell end of the lower joint can cause this... Embarrassing to admit but quite easy to fix.

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2021-08-20 02:28

Maruja, you've never really nailed for the group which B, C and D you're asking about. It would take some (maybe a good deal) of the guesswork out of the answers you're getting if you could be more specific.

You can tell where on the staff the notes are written, you can describe which register they're in, you can use the numbered octaves that start on each C (C4 is the one a leger line below the staff, C5 is an octave higher in the 3rd space from the bottom, etc.). As has been mentioned several times, there are no normally used fingerings that produce "throat" B, C or D.

Just a suggestion to help get better answers to your question.

Karl

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Tom H 
Date:   2021-08-20 08:12

Sometimes those big keys that cover the holes at the bottom end of the clarinet get out of line. Sometimes left hand pinky fingerings work and right hand ones don't and vice versa. Again, take it to a tech. as trying to fix that yourself can be damaging to the whole alignment (IF that's the problem).

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Maruja 
Date:   2021-08-21 19:50

B4 and C5!

Well, I have been truly rapped on the knuckles here! I must say that I thought the throat notes included B4 - but obviously not. Thanks Sunnydaze for directing me to the correct website.

I will have a good try at cleaning out things with a clean swab and putting into practice some of the easy things that have been suggested. If it doesn't improve, then I will need a technician I suppose.... I wish the clarinet was not such a prima donna....

Thanks to all for replying
M.

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2021-08-21 21:47

I have a nice plateau clarinet where the only note that won't sound is the C6, the neighbor notes sound ok. Something must not be opening up ok but what, the register key?





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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2021-08-21 23:18

Maruja wrote:

> B4 and C5!
>
> Well, I have been truly rapped on the knuckles here! I must say
> that I thought the throat notes included B4 - but obviously
> not. Thanks Sunnydaze for directing me to the correct website.
>
I don't think anyone meant to rap your knuckles. It's just that with three potential octaves to consider, there's a potential for 67% of the attempts people will make to help to be wrong and useless.

There are instructions in the Smileys/Notes section on how to actually show a note as notation on the treble staff. That can eliminate any misinterpretation when posting about specific notes. e.g. C5 is [C5].

Karl

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2021-08-21 23:37

Djudy wrote:

> I have a nice plateau clarinet where the only note that won't
> sound is the C6, the neighbor notes sound ok. Something must
> not be opening up ok but what, the register key?
>

I assume there's a plateau over the LH thumb hole? Maybe when you play the other notes, for which your other fingers provide some push toward your thumb, you're closing the thumb pad but when it's just your unopposed thumb on the plateau, it isn't closing completely. That could be a pad that isn't level or the wrong thickness.

The other obvious possibility is that the LH 1st finger key or the pad under the A key that moves with the 1st finger isn't opening enough (or at all).

How is thumb F (F4)?

Karl

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2021-08-22 06:50

>> The other obvious possibility is that the LH 1st finger key or the pad under the A key that moves with the 1st finger isn't opening enough (or at all). <<

The pad under the A key (i.e. the pad above the G tone hole) needs to be closed for C6. It's closed by the thumb. On a plateau clarinet it is separated from the first finger key (a ring on a regular clarinet) so they both don't close for F/C.

Possibly this pad doesn't close when you play C6. It could be that the leak doesn't affect F4 as much, and for other notes it is also closed by the first finger key.

Like kdk mentioned it could also be an issue related to not having support against the thumb with any other finger, which is, like the leak, usually less of a problem for F4.

There are a couple of other options but they are less likely to affect only C6.
For a start, try to play it by somehow supporting the top of the clarinet with your right hand too, just without pressing any keys (e.g. in the middle tenon area, or the bottom close to the bell).
To check the pad leak, lean the clarinet bell on your knees or anything to have your right hand free. Then close the key that is under the throat A key, the one that closes along with the thumb F/C key, with your right hand, while playing C6, to see if it then plays.

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-22 10:15

Hi Karl,

That smilies/notes section is great. I had no idea that we could show staves on here. I'll start doing that.

Jen

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2021-08-22 10:57

clarnibass wrote:

> The pad under the A key (i.e. the pad above the G tone hole)
> needs to be closed for C6. It's closed by the thumb.

Right. I didn't have a clarinet in hand to look at when I wrote that.

> On a
> plateau clarinet it is separated from the first finger key (a
> ring on a regular clarinet) so they both don't close for F/C.
>

I've never actually seen a fully closed-hole (plateau) clarinet live, up close, in person. I remember reading that in another thread, though, now that you've described it.

Karl

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2021-08-22 11:45

Thank you all for those good suggestions, I'll check today and post the results. I really like that instrument, it's a Selmer N series 8xxx (BT register pip).





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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2021-08-22 19:17

Hey, Maruja --

Something similar happened to me during a rehearsal, and it turned out that a spring had become disengaged. Just another thought.

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2021-08-23 13:26

Ok , so the answer appears to be, as suggested :

claribass :"The pad under the A key (i.e. the pad above the G tone hole) needs to be closed for C6. It's closed by the thumb. On a plateau clarinet it is separated from the first finger key (a ring on a regular clarinet) so they both don't close for F/C."


The tone hole under the A4 key, just above the G4 LH index finger hole appears to close but not seal. It is a complex mechanisn that is activated by the LH thumb. Pressing on that pad and playing C6 gives a solid C6 note with no overtone parasites (they are present from G5 but can be eliminated by the player although once at C6 this becomes too difficult and the note drops out completely), removing pressure and the note can not sound anymore. Bb5 and Db aren't great but sound and are improved by pressure on the guilty pad.

So it will go in for a repair as this looks to be a delicate situation.





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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2021-08-23 13:33
Attachment:  2021-08-23 11.23.11-1.jpg (591k)

Ok , so the answer appears to be, as suggested :

claribass :"The pad under the A key (i.e. the pad above the G tone hole) needs to be closed for C6. It's closed by the thumb. On a plateau clarinet it is separated from the first finger key (a ring on a regular clarinet) so they both don't close for F/C."


The tone hole under the A4 key, just above the G4 LH index finger hole appears to close but not seal. It is a complex mechanisn that is activated by the LH thumb. Pressing on that pad and playing C6 gives a solid C6 note with no overtone parasites (they are present from G5 but can be eliminated by the player although once at C6 this becomes too difficult and the note drops out completely), removing pressure and the note can not sound anymore. Bb5 and Db aren't great but sound and are improved by pressure on the guilty pad.

So it will go in for a repair as this looks to be a delicate situation.





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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Maruja 
Date:   2021-08-23 13:47

Updates - [C5] and [B4] now are working a lot better - not sure why. I have been playing recorder a lot and wondered whether I was not giving enough support on those notes. Though this does not explain why other notes were perfectly fine. Anyway, thanks to all for replying and explaining how to label each note. This is something I have never come across before. Not taught in UK?



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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-08-23 22:40

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/download.html/1,7259/2021-08-23%2011.23.11-1.jpg

That key cork on the open G vent linkage is far too thick - it shouldn't be much thicker than 0.4mm at the most. Plus natural cork is too spongy and creates too much friction for linkages. You're much better off replacing it with tech cork and also fitting cork pads in both the thumb plate and the G vent will make a difference as well as increasing the venting for a clearer F# (which issues from the thumb tube).

Chris.

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2021-08-24 17:29

Thank you Chris P ! I'll be sure to point this out to my tech when I bring it in.





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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-24 18:02

I love your post with the notes in it Maruja. I want to do that too now. I'm also in the UK and have been floundering with how to say notes correctly on here.

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Maruja 
Date:   2021-08-24 18:21

Yes, SunnyDaze - I was very pleased with how the notes came out! I asked a couple of my friends about how they label notes and they hadn't heard about C4s and 5s etc either, so I didn't feel too bad!

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-24 19:27

Hi Maruja, I'm really glad it's not just me. I hadn't heard of C4s and C5s before I came here either. :-)

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-08-24 22:24

The C4 and C5 are reference points on here to determine specific notes or fingerings relating to any pitch or size clarinet, but they're not a general standard in the wider world.

Chris.

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2021-08-25 02:39

Middle C being C4 and the notes above and below D4 E4 etc up to the next octave at C5 (and in a like fashion descending toward C3 etc) may be a European thing? I've always used this as it is universal and unambiguous regardless of instrument (although it doesn't always help with an instrument like the guitar where the same tone can occur on different strings) and never thought about it and have no recollection of where I picked it up.





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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-08-25 03:13

Yamaha called Middle C (C4 on here and 4th 8ve C on harps) C3 on their synths - maybe others did too.

Although on harps, the 8ves are from F-E and not C-B and counted down from the top or 0 8ve: https://teifiharps.com/wp-content/uploads/harp-strings-octaves.jpg

This messageboard was the first time I saw Middle C being called C4. The convention I was used to was the German one where C0 is C", C1 is C', C2 is C, C3 is c, C4 is c', C5 is c", C6 is c"', C7 is c"" and C8 is c""'

Chris.

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Maruja 
Date:   2021-08-26 14:25

Thanks for this info. re. how to name the notes. I don't feel quite so ignorant now!

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 Re: Throat B and C suddenly don't work!
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2021-08-26 18:49

The pitch nomenclature used here is widely used.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_pitch_notation

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