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 ergonomics / key layout (pro models)
Author: zr1100 
Date:   2021-08-23 02:00

Are there any articles, etc. concerning brand and model differences regarding ease of key layout for smaller hands (esp. short little finger).
In returning after many years, I find that I am very comfortable with a LeBlanc Symphony 3 (from high school--used for TX all-state, etc.) but have trouble with my daughter's Buffet R13 (circa 1990)--no comparison in ease of crossing the break, etc.
I will be looking for a new clarinet (any price range) since the LeBlanc is very old and there are a couple of minor resistant areas when playing (it has been recently overhauled by a professional in NY who is also a Selmer artist who helped develop the Privilege model).
I can consider trying Selmer, Yamaha, etc. and Buffet (if the keywork is different from an R13).
Question--1. re Buffet (esp. with so many models), Selmer, Yamaha, Backun, are there noticeable differences in the models within each manufacturer, which would need to be considered when choosing models to try (does Tosca feel different from R13, etc.)?
2. Any recommended dealers who are willing to cooperate in trials ? --ie. the info I see re Midwest Musical Imports seems very accommodating (and they have almost all prof. models/brands), Rodriguez Musical Services esp. for Buffet, and I'm sure there are others ?

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 Re: ergonomics / key layout (pro models)
Author: m1964 
Date:   2021-08-23 07:24

zr1100 wrote:

> Are there any articles, etc. concerning brand and model
> differences regarding ease of key layout for smaller hands
> (esp. short little finger).

My first teacher had short fingers but had no problems playing any instrument from R13 to Uebel to his German/Oehler clarinet.

Do you have problems reaching Lt. pinkey three keys (E/B, F/C, F#/C#)or the Rt. hand lower four keys?

If it is the right four, then you can try lowering the thumb rest which will bring the whole hand down slightly but will bring the little finger close to those four keys.

Also, I believe I know who was your clarinet restorer. I would, if possible, get a consultation from him- he is extremely knowledgeable teacher.

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 Re: ergonomics / key layout (pro models)
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-23 20:17


I stuggle with reaching for keys sometimes. I find that some clarinet are markedly smaller and lighter than others, but the really nice professional models that I have tried are all quite big and heavy.

In the end I chose a Yamaha Custom CX because it had the best combination of good tuning, and good tone, and excellent ergononomics. I had to have the register key and one of the pinkie keys extended to be able to reach them. It's at the big/heavy end of the set, but I think it's worth it for the sound. I have a sling to support the weight.

Ideally I would have gone for a lighter smaller instrument if I could have found one, but they just don't seem to exist in new models.

I've noticed some really good players have B&H clarinets that are quite old, and I do wonder whether a clarinet that is old enough to be light, but new enough to be still working is a good option, but I have not really looked into that.

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 Re: ergonomics / key layout (pro models)
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2021-08-24 00:04

The Boosey & Hawkes 1010 model clarinet had a very wide bore with little or no taper from top to bottom. That popular top-of-the-line model required a specially bored and shaped mouthpiece to play in tune with good response. The typical French style Boehm mouthpiece (Vandoren, Kaspar, Hite, Selmer, etc) does not make a good match for the wide-bore, broad-sounding B&H clarinets. And, conversely, the mouthpieces designed for big bore B&H instruments generally give poor results on most Buffet, Selmer, and Yamaha clarinets. The Search feature of BBoard provides helpful discussion of this characteristic--look for posts on "Mouthpiece for Boosey and Hawkes 1010." Especially useful are postings from Cigleris, Clancy, Norman Smale, Donald, and Graham Elliot on this topic. Stores like Howarth in London are careful to note which used mouthpieces they have for sale are a match for the 1010 (and similar big bore models from Peter Eaton and L. Rossi).

Post Edited (2021-08-24 00:21)

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