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 Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: bassclari90 
Date:   2002-06-08 22:34

I am thinking about buying a neck strap for my bass clarinet, I have been using a floor peg ever since I played it. You know how when you play with the floor peg, you play in front of you, but if you use a strap, do you have to play over to the side like a saxophone, or do I play in front of me still. I don't if this factor is a difference, but my bass clarinet, only has on eyelet for hook on a strap, the eyelet is right above the thumb rest, it's hooked up to the thumb rest. I am going to band camp, and I just wanted to know how should I hold my bass clarinet, over to the side, or in front of me like the floor peg.



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 RE: Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: David Kinder 
Date:   2002-06-09 03:10

With a neckstrap on a bass clarinet, you still keep the instrument in front of you. The advantage is that with the neckstrap it is easier to position the bass clarinet so that the mouthpiece goes better into your mouth than without it. It will also help you get more dexterity out of your fingers as the weight of the instrument shifts to your neck, instead of your arms.

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 RE: Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: Aaron Diestel 
Date:   2002-06-09 04:27

Using a nexk strap on bass clarinet is an intersting thing. I never thought of using a neckstrap until I saw Harry Spaarnay in a masterclass. Not only using a neckstrap, but standing while playing. In this instance, while standing, the natural tendency is to play with the bass clarinet off to the right side of the body, as say a tenor sax would.
When using the neckstrap while sitting this can help stabilize the clarinet instead of having to hold the clarinet towards your body. It can allow for more stability.
<bassclari90> is probablly playing on a Vito or Selmer/Bundy plastic horn. It sounds like she is a beginner on the bass clarinet, meaning she hasn't played the bass for too long.
My advice for her is to go ahead and use the neckstrap to help her along in these early times. Later you will be able to go without. And for goodness sakes, always play with the bass clarient inbetween your legs like a soprano clarinet. I would also like to pass this opinion the all alto sax players while they are seated. Espically to beginners on the sax, going to the side allows for bad posture and bad habits to occour that are less likely to happen if the horn in vertical, in between the legs.
Bassclari90. Use a strap for now, and play the horn between the legs. Most important when using the neckstrap, always connect it to the hook/ring just above the thumbrest, never use the hook that may be located on the upper joint, espically if you are going to be standing when playing the bass clarinet. I would also reccomend finding a good teacher for you that will teach you the bass clarinet. There are so many bad bass clarinet players out there in the schools that it makes me sick. Tones, technique and postures that are so horrible I'd rather some of them not play at all rather than play in that fashion.
Try your best and always practice.
Aaron Diestel

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 RE: Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: Bob Arney 
Date:   2002-06-09 13:31

Aaron, please give me some reason to accept these strong statements:
"There are so many bad bass clarinet players out there in the schools that it makes me sick. Tones, technique and postures that are so horrible I'd rather some of them not play at all rather than play in that fashion."
What experience level do you bring to the "table"? Are you a judge, examiner, teacher? Please respond. It would help all of us who do not know you to add value your statements.
Bob A

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 RE: Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   2002-06-09 14:13

Back to the neckstrap ? . Both my wood Selmer and hard rubber Linton have 2 hook-loops located, very well IMHO, about an inch above the thumbrest and at the level of the Eb/Bb pads on the UJ. These [with a 2 hook strap] give balance to the bass as such. I use a floor peg also [belt and suspenders approach!] for comfort, play directly in front with right foot pulled back a bit to lower my right knee so as to not interfere with my right hand access to the low keys. A repair shop prob. could find a second hook for your single-hook strap. A good friend [has a Sel 37] "hooks-up" much the same. Don

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 RE: Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: Robert Small 
Date:   2002-06-09 18:45

I also use Don's "belt and suspenders" method except I take it one step further--I use two separate neckstraps. This way I figure if one breaks while I'm standing up the other will keep the horn from falling (it's highly unlikely that both straps would break simultaneously). And I keep the straps on while sitting. Also it seems that I'm in the minority around here (maybe a minority of one) in that I position my bass on my right side like a sax. When playing while standing the horn seems to naturally position itself to my right (again like a sax) so I simply let it stay in this one position whether I'm sitting or standing. This also has the advantage of keeping the crook out of the way of the line of sight to the music stand.

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 RE: Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: Sarah 
Date:   2002-06-09 19:47

I use a neckstrap (only one!) and the peg. When I'm sitting, I play with the bass infront of me - I find it more comfortable becuase I did try it off to the side and didn't like it. Standing I only use the neckstrap and I just naturally falls a bit to the right.

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 RE: Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: Aaron Diestel 
Date:   2002-06-10 02:58

Sorry Bob,
I am a music educator. I also teach privately a well as play in a few orchestras in my area. As well as recently finishing concerts in New York and Cernegie Hall. I have been studying bass as well as the soprano from a great teacher, one who plays professionally. And has played bass with many of the country's largest orchestras. After going to so many contests for district and state level and listening to the broad range of bass clarinetists in the public schools I have found that many get an unleasent tone. In public school, the band, what happens so often is that the students that are playing bass clarinet end up on the instrument for sometimes one reason. The director needs a bass clarient player or two. He can't take the really good players out of the clarient section, so who usually ends up on the Bass....someone in the lower chairs of the section. Is this always, but it and situations like it happen very often. A second reason is that no "extensive" teaching really happens on the bass clarinet. Everything seems centered around the Bb in some students lessons. True...not many peoiple can make a living playing bass clairnet only, but the bass should be covered in lessons, if the student is playing the bass. Playing the bass is not liek playing the Bb. There are differences. Certianly aspects can be applied from the soprano to the bass, however certain other aspects are different and could greatly improve a students abilities on the bass.
I'm not saying what I think is absolutly correct, however if you are going to play bass, treat it as if learning a different instrument, what applies to the soprano, dosen't always apply to the bass. Just be as informed as possible and if you can, espically as a young student, take lessons on the bass. Be a first chair bass clarinet player, not a 3rd row clarientist that just happens to play bass.

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 RE: Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: clarinetqween 
Date:   2002-06-10 05:28

for me, my neckstrap is mearly a security device. I have a Buffet Prestige that goes down to the low C, so needless to say, I hardly have to use any peg. So the neckstrap is there to protect that marvelous horn from my dumb faulterings.



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 RE: Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: Bob 
Date:   2002-06-10 13:41

"for me, my neckstrap is mearly a security device"
Are you implying or saying that you use a neckstrap on a Bb sop clarinet? If not...anyone...can a bass clarinet strap be used on a Bb sop clarinet?

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 RE: Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: Don Poulsen 
Date:   2002-06-10 13:50

I, like the other Don, and a few others use both the neckstrap and the peg. The big advantage of this is that I don't need to use my hands to balance or carry the weight of the instrument, freeing my fingers up for easier movement. I have noticed that the bass clarinetist in the Indianapolis Symphony uses both as well.

Using the neck strap also allows me to tilt the bottom of the instrument under my chair so that the mouthpiece is more nearly at the angle that one would have a soprano clarinet mouthpiece.

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 RE: Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: Don Poulsen 
Date:   2002-06-10 13:57


There are neckstraps specifically for soprano clarinet. I don't think that a bass clarinet neckstrap would work because they attach differently -- sopranos don't have the eyelets to clip a hook to.

Apparently, even some professionals use neckstraps with their sopranos. It helps relieve the pressure of the instrument on the right thumb.

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 RE: Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: clarinetqween 
Date:   2002-06-11 05:12

I use one, my clarinet teacher whom is a professional uses one. All of her students use them. weird I guess. I had problems with my right wrist and that is mainly why I started to use one. I use a non-elastic one made by BG.


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 RE: Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: Bob 
Date:   2002-06-11 12:23

Don: the buffet thumbrest has an "eye" in it and so,theoretically,could accept the right size hook.

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 RE: Bass Clarinet Neck Strap
Author: Bob Arney 
Date:   2002-06-11 23:50

Re: Bass Clarinet straps on a Bb Soprano. Tried it this afternoon. No success. The strap (Blue Note Padded) is longer in adjustments and could not be shortened to bring the mouthpiece up to me. Also I could not hook it (hooks too big) to the single eyelet on my Bb (R.Malerne). My Alto clarinet strap almost worked but the hook was too big., So If you need one for a Bb Soprano, best you buy one just for that.

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