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Author: Alit 
Date:   1999-08-09 19:06

I have researched both instrements and i was wondering if if you played or had contact to a recorder would that help in learning the clarinet? thanks

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 RE: Info?
Author: Kontragirl 
Date:   1999-08-09 20:41

Recorder is a good instrument to start on, no matter what you want to play. Recorder is pretty close to flute. I know someone who was good on recorder that now plays flute, and she's good at flute. On the other hand, I was good at recorder, and I switched to clarinet, and I'm good at clarinet. I guess it all depends what you want to play.

My advice for you is don't ask a bunch of clarinet players if you should play clarinet or flute, because most of us will say clarinet. And don't go and asks flute players the same thing, because they'll probably say flute. It's all about YOU and what YOU want to do. So go down to the music store and look at all of the different instruments. Who knows? You could find yourself head over heels for the tuba! It sounds dumb, but it happens!

Good luck! I hope you make the right decision!

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 RE: Info?
Author: Ken Shaw 
Date:   1999-08-09 22:07

Alit wrote:
I have researched both instruments, and I was wondering if if you played or had contact to a recorder would that help in learning the clarinet? thanks

Alit -

I play _lots_ of recorder - probably as much as clarinet. It's an ideal companion instrument to clarinet, because the various size instruments alternate between playing in C (soprano, tenor) and playing in F (alto, bass). This matches the clarion and chalumeau fingerings on clarinet, so it's easy for a clarinetist to learn.

One problem is that most inexpensive recorders are garbage. The wood ones are worse than the plastics, and even the decent plastics (like the Dolmetsch Nova series) tend to clog up with condensation.

Stay far away from eBay for recorders. All the recorders there are the bottom of the barrel, and priced at double what they're worth. Instead, go to the von Huene Workshop website, www.vonhuene.com. They make wonderful professional instruments, for which there is a years-long waiting list and for which they charge as much as a Buffet R-13, but the also have a good stock of student-level and intermediate instruments at good prices. They're also completely honest and interested in helping you find what you need.

Recorder playing relaxes me wonderfully. There's no reed or embouchure to worry about, and no keys to get in the way. The air pressure is low, and, if you stay away from the soprano, the instruments are sweet and soft. Also, you get to play renaissance and baroque music, from the time before the clarinet was invented.

You should probably start off with an alto (in F), which has almost all the solo literature. Everyone gets a soprano, so you should too, but I don't like to play it much. It's the same pitch as the piccolo, and it shrieks too much. If you can afford a tenor, and your hands are big enough to play it, you should get one. (My wife and I have recorders in 7 different sizes.)

Playing early music gives you a background for later music, which most clarinetists don't have. This will definitely improve your clarinet playing. Also, playing an instrument that is rather soft teaches you how to make music without being able to punch out the notes, and this is also good for you.

Finally, there are lots of recorder people around, and they love to play in groups. You will almost certainly find that your clarinet background makes you the best player in any group.

And you can play late at night and not bother anybody too much.

There's a whole world of early music out there. Recorder is an easy way to gain access.

Best regards.

Ken Shaw

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 RE: Info?
Author: Rick2 
Date:   1999-08-10 04:11


The classical radio station here in Phoenix (KBAQ) has a morning guy with a thing for recorder concertos. I'd say there's about a 30% chance I'll hear a recorder piece on my drive to work on any given morning.

I didn't know about the fingerings and the tone of the larger recorders. I have a cheap plastic soprano recorder and the fingerings for that instrument are insane. You can't get over the staff without making dogs ram their heads into a cactus. I'll have to serioualy reconsider the instrument.

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 RE: Info?
Author: Willie 
Date:   1999-08-10 05:13

I think it is good to learn to double on other instruments like the recorder, sax etc. My playes her recorder when she feels embouchure getting tired on the flute. That way she can still work on the rhythmic problems of a certain piece. I tried it myself but I have to agree with Ken on the fingering. The turkey who invented the must have been smokin' that cactus. I used to have an old Chineese reed flute that was much easier. In fact it was more like a clarinet and I played the heck out of it till it got smooshed while moving.

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