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 Sax to Clarinet
Author: Rusty 
Date:   2007-08-09 04:39

As distinct from an earlier post ,mine is the reverse. I`m well established in saxophone playing but would like to try the clarinet. I have two areas of concern, one is a brief look at a beginners book shows the fingering to be (to me) significantly different and because my (74 yr. old) mind thinks in sax fingering I might find this too much of a challenge. The other concern is as I want to keep playing sax whether the addition of clarinet fingering will spoil this previous hard learned ability.

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 Re: Sax to Clarinet
Author: Gnomon 
Date:   2007-09-07 11:21

In terms of fingerings, I don't think you'll have a huge problem. They're totally different, but you should be able to keep both systems in your head.

The biggest problem you'll have is learning the clarinet embouchure - the way you hold your mouth. It's a lot harder than for the saxophone. You're going to have to put in a lot of practise, because the clarinet needs really strong jaw muscles and you'll only get those through practice. I hope you've good teeth because they're going to be sore for a while at the start.

Best of luck.

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 Re: Sax to Clarinet
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2007-09-07 20:57

Gnomon, you make it sound harder than it is.
I don't know about your embouchure, and maybe I'm just lucky, but I never experienced either sore teeth or lower lip.

If you want to do yourself a favour, don't start with a #4 reed or so. With a #2 and a comfy mouthpiece it shouldn't be too hard. FWIW I use alto sax reeds on my alto Clarinet, and it's not all that different. Shouldn't be tough for a seasoned sax player.

Re the fingerings - as there is no proper octave concept with clarinets (register break is at twelfths, eg F -> C or C -> G), you end up (mentally) with some 38 different notes/fingerings. If you're used to play by ear, you'll get the hang quite quickly. It's like doubling with cars and motorbikes - similar enough to find your way, different enough as not to confuse you.


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