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Clarinet Anarchy

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I just purchased a clarinet from Ridenour Clarinets. I have never played a clarinet before but thought it might help me with the respiratory and lung disease. Seven years ago I read somewhere that a double-reed instrument helped those suffering from lung and respiratory problems. I've always loved bassoon music to I went to Midwest Musical Imports in Minneapolis. I quickly learned how much a reasonable bassoon would cost (YIKES!) and that if I ever expected to get close to my money back I would need to spend about $4,000! Needless to say, that was the end of my bassoon idea. Unfortunately, I did not think of a clarinet at that time, even though it is a single-reed instrument. 

Recently I read this about Pete Fountain:

“As a child, young Pete was very sickly, frequently battling respiratory infections due to weakened lungs. He was given expensive medication but it proved to be not very effective. During a pharmacy visit, Pete's father began a discussion with a neighborhood doctor who was also there shopping and talked with him about his son's condition. The doctor agreed to see the boy the following day. 

After a short exam, the doctor confirmed the weak lung condition and advised the father to try an unorthodox treatment: purchase the child a musical instrument, anything he has to blow into. The same day, they went to a local music store and, given his choice of instruments, Pete chose the clarinet (after first wanting the drums, which his father declined per the doctor's orders). At first, Pete was unable to produce a sound from the instrument, but he continued to practice and eventually not only made sounds and eventually music, but greatly improved the health of his lungs.”

Well I've now suffered with lung and respiratory disease for these past 12-years, and a clarinet is soon to be mine. Tom Ridenour is tuning one of his entry level instruments for me himself before it gets shipped. 

There are no expectations of my being a good clarinetist; but helping lungs and respiratory problems is all I really hope. A bit of enjoyment as well would be nice. However, images of my learning to play the trumpet when I was in grade school come to mind. Oh brother! My landlord's dogs will be howling with displeasure...

Here are some links I've been reading

* http://www.woodwind.org/clarinet

* http://www.clarinetpages.net

* http://clarinetmentors.com


Are there any clarinet players on Sailing Anarchy that might provide some tips?


QBF

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I’m not a clarinet player. But that is an interesting treatment. Good luck in your musical endeavor. 

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37 minutes ago, QBF said:

I have never played a clarinet before but thought it might help me with the respiratory and lung disease.

I hope it helps too.

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Have played but was many years ago - be very glad you did not go double reed.  Much harder. Reed instruments like strings (violin & viola) are tough to get a good sound so be prepared for some squawky times.  A teacher/coach would be a big help, no idea if that is now available with you tube etc, probably is since you can learn almost anything......

Good luck and don't give up. Highly recommend finding a practice place where nobody hears you.  After you get the hang of it I will tell you my clarinet story. 

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I played trumpet as a yout, but love the sound of a clarinet ...as others have suggested take lessons and you'll enjoy it more...good luck with your health , the music will help your body and mind

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many year ago  my daughter wanted to take on an instrument.  she she tried the flute.  shoulD could not make it work.  I one the other hand was able to make some nice sounding notes, all the that practice bowingon beer bottles.  So she turned in the flute and moved to the clarinet.  found it easy,  I on the other hand sounded like i was stepping on ducks when I tried it.

Have fun...  hope it helps...

 

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Used to play the clarinet when i was a teenager, a looooong time ago.

Find a teacher; it will be really difficult on your own like for any instrument (I believe, from my personal experience.... and one might add, my personal lack of ability!)

I would recommend also to find an amateur band to play with. I would find practicing by myself more difficult than when in a band, where you need to go to the practice on a regular basis, you have to practice on your own, so you do not let the band down... etc. It helps for the commitment to the instrument.

Finally, after a while the high pitch of the "regular" clarinet (soprano) got tiring to me. I switch to a bass clarinet, which I found had a much "warmer" sound... If you are practicing for health benefits, beware though; the bass clarinet needs a lot more breath. My clarinet teacher could not play it for extended periods; he would get out of breath...

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I had one when at boarding school, 13-18.  It was a very useful thing because I could join the corps marching band and escape the nightmares of running up and down hills with a pack and a weapon.  But I digress.

They sound fine in the lower (chalumeau?) register but not so good when overdriven in the higher registers when they squeak horribly.  They do need a bit of air, but I was told (maybe wrongly) that good clarinet players breathe with their diaphragm to control the lungs rather than with the chest.  Doesn't make a load of difference in my view.

Good luck.  It sounds like an excellent remedy for lung power.  Apart from howling at sloppy foredeck crew, and for the oldest sport of all, of course.....

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10 hours ago, d'ranger said:

 After you get the hang of it I will tell you my clarinet story. 

Dose it starte with "Oune time, at bande campe....." ?                                              :)

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11 hours ago, QBF said:

Well I've now suffered with lung and respiratory disease for these past 12-years, and a clarinet is soon to be mine.

I love oute-of-teh-boxe thicking.  Goode Luck, wisheng you bettere healthe.                                           :)                                                                    

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fella I worked with figured I needed to learn to play a sax, maybe cuz he was trying to sell some of his collection - anyhoo, trouble I had in getting the reed to do it's work was for me to keep my cheeks out of the equation and let my lungs do the work, he kept telling me to work on my 'embouchure', I didn't buy a sax.

try this search sentence in google -  embouchure clarinet   - looked ok to me

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neat idea, I played in middle school and first two years of high school. The breath control was a workout. it's not unlike blowing into that tube that keeps the little ball afloat on the air column at the Dr's office. So the concept makes pretty good sense... An oboe should be about the same price if you still think a double reed would be better, but it is more difficult to develop the embouchure to play it well which might discourage the process.... The clarinet is easier. ... Good luck.

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My dad played his whole life, though he can't hold it anymore. I would like to hire a clarinetist to come to my house and play for him in his hospice, I think it would give him more peace than anything else. Or maybe I can still play something simple for him, like Schubert.

He forced me to play it, I preferred skateboards, especially because the POS bentonite student model that he got me tended to squeak a lot. His Buffet is African Blackwood, it sounds good, saved his ass (and thus mine) on the nights that his PTSD from the war and the orphanage got really bad.

He always told me that a B-flat clarinet has the closest range to the human voice of any instrument. Brahms sounds great on a clarinet, and it can be played softly without resorting to a sock like my little trumpet. 

Best of luck with your new whip, your idea to use it as a medical device might be one of the most genius things I've ever heard. You inspired me to get my dad's whip back into his life for his last days and hopefully months.

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17 minutes ago, mikewof said:

Best of luck with your new whip, your idea to use it as a medical device might be one of the most genius things I've ever heard. You inspired me to get my dad's whip back into his life for his last days and hopefully months.

Goode on you Mickey.                                                                      :)

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16 minutes ago, Snaggletooth said:

Goode on you Mickey.                                                                      :)

Thank you. He likes the idea, QBF brought back some good memories. I've no idea if I can even remember any of the notes. Is it like riding a bicycle?

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1 hour ago, mikewof said:

My dad played his whole life, though he can't hold it anymore. I would like to hire a clarinetist to come to my house and play for him in his hospice, I think it would give him more peace than anything else. Or maybe I can still play something simple for him, like Schubert.

He forced me to play it, I preferred skateboards, especially because the POS bentonite student model that he got me tended to squeak a lot. His Buffet is African Blackwood, it sounds good, saved his ass (and thus mine) on the nights that his PTSD from the war and the orphanage got really bad.

He always told me that a B-flat clarinet has the closest range to the human voice of any instrument. Brahms sounds great on a clarinet, and it can be played softly without resorting to a sock like my little trumpet. 

Best of luck with your new whip, your idea to use it as a medical device might be one of the most genius things I've ever heard. You inspired me to get my dad's whip back into his life for his last days and hopefully months.

In the meantime you could play his favorite clarinet music for him.....when my mom was on her last and on a morphine drip I slipped earphones over her head and played something that put a smile on her face... brings a tear to my I as I type this

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Try the Mozart Clarinet Concerto.  Just magic.  Especially the second movement.

 

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In 7th & 8th grade band class, northern Virginia,  the school the instructor was the oboist in the National Symphony Orchestra...every now and then he'd show off....

that said....give me some Benny  Goodman to light that reed !

 

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i have a Bachelor's degree in saxophone and clarinet pedagogy ....fire away any questions you may have...

the one thing about a Ridenour Clarinet is that the metal is quite soft (compared to other clarinets) so be careful when laying it down....if the pads don;t seat correctly on the body, it will be awfully hard to make a good sound.  also, as soon as you start to get a decent sound on your clarinet, toss the mouthpiece that came with it and get a vandoren 5rv which will help you produce a full quality sound (that will be needed as you go over the register)   also, just like sailboat's sails, the reed makes a difference....get the best you can....

http://www.the-clarinets.net/english/clarinet-reed.html

avoid rico reeds in the orange box....

Mitchell Lurie 

VanDoren v12

 

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1 hour ago, dacapo said:

i have a Bachelor's degree in saxophone and clarinet pedagogy ....fire away any questions you may have...

the one thing about a Ridenour Clarinet is that the metal is quite soft (compared to other clarinets) so be careful when laying it down....if the pads don;t seat correctly on the body, it will be awfully hard to make a good sound.  also, as soon as you start to get a decent sound on your clarinet, toss the mouthpiece that came with it and get a vandoren 5rv which will help you produce a full quality sound (that will be needed as you go over the register)   also, just like sailboat's sails, the reed makes a difference....get the best you can....

http://www.the-clarinets.net/english/clarinet-reed.html

avoid rico reeds in the orange box....

Mitchell Lurie 

VanDoren v12

 

1. Try a B flat (soprano) recorder first. They are cheap and easy to get a note from. They use the same fingering positions as other wood wind instruments such as the clarinet, saxophone and flute. Get the cheap 'learn to play' book. Simple tunes to help you learn finger positions. If you enjoy this then go and get a clarinet.

2. Buy a medium priced second hand clarinet from a music store. Like most wood wind instruments, Clarinets have a lot of moving parts that are reasonably delicate. A decent music store will have serviced it making sure the keys are aligned and replaced the pads under the keys. If it has been serviced you should have trouble free playing for a few years as long as you don't drop it. A quick service every few years depending how often you play.

3. The reed has as much to do with the tone of the instrument as anything. Softer reeds don't sound as good as firmer reeds. However a beginner needs a soft reed to learn with and also as your mouth develops embouchure, by strengthening mouth and lip muscles you will move on to firmer reeds. Coincidentally a regular player using a firm reed will struggle with soft reeds as their embouchure is beyond the soft reed. Buy a quality soft reed. Rico reeds suck balls.

4. Start with a cheaper mouth piece then as you move into the medium range reeds, switch to a better mouth piece. The cheap ones are designed for beginners. Make sure your clarinet you buy has a mouthpiece for beginners. As with the reeds when you move to a new mouth piece your ability will take a step backwards before quickly moving forward. Also make sure you switch your current worn in reed to your new mouth piece or you will really struggle!

5. Remove the reeds after playing and dry them. If left in the mouth piece they will stay moist from your saliva and quickly grow mold. So the next time you play you're putting your lips around a filthy moldy reed!

 

I miss my sax

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Best of luck with this endeavor. You might try craigslist, I got a $4000 classical guitar for $900. Nice to have a fine instrument.

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I appreciate all the advice and encouragement from everyone, thank you!  Maybe in a month or two, I'll post a video of my playing Little Brown Jug for your musical entertainment!  :mellow:

One another note, some must have missed in my OP that I have already purchased a Ridenour clarinet, but thanks for the suggestions.

Here is a link to all of Tom Ridenour's YouTube video's

https://www.youtube.com/user/billyboy647/videos

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On 1/9/2019 at 7:25 AM, SailBlueH2O said:

In 7th & 8th grade band class, northern Virginia,  the school the instructor was the oboist in the National Symphony Orchestra...every now and then he'd show off....

that said....give me some Benny  Goodman to light that reed !

 

Damn! Those fuckers ROCKED back then! You know that Benny Goodman probably got more trim than a barbershop floor. Gene Krupa was on fire. I read that Goodman used to hire Black musicians back when bands were still segregated, but they had to stay home when the band was filmed because the studios had their own rules against integration in film.

Anyway, I like your idea of the earphones. I tried the pair I had on my dad but he couldn't hear anything, I need to use a better pair that gets a little louder. I'm playing this vid on my Mac for my old man while he's sleeping in his wheelchair, I swear, the old guy is bobbing to it in his sleep!

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5 hours ago, QBF said:

I appreciate all the advice and encouragement from everyone, thank you!  Maybe in a month or two, I'll post a video of my playing Little Brown Jug for your musical entertainment!  :mellow:

One another note, some must have missed in my OP that I have already purchased a Ridenour clarinet, but thanks for the suggestions.

Here is a link to all of Tom Ridenour's YouTube video's

https://www.youtube.com/user/billyboy647/videos

Yes I read it but disregarded it by the time I got that far in my post!

I still recommend getting a recordedrto practice with, so cheap and a little easier to learn tunes on, then try out the tunes on the Clarinet.

When I was a kid, I started out on Brass but wanted to switch to wood so I borrowed my sisters old recorder to get up to speed before presenting this expensive new idea to my parents......Wasn't long before I was second chair in the sax section and any difficult tune I practiced on the recorder first. A lot quieter for the neighbors!

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As you can see, I've received my clarinet. Now to purchase a mouthpiece.

Here are four that I am considering as the first one is to be a beginners mouthpiece. Later, I'll buy a much better one if/when I get good.

I am leaning towards the Ridenour, as I trust the guy. Also, he offers a thumb saddle cushion that I think I might want. His shipping cost is not high, and I won't have to pay Minnesota sales tax on the items.

Note: The Minneapolis, Minnesota, general sales tax rate is 6.9%. Depending on the zip code, but the sales tax rate of Minneapolis may vary from 6.9% to 8.025%

These I can purchase in Minneapolis which is about an hours drive away but this place is a pain for me to drive there. However, if I do buy locally, there is not shipping charge but I get the pleasure of having to pay sales tax.

* Brad Behn Overture Collection Bb Clarinet Mouthpiece ($35.00)
    https://www.mmimports.com/product/brad-behn-overture-collection-bb-clarinet-mouthpiece/

* Yamaha Bb/A Clarinet Mouthpiece, 4C ($33.00)
    https://www.mmimports.com/product/yamaha-bb-a-clarinet-mouthpiece-4c/

* Clark Fobes Debut Bb Clarinet Mouthpiece ($39.50)
    https://www.mmimports.com/product/clark-fobes-debut-bb-clarinet-mouthpiece/

* Ridenour "Encore Bb Clarinet Mouthpiece" ($42.95)
    https://ridenourclarinetproducts.com/stud.-clarinet-mpcs.html

I am open to suggestions...

Ridenour Clarinet.jpg

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2 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Here's one - those corks look pretty dry, make sure ya use a good amount of cork grease on 'em before you put your horn together.

Thanks, but as it is a brand new clarinet I would expext the corks to be a bit dry.

However, I will be putting on some cork grease before I assemble it!

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Just now, QBF said:

Thanks, but as it is a brand new clarinet I would expext the corks to be a bit dry.

However, I will be putting on some cork grease before I assemble it!

I hope ya enjoy it - I always wished I could play a reed instrument - just couldn't seem to get the embouchure right.  

 

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As a guitarist, the only advice I have is work hard at it. In the initial stages on any  instrument, just getting a clear note is a challenge.  A cheaper alternative is simply singing. Same breath control, same full lung use, same strengthening of the abdomen. (Same horrible noises in the beginning. Practise, practise, practise.)

Good luck, enjoy the music and the improved breathing.

 

Why is an accordion better than a violin?

It burns longer and hotter, so you can incinerate more clarinets. (Or banjos or bagpipes.....)

 

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8 minutes ago, Happy said:

As a guitarist, the only advice I have is work hard at it. In the initial stages on any  instrument, just getting a clear note is a challenge.  A cheaper alternative is simply singing. Same breath control, same full lung use, same strengthening of the abdomen. (Same horrible noises in the beginning. Practise, practise, practise.)

Good luck, enjoy the music and the improved breathing.

 

Why is an accordion better than a violin?

It burns longer and hotter, so you can incinerate more clarinets. (Or banjos or bagpipes.....)

 

You obviously have never heard me sing!

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First record I ever bought was a Benny Goodman compilation. 

Tried learning the clarinet as a kid. My fingers dont do what my brain told them (on going issue). Much more satisfying listening to those who can.

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My daughter played alto and soprano sax. Total of 7 years. That first few months were difficult. Stick with it, it gets better.  

As for the mouthpiece. Why not pay to fee dollars extra and buy the one made by the same people who made your clarinet?  Matched set makes sense to me. 

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4 hours ago, chinabald said:

My daughter played alto and soprano sax. Total of 7 years. That first few months were difficult. Stick with it, it gets better.  

As for the mouthpiece. Why not pay to fee dollars extra and buy the one made by the same people who made your clarinet?  Matched set makes sense to me. 

I believe you are correct. A Ridenour mouthpiece it is!

Thanks!

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