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I've been playing clarinet for about 7 years now, but lately the third register E natural and up haven't been coming out unless I honk really loudly. When it does come out, it isn't steady at all and squeaks a LOT. I have an overhauled Penzel Muller from the 1920s and there are some cracks in the wood...I know I need a new clarinet but I just don't have the money for one (broke college student ya know). Until I can get a new one, does anyone have any tips for making these notes "prettier"? Thank you so much.
 

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My first question is when was the last time you had your clarinet serviced? Leaks can usually cause something like this. Have you done a leak test on it? and have you tried to play on another clarinet? That can usually help you figure out if it's you or if your clarinet needs servicing.

The other is just to think about focusing the airstream more (note...not pinching or cutting it off, but think of it more like a singer would with opening up and more focused air). Try to mimic what your body would do with your voice when it's going to the upper range when you sing a full, resonant high note.
 

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I've had it serviced recently and I simply can't afford to have the cracks filled. I literally have zero dollars.

And thank you for your advice, I'll try that.
 

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Do you have any friends who are clarinet players? Find someone with a fancy horn in good shape and ask if you can try it. That way you'll know if it's you or the horn, and if the solution is repairs or practice.
 

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Do the cracks go completely through? Most REPUTABLE techs won't 'service' a clarinet that has leaky cracks anywhere other than the bell.
Have you tried 'half-holing' your altissimo notes? Sometimes that helps them speak a little more clearly.
Have you changed anything like your mouthpiece, reeds, ligature? Or are you playing on blown out reeds?
There are a lot of things that can contribute to nasty sounding astissimo notes other than a few cracks that DON'T go through the 'important' joints. (barrel, top, and lower)
 

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If this is happening only recently it could be that your register pipe is clogged up.

It's a fairly easy operation to clean it. Remove the Bb/register key and pass a pipe cleaner through it a couple of times.
 
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