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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As many of you know, from my recent post I have been looking for a Darker Alto Saxophone. Though I would like a darker sound on Alto, I guess I may be going the less expensive reed route. That is not the reason I started this thread though. The real reason to be to ask for some advice.
Their is a Orchestra near me that I am auditioning for, however from what I understand their is hardly any Sax music. Should I with the money I got from my Martin purchase a Clarinet to use?
Also what I am wondering is will this help my Sax playing? Help me later in life? If their is a general agreement that I should get a Clarinet what models might work?

Your opinions are greatly respected.

Thanks
~Carbs
 

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Don't expect to buy a clarinet and then be able to go and do an audition for a (I'm guessing) youth orchestra. The fingerings, embouchure and airstream are a fair bit different.
There will likely only be 2 or 3 clarinet chairs, and doubtless there will be clarinet players auditioning who will have been playing the clarinet for much longer than you with private instruction from classically trained clarinet teachers. Then again I have no idea what the level of playing in the orchestra is.
I'm not trying to dissuade you from picking up the clarinet. I didn't pick it up until I was 20 and now I'm going back to finish my Bachelor's as a clarinet major. It's a great instrument. Learn it if you want to learn it not because you think you might be able to get into the orchestra on it.
 

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Playing multiple instruments is good if you want work with a small orchestra (musicals), plan on teaching music or just enjoy playing music from different perspectives.

What are your future plans?
 

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Any instruments that you can play will help you in the future. Much like positions anywhere else in the world, the more you know, the better your chances will be. I can tell you that if i had a choice of hiring a sales guy for my teram that had multiple instrument knowledge and playing ability, or someone that was only familiar with one horn, I would hire the first. Playing is the same and I would assume teaching is very close also.
 

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One word -- oboe
 

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Other enriching instruments to try would definately be piano, and the clarinet is furthermore a classical instrument to learn.

Would you consider a non wind instrument?
 

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hak: One word. Oboe.
bluesaxgirl said:
Two words: Oh no.
Very good indeed. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What are your future plans?
Short term, play in a college Jazz band (when I go to college), play in the orchestra. Long Term either teach History, or Music in High School. I also wouldn't mind doing some odd small orchestra jobs too.
One word -- oboe
No thanks, I'm trying to cut back. My sister actually plays that, and I doubt she will let me even touch hers. I would kinda only like to learn one open hole instrument at a time.

Edit
Ok, I have a quick question. Since I have pretty much decided on Clarinet, and since my schedule allows it this year (half days) :). I was wondering which one is better?
Rent to own? Or just flat out buy?

I know renting to own will cost me more money in the long run. But I don't know if I am in a position to buy a Clarinet. Learn and then buy? Or Buy and then Learn? That is the question.
Thanks
~Carbs
 

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I got my clarinet for 20 dollars on Ebay. It needed some work, but in the end it only cost about 60 dollars. It is an old evette plactic clarinet. Clarinets aren't that expensive if you only want a student model to practice on. You can get a ready to play selmer or bundy for 100 or less easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am actually looking at doing a Rent to own on a Artley 17S probably. $16 a month I figure I learn on that for a three months, if I have made enough progress I will look into buying a Clarinet. It will also give me time to find a Dark Alto. Win Win.
 

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Carbs said:
I am actually looking at doing a Rent to own on a Artley 17S probably. $16 a month I figure I learn on that for a three months, if I have made enough progress I will look into buying a Clarinet. It will also give me time to find a Dark Alto. Win Win.
That makes a lot of sense to me. I have a nice flute I paid a chunk of change on and two years later I haven't even put a week on the instrument. :cool:
 

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bluesaxgirl said:
Two words: Oh no.
I disagree.

1. There are fewer oboe players at Carbs level, and they usually need two or three (the third doubling on English horn) per orchestra.
2. There are more solos in the principal oboe parts of orchestra music than any other instrument--so you're cool.
3. You can make better snake charmer sounds with an oboe than with a soprano sax.

Disadvantages:

1. Oboe is notoriously difficult to play--high resistance.
2. Reeds are a nightmare
3. Oboe players are usually pretty nerdy (except me, of course--I played oboe through middle school and high school)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My Sister is just the opposite of Nerdy, and she is a pretty good Oboe player. I am pretty sure it is just the guys that are nerdy. Kinda goes for Clarinet too, except for me. I am anything but nerdy.
 

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hakukani said:
Disadvantages:

1. Oboe is notoriously difficult to play--high resistance.
2. Reeds are a nightmare
3. Oboe players are usually pretty nerdy (except me, of course--I played oboe through middle school and high school)
4..and oboes are insanely expensive! The cheapest one in the new WWBW catalog is $749 for the Barrington plastic one.
There don't seem to be any cheap $100 chinese oboes yet.

One nice thing about the clarinet is it's small, portable and can be played very quietly which is nice for the neighbors;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Things have changed since I wrote that I would rent one. The one I was looking at got sold. They have a more expensive model, but at what it would cost me for a several month rental, I would be better off just straight buying one. I can always upgrade later on, if I need to.
Also something I like about Clarinet is that it is in the Key of B flat, which is great as a Tenor player.
 

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Hey Carbs,
Only EXTREMELY MASCULINE guys play the oboe, clarinet or, ahem, flute.
If your looking for a good student/intermediate horn you've got tons of options. First you have to decide if you want low maintainence resonite or are you ready to take on the care and feeding of a wood horn. I usually suggest Bundy, Vito, or Yamaha in plastic horns. If you want wood, anything in the Selmer Signet line, Buffet Evette, E11 or 12,,,The list is long. Most of these you can get pretty cheap on line.(ebay)
Sweet talk your sister into letting you try her oboe. You may change your mind. I played the Mommy card to get my middle daughter to let me try her oboe. I had to get one for myself. I picked up a really nice Reic off from ebay for $400! Double reeds are a pain in the butt, but worth the challenge.
Good luck finding the right horn for you!!
 

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If you want to play in an orchestra you should have started lessons back in June. About 70% of the stuff I've seen in orchestral clarinet playing is your usual not too terrible difficult/technical stuff. It is also mostly ensemble playing - blending with the other woodwinds. Of the 30% of technical stuff you will see, 50% will be in a bad key for the horn in your hands, and the other 50% will be the same, except it will be an exposed solo passage. If you have any weakness in your counting, start working on it NOW (that goes for sax too if you intend to make it in to a college jazz ensemble)!

There is also the issue of the A clarinet. If you are technically proficient in transposing and in playing in AWFUL keys, you probably won't need one. But most of us aren't that sort of masochist and have broken down and bought an A clarinet. Another tidbit for you, I have never found a student A clarinet. Every clarinet player with orchestral leanings is looking for a decent cheap clarinet in A and they are harder to find than a closet MK VI in a rummage sale for $50.

If you seriously want to play in an orchestra, drop your plans for an alto and start saving for an A. In college you can usually get a school horn to use, but sometimes they won't allow you to use a school horn for a paying gig (ask me how I know) and you will be SOL (Texan talk fer ya). Start saving now.

I am not trying to discourage you, but you are better off knowing this stuff while you have time to prepare for it.

If you are good enough to get in to a Jazz band, the school will probably have a decent horn you can use for that too. Nothing beats a horn you are intimately familiar with for your auditions so don't go buying a new horn just before an audition. If you can swing a new horn wait until after you get in and are taking lessons. Then ask what your professor recommends, and follow the recommendation. You need to play within the system to get to the point where you can play whatever you want to. The profs aren't busting your chops when they recommend a horn, they have valid concerns for making sure your horn is up to the task of the rep you will be studying so don't tell them your typewriter is a fine horn suited to all sax playing needs.

(and go read a GOOD book)
 

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Carl H. said:
(and go read a GOOD book)
This is not a facetious question but asked out of interest and it may help Carbs too. What would be considered "good books" on clarinet playing from a US perspective?
 
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