Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Forum Contributor 2010 / RIP
Joined
·
1,363 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Enviroguy said:
And get a Hite Premiere mouthpiece. These are extremely easy blowing and sound pretty good. I've got a Hite on my old Metal Clarient and I still love it. And there only like $28.00 new off the shelf.
OK folks, I'm going to cry on your shoulders for a minute. THIS IS IMPORTANT TO THIS DAD!

I have 4 kids. The oldest (a young lady of 20 now) played flute in the 5th grade and was always first or second chair until we moved from Ohio to Wyoming. Suddenly her interest in Band waned and she quit in her sophomore year of HS. (my first failure) When she was in 8th grade, I bought a Vito plastic student model thinking my 2nd daughter would take to it. Well, she didn't! She got into piano just long enough for me to spend about $1000 on a used Baldwin studio model. She quit piano to work and make money for a trip to Europe in 2008. (my second failure) My oldest son got into the guitar at age 8! I'm ecstatic that he got some of Dad's music genes, but no woodwinds there. (a partial success!)

Now we're down to kid #4 who I've affectionately started calling "Obi-Wan"...you know, from Star Wars...as in "Obi-Wan, you're my only hope." Joshua has accepted the fact that he will have at least one year (5th grade) of music lessons. He has an arsenal of woodwinds and a couple of brass instruments to choose from. The woodwinds include Big sis' Gmeinhardt flute, any of my student/vintage saxes ('2 great playing Buescher TT Altos, LA Sax and Bundy Tenors), and finally, a Vito Reso-Tone 3 Clarinet - his chosen instrument!

Help me make this instrument VERY easy to play! It has a Woodwind Company Vito II mouthpiece, pads are a little sticky, but Dad can fix that. It plays well in the left hand but seems to be leaky from the right index finger on down. I've been using a Rico V-2 reed.

What recommendations do you have? Softer reed? Different mouthpiece I can get my hands on quickly (like the Hite Premier)? Leak test it and get it tuned? I appreciate any help you can give me...you all will get partial credit for a success if he stays with it because he has a good instrument. Next step is for each of you to pray that I won't say something stupid to cause him to give up early. ;)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
GAS_Wyo said:
Help me make this instrument VERY easy to play! It has a Woodwind Company Vito II mouthpiece, pads are a little sticky, but Dad can fix that. It plays well in the left hand but seems to be leaky from the right index finger on down. I've been using a Rico V-2 reed.
When it's leaky from the RH index down, I'd check whether the pad next to the socket (just above the RH index finger hole) is worn, or it is set too high.
First step is to buy a bottle of wine, uncork it and put the cork in the lower joint, instead of the bell. Leave the clarinet unassembled. Now close all holes and start blowing softly (else you'd simply lift the Eb pad as it is spring-closed) from the uncorked end. Identify the culprit, fix it. Do also check the other pads for wear. Next assemble the clarinet but leave the cork in place. Close all holes again, blow from the barrel end. Same procedure. If you have difficulties locating the hiss, replace the "bell cork" with a party balloon. Gives you more time to listen without having to blow at the same time.
When you have at least identified the fault, you may have a glass of that wine. :) Relax.

If you can spare a buck or two, have your repair person give it a short check. At the same time you can buy decent (1/2 to 1 notch stiffer) reeds and consider a new mouthpiece. (The Hite is less than 17$ + S&H from 1stopclarinet.com)

Oh, and one more thing: No use grieving over perceived failure - you can pull at the grass, but that won't make it grow faster. Same with kids - you can show them the way to the bar, but they have to drink by themselves.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,585 Posts
^ What he says.
Check for the leaky pad. If it's been in storage for a while it may benifit from a complete repad. The mouthpiece you have is a decent student mouthpiece. A new mouthpiece may make Joshua feel like the instrument is truly his, and not a hand-me-down. Either way, starting out on a 2 1/2 reed is a good idea. Better sound and pushes the correct embouchure issue.

Don't worry that YOU will say something to put him off. Worry about the goobers in band that may tease him about playing a "girlie" instrument.

The fingers are crossed that he'll stick with it at least through High School.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
bandmommy said:
Don't worry that YOU will say something to put him off. Worry about the goobers in band that may tease him about playing a "girlie" instrument.
<wonders whether buying that pink clarinet off That Auction Site really was the most clever idea ever> :D

You mean the brand, or you mean the instrument as such?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,585 Posts
The instrument as such.

If you look at todays' school bands most all of clarinet players are GIRLS. The same goes for flute and oboe. It's not very often that young men who start out on one of these instruments stick with it. Most will switch to sax or low brass if they don't drop out entirely.
It's pretty sad that you are judged by what instrument you choose to play. Or what color for that matter.

BTW It takes a REAL man to play a Pink clarinet!;)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
bandmommy said:
The instrument as such.

If you look at todays' school bands most all of clarinet players are GIRLS. The same goes for flute and oboe. It's not very often that young men who start out on one of these instruments stick with it. Most will switch to sax or low brass if they don't drop out entirely.
Reminds me of Bart Simpson in that ballet class...
In our band we're seven women and two men in the clarinet section. I like that. I should have done that twenty-five years earlier. :)
It's pretty sad that you are judged by what instrument you choose to play. Or what color for that matter.
Oh, before I forget - here's a test.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,937 Posts
Fix the clarinet and get a free blowing mouthpiece/reed combination and tell him that after he plays this for a year, he can also add another horn as a doubler and then the next year another horn till he can play all 5 woodwinds. As his playing progresses teach him how to improvise blues and by the time he hits college, he can play sax and double, play in bars on the side and have his pick of the chicks.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,585 Posts
I took the 'test'.
The funny thing is my primary instrument is Clarinet and I came up as an OBOE. Clarinet was the LAST instrument on the list with 0%.
Did you match your primary instrument?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
bandmommy said:
I took the 'test'.
The funny thing is my primary instrument is Clarinet and I came up as an OBOE. Clarinet was the LAST instrument on the list with 0%.
Did you match your primary instrument?
Not really. I scored as a French Horn, followed by Oboe and - thankfully - then Clarinet (my primary).
French Horn? How nerdy. ;)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member and Forum Contributor
Joined
·
4,379 Posts
Best way to get him to play clarinet is to tell him he is not allowed to. That always seems to create an intense desire.

Clarinet a girlie instrument? When I was in high school the first and second chair clarinets were starting linemen on the football team.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Definitely, first get the clarinet fixed.

1. Right hand notes should be just as easy to play as left hand notes.
2. Left hand B (centre-staff) should be as easy to play as the D above it.

If not, get it fixed again!!

Learning on a clarinet that is incorrectly adjusted is like learning to ride a bicycle with deflated tyres, loose handlebar, and no brakes. You just don't impose that on a kid; there are enough problems for a kid learning clarinet without that.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2010 / RIP
Joined
·
1,363 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
On the "girlie instrument" issue, I have asked the band teacher (a woman) about this. She said not to worry. The 'stigma' of a guy playing the clarinet is not as bad as it was 30 years ago. Out of 10 new players last year, 6 were boys in the 5th grade!

...I haven't asked him about it. I don't think he's the type of kid that would even worry about it. After all, Squidward on Spongebob plays the clarinet so terribly, I'm sure Joshua thinks he can do it better!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,585 Posts
I'm glad that Joshua will have company. He sounds like a great kid with a good self esteem. I wish him much success. Any ideas as to your first father son duet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
I've tested all kinds of mouthpieces on the clari-kids of our local school band. What I was searching for was : easy to play, easy to control and a real clarinet tone with softer reeds. They all now play Clark Fobes Debut, start on a Vandoren V12 2.5 and change to V12 3.0 when they are ready for it. My daughter (20) also plays the Debut on her Selmer 10S.

So, my vote goes to Fobes Debut.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2010 & Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,945 Posts
GAS_Wyo said:
On the "girlie instrument" issue, I have asked the band teacher (a woman) about this. She said not to worry. The 'stigma' of a guy playing the clarinet is not as bad as it was 30 years ago. Out of 10 new players last year, 6 were boys in the 5th grade!
I would hope that as parents we could educate our children that what they WANT to do is more important than other people's perception of it.

30+ years ago when I was in school band, Boys NEVER played flute. Girls NEVER played low brass or percussion. Clarinet was split evenly. And to be honest, who cares? This past year in my school band, my best 4 flute players were boys.

To echo what others have said: clarinet is a dog to learn when it is in fine playing form, so make sure it is sealing tight. The Fobes debut is a solid call as a beginner's mouthpiece. If you are a teacher, I believe Mr. Fobes will send you one for free!

Good luck!

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
It seems like the big challenge nowadays is finding out how to encourage perseverence in music, both in school and as a hobby. In my former school district i saw the definite pattern: kids will either really enjoy it or struggle and then lose interest. I'm stuck on why kids go one way or the other. I guess it's a combination of encouragement from parents, teachers who both motivate you to work hard and have fun doing it, and a beginning instrument/mpc/reed combo that is easy to produce sound on. there's so many variables in there. Well, i wish you luck, hopefully he'll turn into an awesome woodwind and have fun doing so.

By the way greg, i'm still in love with your YBS-52. i've got auditions in a few weeks for my college jazz band, so me and my sax have been awful close lately. Thanks again!
 

·
Forum Contributor 2010 / RIP
Joined
·
1,363 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Joshua tried out the Clarinet about a week ago...it was pretty tough for him to even get it to squeak. Sooooo, I set him up with the Buescher alto, a great Selmer C* (about 1970 vintage) and a Rico Royal 2 reed. I had him playing the C scale within 15 minutes. However, he is still set on the Clarinet. Band starts next week, so we will see!

Thanks to all of you for the encouragement and words of advice. The horn is in the shop getting a thorough checkout. I should pick it up by next Monday.

Bari Man, I'm really glad you like the Yamaha Bari! Good luck in the auditions!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
Let me get this straight.

He likes the clarinet and since it's "girlie" he will end up as the only guy in a section surrounded by females.

Where's the problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,036 Posts
It takes most kids a couple of years to figure this out - if he sticks with the instrument he'll get it.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
Joined
·
27,247 Posts
My father is a musician and I was the last of five kids, and the only one to stick with music. I've only got one son, and in his second year of high school he went ahead and quit sax. Thing is, though he was good, it was never his passion. When I was a kid, I wanted to be the best in my school and I wanted to play out all I could; not to mention join my father's band. My son never had that drive, never wanted to play out and had no desire to join in the family band, or any other group I'm in. He'd never jam with me unless one of us was playing keys and wouldn't let me teach him a thing. It got to the point where I basically told him I'd rather have him quit than do it half-assed. Well, without my pressure, he stuck with it for a few more years, but since he's a three sport athlete and his high school band is stuck in the 70's, there was nothing to keep him interested. Though I seriously doubt he'll play sax again, he is teaching himself keyboard and does have a drum set to mess around with. If I have a regret, it's that I shouldn't have steered him to saxophone in the first place.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top