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Discussion Starter #1
On my bass clarinet (and clarinet) ive always been told i have a nice sound. However, my sound doesnt seem to carry very well, and in many situations, unless im the only one playing, i seem to be drowned out.

Are there any excersizes/reeds or something that can help me improve my projection?
 

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Blow with more air pressure.
 

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Long tones. Start soft, cresendo to as loud as you can play, then decresendo. Do these daily and results will come in a week or two, it'll teach you better air support, air column control, and improve flexibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks,
i started working on this yesterday, hopefully this will help
 

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You also might need to drop your jaw a little to allow the reed to vibrate more.
Also, experiment with taking a little more mouthpiece in your mouth.
 

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Especially on bass clarinet, you may want to "push" the air until you start to get an edge to the sound. It will sound harsh and not very "pretty" to your ears which are only a foot or two from where the tone comes out of the instrument, but 20 feet away, the tone will have a full resonant sound. On bass clarinet a good mouthpiece makes all the difference in the world. The "Woodwind Educator" is a mouthpiece that facilitates a big sound without having to work too hard. If your school has any recording equipment, you can record yourself from a distance to find what sound you like the best. The soprano clarinet works on the same principle, but I would try for more "resonance" or "ring" to the tone rather than and "edgy" sound as on bass clarinet. The difference of course is the register each instrument plays in. Good luck. I hope some of this helps.

John
 

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dirty said:
That's the solution to 90% of problems on the clarinet, I think.
I agree. And it is amazing how many different ways people can say the same thing, without mentioning air or pressure. :)
 

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MM said:
Oh, you mean like "play with warmer air or faster air or" ....?!!!
When you play the clarinet right after a sax, you can't help but notice how different the two feel to blow. The sax will take as much air as you can blow through it. There's less resistance. The clarinet kind of has a limit as to how much air can go through at once. A lot of people take this to mean that the clarinet takes less air than the sax. This is not true. The clarinet takes just as much air as a sax, but it needs to be much more focused.

Think of your airstream like a garden hose. The spigot would be your lungs and the open end would be your mouth. The rest of the hose is...everything in between. I apologize for my lack of knowledge of the structures of the human respiratory system and garden hoses. I need to read more about both, but I think I can make my point.

On clarinet, the air needs to move faster through this little tiny mouthpiece and bore. Think of the hose on full blast, but you're pinching the end shut a little bit or partially covering the hole so that there is only a small opening. The water speeds up and shoots out in a smaller stream. The full amount of water from the spigot is needed to keep the stream strong. It won't work if you don't give it enough water. This kind of focused airstream is what's needed to efficiently direct air through a clarinet. You need to blow as much air and support that air just as strongly as on a sax, but with a high, arched tongue (eeeeeee) and a strong, firm, efficient connection between the airstream and the mouthpiece, aka embouchure.

It's more complicated than that, of course, but it would take a lot longer than one post on this forum to get into that. I'll probably spend my whole life trying to figure it out.

I hope that made sense!
 

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MM said:
Oh, you mean like "play with warmer air or faster air or" ....?!!!
Yea. That, and a whole lot more, including what dirty said. :)
 

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dirty said:
...A lot of people take this to mean that the clarinet takes less air than the sax. This is not true. The clarinet takes just as much air as a sax, but it needs to be much more focused.
...
Perhaps I misunderstand what you write, but I think it could b e quite misleading to others:
1. It seems to conflict with the rest of what you wrote.
2. I am currently a very rusty player on all instruments, and have a lung condition which does not help me with long notes, but it is still no problem for me to play to make a mid-range note loudly on clarinet for 50 seconds.

If what you say is correct, it should be easy for me to do the same on sax. But at least for me, it is more difficult on sop sax, and a lot more difficult as the saxes get larger. So I assert that a clarinet uses a less (quantity of) air than sax, especially the larger ones. Even though a higher pressure is usually required on clarinet. An oboe needs even more pressure, but even less air.
 

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I agree with Gordon that the amount of air is different for the clarinet and sax. The air stream used when playing a woodwind instrument has four separate components (however these are related and work together to produced the desired sound and pitch). They are:

-Speed........which helps determine the pitch or register of the note
-Volume.......which determines the loudness
-Pressure.....which affects the quality or timbre of the sound
-Direction.....which affects the overtones and timbre and produces altissimo notes

Because of the different angle of the mouthpiece, the smaller tip opening, and the fact that the clarinet plays near the top of the mouthpiece pitch, the soprano clarinet cannot accept the same volume of air as the sax. All the other components of the airstream can certainly be the same.

John
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
Perhaps I misunderstand what you write, but I think it could b e quite misleading to others:
1. It seems to conflict with the rest of what you wrote.
2. I am currently a very rusty player on all instruments, and have a lung condition which does not help me with long notes, but it is still no problem for me to play to make a mid-range note loudly on clarinet for 50 seconds.

If what you say is correct, it should be easy for me to do the same on sax. But at least for me, it is more difficult on sop sax, and a lot more difficult as the saxes get larger. So I assert that a clarinet uses a less (quantity of) air than sax, especially the larger ones. Even though a higher pressure is usually required on clarinet. An oboe needs even more pressure, but even less air.
I think what I meant was that the full air column must still be present. I guess what I meant was that your lungs, throat and the entire breathing apparatus must be as filled with air as on a saxophone. The volume of air going in is, obviously, limited by the small bore of the instrument, but up until that point, you must give it a very large volume of air.

I think of the airstream as exhaling into the instrument. I don't feel like less air leaves my lungs when I play clarinet, jsut that less air enters the clarinet.
 

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An experienced player can maintain good air pressure all the time until the lungs are 'empty'. (Actually a fair bit of air still in there.)

So the extent to which the lungs are filled determines only how long a phrase can be played before running out of air.

Certainly though, it is more comfortable for most players to play with more rather than less air in the lungs. Less muscular effort is required.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ahh yes mouthpieces work wonders
i have 2 good bass clarinet mouthpieces, both made by Walter Grabner.
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
I am currently a very rusty player on all instruments, and have a lung condition which does not help me with long notes, but it is still no problem for me to play to make a mid-range note loudly on clarinet for 50 seconds.
Actually that is a lot, especially with your condition. I don't know many players who can play a long note for 50 seconds. I don't know many who can hold their breath for 50 seconds. Natural ability has a lot to do with it. I think the record holder is over 7 minutes and could do about 2-3 minutes on his first tries. Well, there's always circular breathing ;) :D
 

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" Natural ability has a lot to do with it..."

I am a person who is quite easily bored. When I was playing in shows, in the second week of the 2-week season, I dealt with the boredom by trying to play larger and larger sections of music in a single breath. Of course there may have been a small element of showing off to the person beside me.

That may have something to do with increasing useful lung capacity.

When I was your age, Nitai, I could exhale (collecting the air "over water") approx 10.3 pints (almost 6 litres). I thought that was not too far from normal. Who knows. I think that has reduced a bit now.
 
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