Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just starting to dabble in BC doubling. Does a Bass need to have a double register vent to be able to play easily up high? Does anyone here get good results from single vent horns? My current point of ref is a borrowed (read: beatup) school horn Vito. Does not speak well above top of staff G. :)space5: ) "A" just above :)line6: ) is really iffy... I can get into altissimo, but the intonation is all over the map.

Thanks,
Saxist:{)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
The Saxist said:
Just starting to dabble in BC doubling. Does a Bass need to have a double register vent to be able to play easily up high? Does anyone here get good results from single vent horns? My current point of ref is a borrowed (read: beatup) school horn Vito. Does not speak well above top of staff G. :)space5: ) "A" just above :)line6: ) is really iffy... I can get into altissimo, but the intonation is all over the map.

Thanks,
Saxist:{)
To be honest, you do not necessarily need a double-register to play well.

For instance, I am able to play an Artley plastic bass clarinet throughout the whole range. It took a lot of practice in order to achieve this.

However, an easier solution may be to get a Grabner, or a Fobes mouthpiece. After I received my Grabner LB, it made playing all the bass clarinet notes seem ridiculously easy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,567 Posts
I've got an older Noblet horn that works pretty well for me. I haven't tried any double-register horns because I can't afford one and already have a list of things that I "need" to buy first. Including one of Grabner's CXBB90's. I honestly don't know how much of the playability is due to the Grabner since I ordered the Grabner the day I bought the horn.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member and Old King Log
Joined
·
801 Posts
I used to be able to rip along on a standard "student" model horn (a well kept up George Bundy one) all the way from low Eb on up to the altissimo A and B way up there above the staff, this with little problem as far as interval jumps were concerned.

However, having said that, it took a lot of practice with any given horn to do it smoothly, and the whole process is a lot easier with my current main bass, a Selmer 33. In any case, you need to learn each horn's idiosyncrasies, favor them when needed, keep the thing free of any damage and abuse, and practice until you are blue in the face.

It always impressed the "school music powers that be" when I could run an A major scale and associated intervals in arpeggi for three full octaves.

And, needless to say, it also shows that I had little or no life worth living outside of music when a youngster.

I have a close friend who refuses to play any other bass than mine, saying that it's just too much trouble to learn to do it right on other horns but that mine is always in A-1 condition and that makes it easy. However, you can qualify his statement by the consideration that he likes to play soprano saxophone...
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
Even when the notes of the upper registers play easily enough you might run into problems with articulation. Staccato tongueing and hard attacks can produce alot of squeaks and chirps on the single vent basses.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,766 Posts
When we say single register vent, are we talking about a register mechanism like on a soprano clarinet, where the throat Bb shares the hole with the register vent, or is this like the plastic Bundy horns?

If we're talking about a system like the plastic Bundys (Bundies?), then yes, you can get by just fine without it, you just have to be very careful about voicing, especially because, assuming all plastic Bundy basses are like mine, they're kind of out of tune to start with.

Once you get to a nice bass, though, you'll never want to go back. I've been using the Selmer 33 Mazzeo model (Mazzeo mechanisms have been disabled) that my school (UC Santa Cruz) owns, and I'm trying to find a way to gain exclusive access to it for the duration of my time at the music center. It just makes life easier! So much of the energy that I previously had to devote to getting the notes to speak can now be devoted to more musical endavors, like intonation (no bass is perfect...yet), expression and tone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
the drk makes the bottom clarion easier, not the top. you just need to practice voicing. what strength reed are you using?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
436 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
toasty1 said:
what strength reed are you using?
I'm using a 2.5 Legere Studio Cut Tenor on a Portnoy MP. Even though the Portnoy is more open than average, I suspect that it's too soft. The vendor did not have anymore Studio cuts till way above that, strength wise. I needed something in a hurry to get started.:(
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,766 Posts
The Saxist said:
I'm using a 2.5 Legere Studio Cut Tenor on a Portnoy MP. Even though the Portnoy is more open than average, I suspect that it's too soft. The vendor did not have anymore Studio cuts till way above that, strength wise. I needed something in a hurry to get started.:(
I would suggest trying out some Vandoren bass clarinet reeds. I've tried Legeres, but they just don't seem to work for me. The tone is fine, but the response is...different. I tried to play one exclusively for two weeks, and I got it working just fine, but when I went back to cane, it was like coming home. Everything was just better. Also, don't play reeds that are too soft on bass clarinet. It's an easy temptation to succumb to. They make the lower register nice and loud with minimal work, but when you start getting up high, they just cut out. I've also tried jazz tenor reeds on bass clarinet, and they didn't work out for me at all (too much buzz, not enough core).
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,544 Posts
dirty said:
Also, don't play reeds that are too soft on bass clarinet. It's an easy temptation to succumb to. They make the lower register nice and loud with minimal work, but when you start getting up high, they just cut out.
This is the same as on baritone saxophone, where I find many folks are just limiting themselves with reeds that are too soft.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
Joined
·
4,982 Posts
Last night on Mezzo channel there was a concert of pianist Aki Takase and bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall. Rudi Mahall has a unique sound, from what I was told it is because he use very open mouthpiece with very hard reeds (some of his higher notes are very trumpet-like in sound) but he does have a very high level control in all registers. He used what seemed like an old plastic bass clarinet with single register key. At least there wasn't a register hole on the neck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,567 Posts
clarnibass said:
Last night on Mezzo channel there was a concert of pianist Aki Takase and bass clarinetist Rudi Mahall. Rudi Mahall has a unique sound, from what I was told it is because he use very open mouthpiece with very hard reeds (some of his higher notes are very trumpet-like in sound) but he does have a very high level control in all registers. He used what seemed like an old plastic bass clarinet with single register key. At least there wasn't a register hole on the neck.
That group's coming to the Jazz Festival this year (Aki's Fats Waller project), unfortunately their gig is at exactly the same time as the Sonny Rollins concert. It's too bad because I'd really like to see them. Rudi's a killer player
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
clarnibass said:
Rudi Mahall (...) used what seemed like an old plastic bass clarinet (...)
No way he can do that on a plastic (gasp!) clarinet. Where would we end if the oh so inherent material limits could simply be trespassed by sheer artistry? Vade retro, Clarnibass! Wasn't it you who felt like fuelling the never-ending plastic-vs-wood thread? ;)
<affectionately polishes Darth Tone's keys>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,567 Posts
Rudi's Bass doesn't look like it's plastic to me, but all the plating's worn off of half of the keys and in EVERY picture I could find of him on the internet he has a rubber band around the throat 'A' key. I guess he's not one for wasting practice time on things like maintenance and waiting for repair techs to install springs.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
Joined
·
4,982 Posts
Littlemanbighorn - Maybe the photos you have are clearer and it's not plastic. I was just looking in my TV and it looked like one of those slightly less dark (grey or brown maybe) and not as shiny plastic clarinets. I don't think my TV is that clear, so it's possible it is not plastic. Anyway the point was mainly about him using a single register key bass clarinet (or at most it had one seperate for the Bb, but nothing on the neck).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,567 Posts
clarnibass said:
Littlemanbighorn - Maybe the photos you have are clearer and it's not plastic. I was just looking in my TV and it looked like one of those slightly less dark (grey or brown maybe) and not as shiny plastic clarinets. I don't think my TV is that clear, so it's possible it is not plastic. Anyway the point was mainly about him using a single register key bass clarinet (or at most it had one seperate for the Bb, but nothing on the neck).
Yeah, fair enough. My point was just that it looked like he practiced the thing into the ground.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top