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Hi all,
I've played Tenor for a number of years but am looking to try-out for an advanced high school level symphony. I'd audition on clarinet, an instrument I own and have played before, yet never in a band. I'm using a 3.5 Vandoren ZZ for Tenor, maybe try the same for clarinet? Any recommended dark tone ligeratures or reeds is appreciated. Also, any tips on how to adjust embouchure or finger movement on the sax from Tenor would be appreciated. I know the fingerings are the same in one register, I just need to learn the other registers and practice scales and a chromatic. Other than the fingerings, it seems like an easy switch, also it's Bb to Bb.

Thanks,
Brad
 

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It's NOT an 'easy switch' so don't kid yourself.
You had better get a clarinet teacher PDQ if you want to stand a snowball's chance of getting accepted. If you don't you'll sound like a tenor player pretending to play the clarinet.
Most symphonies, advanced high school level included, prefer that their clarinetists are, or at least sound like the clarinet is their primary instrument.

Rovener ligature with Mitchel Lurie reeds.
 

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I'm using a 3.5 Vandoren ZZ for Tenor, maybe try the same for clarinet? Any recommended dark tone ligeratures or reeds is appreciated.
Vandoren doesn't make ZZ reeds for clarinet. I use ZZ's a lot on tenor, and normally play Vandoren (V12 or regular blue box) on clarinet. Usually a 3 or 3.5 works well for me, occasionally a 4, depending on the mouthpiece I'm using and the style of music I'm playing. Mitchell Lurie and Rico Grand Concert are also sensible choices.

On that note, the mouthpiece is a very important variable. A good mouthpiece should be reed friendly, respond easily, and allow the production of a beautiful tone with excellent intonation. I generally find that most clarinet doublers use mouthpieces that are too open for what they're trying to achieve. You can get the focused core that good clarinet players have in their sound more easily with a less open mouthpiece, IMHO. Even when playing jazz on clarinet I use a pretty close setup, while on the sax I'm playing something a lot more open.

Also, any tips on how to adjust embouchure or finger movement on the sax from Tenor would be appreciated.
Just remember; it's not a saxophone. Airstream (faster), tongue position (higher), and mouthpiece/instrument angle (it's not a soprano sax) all need to be considered along with the lips/teeth/jaw configuration most people associate with embouchure.

I know the fingerings are the same in one register, I just need to learn the other registers and practice scales and a chromatic. Other than the fingerings, it seems like an easy switch, also it's Bb to Bb.
I started on sax as a kid and picked up clarinet right before starting college. One of the hardest things for me was reading in the lower register, since the fingerings I knew didn't match what I saw on the staff. Plus all those leger lines below the staff were quite unfamiliar.

Make sure you spend plenty of time working out the transition across the break between Bb and B in the middle of the staff. You should be able to fluently go back and forth all the intervals (A to B, A# to B, Bb to C, G# to B, etc.) Your ability to negotiate this part of the instrument will dictate the overall speed of your technique.

Chromatic scale uses a lot of the same alternate fingerings. Low Bb to B is played with the sliver key which corresponds to F to side F# on sax. Going from thumb F to F#, there is also a good chromatic fingering for that; keep the F and add the bottom two right side keys to get the F#. Then lift up everything to get open G.

Knowing all the pinky fingerings along with their appropriate usage is also a must. On clarinet sliding is usually avoided in favor of alternating left and right. So with an E major scale starting on low E, you play E with the right, F# with the left, because G# is only available on the right side on most clarinets. C minor arpeggio in the 2nd octave requires left C because the Eb is only available on the right side.

Finally you must learn the fingerings above the high C (altissimo register). Fluency up to at least G on the 4th leger line is a good initial goal; eventually you'll want to be able to play up to the double C with good facility, tone, and pitch.

I've successfully helped a number of sax players become good clarinet players; normally I put them right in Rubank Advanced Method I and have them work through the fingering exercises near the back of the book to address these things. That, along with etudes, solo literature, etc. for a balanced approach.

Finally, I know that you're preparing for an audition, presumably soon. It's not realistic to expect to get all of this together now; these are long range goals that will help subsequent auditions and performances.

As mentioned above, getting some quality time with a competent clarinet teacher is very highly recommended.

If I had one thing to choose from the above suggestions, I'd work primarily on tone. Without that, mastering all the other advice will be useless.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Some day, you might hit a road block trying to put all of this together on the clarinet. You might even get discouraged.

Just remember that Artie Shaw and Eddie Daniels both started on sax...
 

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Some day, you might hit a road block trying to put all of this together on the clarinet. You might even get discouraged.

Just remember that Artie Shaw and Eddie Daniels both started on sax...
I will remember it!

Lately I have been trying to learn to passably play the bass clarinet and yes navigating the low notes (and their various alternatives) and the break is a bummer ( I don’t have too many problems with the fact that the clarinets don’t overblow the octave but the 12th ).

The bass clarinet offers plenty of challenges which are going to be added to those I already had on saxophone and flute. Some people like to hurt ........we ALL have a way to do this to ourselves (I just answered a thread where people who have bought a vibratosax say they like it because it needs to be continuously fixed!)
 

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Lately I have been trying to learn to passably play the bass clarinet and yes navigating the low notes (and their various alternatives) and the break is a bummer
Make sure the instrument isn't leaking. Really check this. Bass clarinets are extremely fussy and leaks that you can blow through on a Bb clarinet can be deal-breakers on the bass.

Some people like to hurt ........we ALL have a way to do this to ourselves
I will remember this as I do my trumpet warm-up tomorrow...
 

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the instrument has no leaks that I can see with a leak light or feel with cigarette paper or thin cellophane , the only thing in that ballpark is the top octave key mechanism which has rather soft and exposed metal on my Selmer model 30 1975 and needs to be looked at every now and again.
 

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I have spent the last year of so dedicated to clarinet. I just played my first ever concert on clarinet (Teacher Wind Ensemble) of real players not community band. Clarinet is not a casual instrument nor is it an easy switch. Anyone can blow a bight sound but getting a true clarinet players sound is a whole other manner. The resistance required is still too much for my head. Finding the right equipment is critical and the journey takes a LONG time. Good luck in you journey, but if you hit a wall in the next few months, it is completely normal.
 

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I'd like to be 7 feet tall and play center for the Knicks.
Clarinet can be a bitch. Find a good legit teacher. You'll know within a few lessons if you willing to practice enough to do it.
 

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I'm going the opposite way, played clarinet for 10 years and now teaching myself tenor sax. The biggest difference I've found is the embouchere - I had to get a couple of lessons to figure out what I was doing wrong. The teacher explained that clarinet uses warm air but sax uses cold (or the opposite). I haven't practiced a heap, so playing sax with an open mouth rather than the way I did for clarinet still feels uncontrolled, but I'm getting there.

I definitely don't think one could go straight to a practically unknown instrument for an audition, it'd pay to have at least a couple of lessons. Reading the notes is one thing, but expressing them properly is another ;)
 

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Clarinet - warm air; saxophone - cold air? What?!? I'd like to see THAT backed up with facts. That sounds like a lot of HOT AIR to me. DAVE
 

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"The teacher explained that clarinet uses warm air but sax uses cold (or the opposite)"

It's the opposite.
 

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The warm air would be produced with an open vowel, OK to an extent with the lower register of a clarinet, cool air would be a brighter vowel for the upper register, but that's a HUGE oversimplification of clarinet (and sax) voicing. This isn't paint-by-the-numbers stuff. Any teacher who lays down absolutes like that is doing their student no favor.
I'm going the opposite way, played clarinet for 10 years and now teaching myself tenor sax. The biggest difference I've found is the embouchere - I had to get a couple of lessons to figure out what I was doing wrong. The teacher explained that clarinet uses warm air but sax uses cold (or the opposite). I haven't practiced a heap, so playing sax with an open mouth rather than the way I did for clarinet still feels uncontrolled, but I'm getting there.

I definitely don't think one could go straight to a practically unknown instrument for an audition, it'd pay to have at least a couple of lessons. Reading the notes is one thing, but expressing them properly is another ;)
 

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"The teacher explained that clarinet uses warm air but sax uses cold (or the opposite)"

It's the opposite.
Depends on what you wanna do tone wise. A sub tone on the sax is warm /slower air, but if I'm blowing for a full fat tone I'm using cool/fast air. With clarinet I find it is similar although sub tone isn't very common so it's cool/fast air most all the time.
 

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This sounds to me like so much gibberish . . . breath is breath at whatever temperature one puts out. I sure can't change the temperature of my breath, especially among the various registers on a clarinet (or on a saxophone for that matter). I fully understand the open throat vs. closed throat (or smaller, tighter throat) but WARMTH? Come on . . .

Is this temperature-of-breath thing something like large-bore vs. small-bore (another meaningless circumstance when one is talking one hundredth of an inch) . . . woodwind-speak? DAVE
 

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some people call warm breath the action of breathing with an open throat and relatively open lips (as you do to warm up your hands) and cold breathing when you constrict your lips to a narrower space (and reduce the oral cavity too) as when you blow on a hot cup of tea. It has nothing to do with the temperature of the breath, it is just an illustrative figure of speech.

Yes, it is the opposite!
 

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milandro: Thanks for the explanation. Like so much "insider" talk and writing, this is an example of how NOT to communicate one's concepts. Seems to me that words have meaning and when someone speaks or writes in inside-code, it creates more problems than if they just said what they meant in everyday language. I never would have thought that warm/cold didn't mean exactly that. DAVE
 

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milandro: Thanks for the explanation. Like so much "insider" talk and writing, this is an example of how NOT to communicate one's concepts. Seems to me that words have meaning and when someone speaks or writes in inside-code, it creates more problems than if they just said what they meant in everyday language. I never would have thought that warm/cold didn't mean exactly that. DAVE
I believe I clarified warm = slower air and cool = faster air in my first post. Hold your hand up and make your airstream warm. Then make it cold. You do this by changing your air speed. Not changing your throat or anything else (although being able to manipulate your throat among other things comes in very handy). Controlling airspeed is critical to becoming a good saxophone player.

***not trying to be confrontational. Just trying to clarify.
 

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Simon: I see you changed your last post to be less confrontational. Good. So did I.

But you still failed to adequately describe the euphemisms of warm/cold (which still make no sense to me). At least milandro explained it so dummies like me can understand the code. DAVE
 
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