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I have a love-hate relationship with clarinet. I LOVE how it sounds and when listening to my favorite players (Artie Shaw.....and Artie Shaw......lol), it's very inspiring. But I also hate it because I'll never be as good on it as I'd like to be. Then again, I could say the same about playing saxophone I guess. It's a different animal for sure. My advice would be to pretty much ignore (not completely) what you know about saxophone and the saxophone "habits" you've acquired over the years. Treat it completely differently. Of course, the fingering is different and that'll be one of your biggest initial stumbling blocks, but just like anything else, with time, repetition and patience, you'll get there. Embouchure-wise, it's an age old argument. Many and/or most classical clarinetists will tell you to play with a different embouchure. Basically, more lower lip rolled in. I do not do that. For the most part, I treat the embouchure very much the same as to how I play saxophone. Again, a ton of people will passionately disagree with what I just said and that's fine. They aren't playing my clarinet and also don't realize that I only play jazz on clarinet. It works for ME and to be quite frank, that's all I care about. Of course the embouchure needs to be tighter, but don't go overboard with that either. Just like playing saxophone, listen to yourself and adjust to what you need to do to play (relatively!) in tune. I tell my saxophone playing students who also start to play clarinet that us sax players are slobs. Especially with fingers. Clarinet is an open hole instrument and I'll bet that most of your initial struggles will be with fingers, not fingering. It's a great and fun instrument. Have patience, stick with it and find some clarinet players that you enjoy listening to for inspiration.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I have a love-hate relationship with clarinet. I LOVE how it sounds and when listening to my favorite players (Artie Shaw.....and Artie Shaw......lol), it's very inspiring. But I also hate it because I'll never be as good on it as I'd like to be. Then again, I could say the same about playing saxophone I guess. It's a different animal for sure. My advice would be to pretty much ignore (not completely) what you know about saxophone and the saxophone "habits" you've acquired over the years. Treat it completely differently. Of course, the fingering is different and that'll be one of your biggest initial stumbling blocks, but just like anything else, with time, repetition and patience, you'll get there. Embouchure-wise, it's an age old argument. Many and/or most classical clarinetists will tell you to play with a different embouchure. Basically, more lower lip rolled in. I do not do that. For the most part, I treat the embouchure very much the same as to how I play saxophone. Again, a ton of people will passionately disagree with what I just said and that's fine. They aren't playing my clarinet and also don't realize that I only play jazz on clarinet. It works for ME and to be quite frank, that's all I care about. Of course the embouchure needs to be tighter, but don't go overboard with that either. Just like playing saxophone, listen to yourself and adjust to what you need to do to play (relatively!) in tune. I tell my saxophone playing students who also start to play clarinet that us sax players are slobs. Especially with fingers. Clarinet is an open hole instrument and I'll bet that most of your initial struggles will be with fingers, not fingering. It's a great and fun instrument. Have patience, stick with it and find some clarinet players that you enjoy listening to for inspiration.

John
Thanks for response, John. You hit on another common theme, that being fingers. To be honest, I'm a little unsure of myself when it comes to the open hole nature of the clarinet. I know I'll **** that up a lot at first, but I'm sure I'll figure it out--eventually!

I really appreciate all the support you guys have given me, it's really lit the fire to pick up the clarinet and just go for it.
 

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Thanks for response, John. You hit on another common theme, that being fingers. To be honest, I'm a little unsure of myself when it comes to the open hole nature of the clarinet. I know I'll **** that up a lot at first, but I'm sure I'll figure it out--eventually!

I really appreciate all the support you guys have given me, it's really lit the fire to pick up the clarinet and just go for it.
No problem, Tyler! Of course you'll f it up at first (regarding the fingers), but stay as RELAXED as possible. Don't get the white knuckle syndrome. I'll only make things worse! ;-)

J.
 

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sorry if this is a stupid question, when you say articulated G#....that's not the G# key?
Articulated G# is standard on sax, oboe, and bass clarinet, but not common on standard clarinets.

The part you touch is the G# "lever". The part with the pad on it is commonly called the G# "Key"

You press the lever down and the key opens, producing the note G#. With articulated G# you can leave the lever down, and press down the F key (or E or D) and the G key will re-close, enabling F to sound. Without the articulated G# you will have to lift the G# lever before that F will sound.

This is extremely useful for playing a trill or tremolo (or even arpeggio) that involve G# as one note and F, F#, E or D as the other. (So the most obvious use is trilling from F# to G#)
Beginners are unlikely to use its benefits.

Most modern saxes have articulated low C# and a link from low B & Bb "touch pieces, which also facilitate playing in a way that is not available on clarinet.
 

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Articulated G# is standard on sax, oboe, and bass clarinet, but not common on standard clarinets.

The part you touch is the G# "lever". The part with the pad on it is commonly called the G# "Key"

You press the lever down and the key opens, producing the note G#. With articulated G# you can leave the lever down, and press down the F key (or E or D) and the G key will re-close, enabling F to sound. Without the articulated G# you will have to lift the G# lever before that F will sound.

This is extremely useful for playing a trill or tremolo (or even arpeggio) that involve G# as one note and F, F#, E or D as the other. (So the most obvious use is trilling from F# to G#)
Beginners are unlikely to use its benefits.

Most modern saxes have articulated low C# and a link from low B & Bb "touch pieces, which also facilitate playing in a way that is not available on clarinet.
Gordon,
To me, the "articulated G#" on clarinet includes/is the extra trill key on the RH stack (between the 1st and 2nd fingers). One of my Selmer BT's has that.
I do understand what you're saying though.. ;-)

John
 

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Speaking as a (now-ex) pro, required by my work to double on clarinet (to say nothing of flute, piccolo, oboe, english horn, bass clarinet) - the clarinet is a different instrument than saxophone. It requires a different embouchure, and while the fingerings are somewhat similar (true of all woodwinds), it has a different feel and requires a different approach.

It's hard to sound good on multiple instruments, because you have to spend time on each instrument you play to sound good on it. If you want to play different instruments because you like the sound of them, and not because you want or need to perform on them, that's fine too - but don't expect too much in the way of skill transference except basic basic breath control and maybe a few fingering patterns. Each new horn you learn will cause your face to ache in new and interesting ways :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
No problem, Tyler! Of course you'll f it up at first (regarding the fingers), but stay as RELAXED as possible. Don't get the white knuckle syndrome. I'll only make things worse! ;-)

J.
I will do my best to avoid the white knuckle approach--though I can't promise that I won't make that mistake more than a few times, part of learning, eh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Thank you so much for the support, guys, I know that it will be a lot of fun to learn the clarinet.

I really can't wait, I want to get going on it right now, but sadly, have to wait until the beginning of the year to get to it. Hopefully in the mean time I can find a good clarinet to start learning fingerings on and to blow a few notes to get a feel for the horn.
 

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Juliard (sp) standard is that if you play sax, then you also play clarinet and flute. In almost all professional 'big' bands you will see all three instruments for each reed musician. Most notable illustrations are the old Lawrence Welk 'Youtube' performances. Say what you will about his 'corny' type or music, you will have to agree that LW musicians were among the absolute best.

charlie
 

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It's kind of nice to hear the voice of a different instrument, every now and then, too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Just bought a used B-12 Buffet Crampon, should be here by the beginning of next week! So excited, and my wife helped me with the eBay purchase. Hopefully it won't be a lemon!
 

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Top notch stuff! Good luck.....hope it's perfect! One thing for sure, there's a lot less than can be wrong with it, as compared to your sax!
 

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Just bought a used B-12 Buffet Crampon, should be here by the beginning of next week! So excited, and my wife helped me with the eBay purchase. Hopefully it won't be a lemon!
And another mouthpiece quest begins!

G'luck.
 

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Just bought a used B-12 Buffet Crampon, should be here by the beginning of next week! So excited, and my wife helped me with the eBay purchase. Hopefully it won't be a lemon!
Right, now go and get yourself a D'Addario X5 clarinet mouthpiece, a Rovner Dark lig and a #3 or 3.25 Legere Euro signature reed. Download the Klose book from imslp.org and get to work.
 

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Articulated G# is standard on sax, oboe, and bass clarinet, but not common on standard clarinets.

The part you touch is the G# "lever". The part with the pad on it is commonly called the G# "Key"

You press the lever down and the key opens, producing the note G#. With articulated G# you can leave the lever down, and press down the F key (or E or D) and the G key will re-close, enabling F to sound. Without the articulated G# you will have to lift the G# lever before that F will sound.

This is extremely useful for playing a trill or tremolo (or even arpeggio) that involve G# as one note and F, F#, E or D as the other. (So the most obvious use is trilling from F# to G#)
Beginners are unlikely to use its benefits.

Most modern saxes have articulated low C# and a link from low B & Bb "touch pieces, which also facilitate playing in a way that is not available on clarinet.
thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
And another mouthpiece quest begins!

G'luck.
Ain't that the sad truth! Already been looking at mouthpieces, so the gas has already gotten a hold on me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I'll be looking for what fits my embouchure when I visit my main shop. Right now I haven't even received the clarinet yet and know absolutely nothing about them. So while a new mouthliece is almost a certainty, I think I should at least develop a little familiarity with the horn before letting the GAS take over everything!

I appreciate the suggestion, but for now, I'll stick with the stock mouthpiece and develop my embouchure and then go on the hunt for gear.
 

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you won't find a better piece of advice than what Merlin said. I also like Vandoren mouthpieces for playability and cost, but the D'Addario's are really really good.
If I could try one here I would love too.

I've played and mucked around with high end clarinet mouthpieces for years, and liked them a lot. But after realising that my Fobes 3L had seen better days I went to my local store and tried every Vandoren they had and happily walked out with a BD5, preferring it to my spare Fobes. Got an M30 a few weeks later for something different and am very happy. I also use a Vandoren B40 on Eb that I prefer to my Fobes Eb mouthpiece that cost a LOT more.
After 25 years of playing clarinet I have a stock mouthpiece, rover ligature and a Legere reed on my old Selmer 9*. Its sounds great. The thousands of hours practice help too......

I tell my students that there are 'tiers' of mouthpieces
1) stock, like Yamaha, which are excellent and can serve a lot of players well far past the point that they discard them....
2) production models like Vandoren which offer an excellent step-up for the $
4) higher end hand finished- Ted Klum, Theo wanna, Mouthpiece Cafe, Clark Fobes, Greg Smith, Bradford Behn etc.

Most people actually don't NEED to play a '3rd tier' mouthpiece, especially on a double. By the time you're really ready to take advantage of what it offers you're likely to have the skills to be able to get pretty much whatever you want out of something else.....
 
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