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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, Im new, my hubbie is a sax player and a member of this forum and he recommended I post my question here.
I have 3 clarinets, a selmer, a vito resotone no 3 and a Artley 17s, thy are all student models.
My problem is that the selmer and the vito fight me when I try and play up an octave, that is thumb and octave key playing from treb clef b up, when I blow the note it feels like a massive amount of backpressure fighting me, but the artley is magnificent no problems and is very easy to play the upper octave register.
Is there a known problem that causes this, or is this simply you get what you pay for re instruments.
Ive tried the cigarette paper check and they appear to all be sealing correctly.
Help please>>>>:) :cry: :) :cry: :) :cry: :!:

Nicole
 

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Seems to me there's definitely a problem; clarinets shouldn't balk at being played in the clarion register. Here's a thought. Can you substitute the upper joint of your Artley for those on your other horns? With a little bit of switching and swapping around you might be able to isolate the problem. A pad may still be leaking, a tonehole partially obstructed, or a key not opening far enough. You might also ask another clarinetist to try the instruments and see if the results are the same, maybe hubbie could help?
 

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what Shotgun said, if the parts are interchangeable.

But you can try a quick vacuum test.
[1] take the top joint.
[2] cover the bottom bore with your hand or preferably a rubber plug
[3] cover the holes with your finger as if you are going to play a C below the staff
[4] then put the top part of the joint up to your mouth and lightly suck the air out.

Q: does it create a vacuum? If not then you have a leak.
If you are using a plug you can use your RH to push pads down to see if you can easily find the leaky pad (if there's only one). you can also create a light outgoing pressure - blow - and find the leak(s) that way. but if you blow sightly too hard you can open keys too.
[5] Then repeat for lower joint.

DISCLAIMER: This is a quick test for leaks. Unless you are experienced results may vary (I do this test AND use a leak detection machine). This also does not check for the interaction between the top and lower joint which could also be a problem. You could have sticky key action, cut/ripped pads or any number of other potential issues. ie .. this is a simple test. AND if you find you do have leaks are you equipped to fix it yourself ? Either way, you at least have one clarinet that works pretty good. You may want to take the other two to a tech and get an estimate (when was the last time they had visited a tech?)
 

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First things first - clarinets don't have octave keys, saxophones do; clarinets have register keys.

Second, assuming you have no major leaks, as ably discussed above, you may be using an unsuitable mouthpiece or too stiff a reed. I play a Selmer Signature, which has a bit more resistance than some other makes, and find it works well with a Selmer C85 120, a Vandoren 1 1/2 reed, and a Vandoren Optimum lig. On my previous clarinet - one my father bought me around 1947 - a Pomarico crystal mpc worked very well, but when I tried it on the Signature, no dice. So, as is common knowledge, you have to fit the mpc/reed/lig to the particular horn (and person, of course).
 

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I go with steve and shotgun. You've got leaks. The mouthpiece and reed combination is probably not the issue.

The Selmer Signature can be mouthpiece sensitive, so don't go entirely on that suggestion. I play one too and use a variety of mouthpieces with no trouble. (LC3, 5RV Lyre, B45 Dot, C85 105, 115, and 120, O'Brian 2, and a Portnoy 3. Reeds are Vandoren Traditional 3.5 or V12 3's)
 

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I'm so glad I found this forum. This clears up a mystery I had years ago in high school. I played bass clarinet, and I could never get get above D on the upper register (regardless of the instrument) and it bugged the daylights out of me. (Not that bass clarinet ever gets real high notes to start with. :rolleyes:) I always thought it was because my embrosure wasn't strong enough. Now I know it was the fault of those old school horns. :cool:
 

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bandmommy said:
I go with steve and shotgun. You've got leaks. The mouthpiece and reed combination is probably not the issue.

The Selmer Signature can be mouthpiece sensitive, so don't go entirely on that suggestion. I play one too and use a variety of mouthpieces with no trouble. (LC3, 5RV Lyre, B45 Dot, C85 105, 115, and 120, O'Brian 2, and a Portnoy 3. Reeds are Vandoren Traditional 3.5 or V12 3's)
FYI, one clarinet works, the others don't on student clarinets (I would assume al 3 are student) is a key red flag for maintenance issues. Not pro clarinets and the small v medium v large bore and the various mpc/reed resistance interactions.

my mpc collection is over 50 ..... eegads eh ?
I normally use Vandoren 4s
on a C85 120 I use at least a 3-1/2

(side topic) Bandmommy - how do you like your Larry Combs ? (I don't have one .. yet)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replys, Ive double checked and everything is sealing nicely, plugged the end and closed all keys and no noticeable leaks, did a feeler gauge test as well
Tried to swap parts but there just slightly different sizes, enough anyway to stop fitment with each other.
I always use a vandoren b45 mouthpiece, I have about 8 different mpc's and I tried a couple of variations and that improved the sound and tone. I guess it is a bit of a mismatch internally. Odd, mm very odd
Heres another question whilst I have everyones attention. On one of my clarinets, if I twist the lower joint "right hand" so its out of alignment with the top joint "left hand" and the bridge key isnt dead flush betwen the two, its kicked of on one side, it plays like absolute rubbish, the other two dont suffer this problem. It doenst matter what alignment of the bridge key it works just fine, Ideas
Thanks for everyones contributions
Nicole
 

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Lack of air pressure from your lungs? Comomon issue for sax players on clarinet.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay, I dont play the sax, hubbie does, I can only play the clarinet.
I can live with the fact that its lack of air pressure from my lungs as Ive only been playing for a year or so, so Im still quite a newbie.
Was just really curious why I dont have these issues with one of my clarinets but I do with the other two. There all student models
Thanks its all a learning curve
Nicole
 
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