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Self teaching Clarinet?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by sargebaker, Aug 25, 2005.


  1. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    Is it possible to learn the Clarinet on your own without a teacher? I can maybe get a good deal on one and I always wanted to take up a wind instrument on the side (even though I don't have the lungs for it) It's not somehtign I would would be super serious about, just more or less to noodle with & do some stuff with bass loops.
     
  2. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    You probably could if you get the right method book. The tricky part will be working with the reed to get sound. Have you ever played a reed instrument? I played sax in the past and have thought about clarinet at some point as well since the fingerings are similar.
     
  3. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    never played a reed instrument, or wind instrument for that matter other than recorder :p Wanna give me a crash course on how the reed works please? :d
     
  4. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I started out as a saxophonist. One of the trickiest things for me was developing my embouchure on saxophone (and later Bassoon). I tried clarinet early on and it was almost impossible for me to make the reed vibrate and get a note to sound -YMMV. I also remember the clarinetist's that I learned with (while I was at band camp ;) ) had some difficulty learning what they called "throat tones" at first. I have no idea how they did it, but it was like an octave jump without depressing the octave key -I think. Perhaps some basic lessons at first would help.

    -Art
     
  5. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    Well I can't give any details on the model cause I have none. I just got hired at the new music joint in the mall (it's all beginner stuff) and I'm not sure if I get a discount on everything or just accessories. It's brand new, and comes with a little case. Heck I'm not evern sure how much the asking price is, but I'm sure it's within my budget. I have always wanted to learn sax and clarinet is the next best thing :p LIke I said it's not somethign I'm all that serious about, just something I think would be cool to have around and play with.
     
  6. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Sax rules. I played baritone sax in my Jr. high jazz band, it was loads of fun. I also played alto sax. in regular band and still have my Conn alto today. :) My wife has a Yammy alto and some kind of soprano sax as well and can play rings around me. :)
     
  7. If you want to learn saxophone, buy a sax.

    Clarinet and sax are two different beasties.

    The clarinet is a straight tube, while sax is a conical tube (like a loud-hailer). This means that the sound of the clarinet emphasizes the 'odd' harmonics, giving the clarinet its characteristic sound.

    The 'octave' key on a clarinet is actually a 'Major 12th' key. If you finger a low C and press the 'register' key (its real name), the G up the octave will come out.

    The embouchure (the way you put the mouthpiece in your mouth) is very different on clarinet, compared to sax.
    The sax embouchure tends to be more relaxed, with the bottom lip pushed out.

    The clarinet embouchure is tighter and more focused around the mouth.

    For good advice on cheap saxophone I recommend the Sax-on-the-Web forum. Here
     
  8. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Thanks for the sax link. They have a link to the Conn serial number database. Now I can pull out my old Conn (bought used in 1980) and find out approximately when it was manufactured. :)
     
  9. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    To become a public school music teacher I had to learn woodwind instruments in college. I think that it is possible to learn on your own; however, forming your embouchure will be hit or miss. I first learned clarinet and loved it! My second woodwind was alto sax. Going from clarinet to sax felt like cheating. I feel like the clarinet embouchure is a little more difficult than sax.

    Here's a little diagram I just found on the web:
    [​IMG]

    Here's the link:
    http://www.woodwindandbrass.co.uk/acatalog/embouchure_clarinet.html

    Know what... I believe that "Essential Elements 2000 Book 1" for clarinet comes with a DVD to get you started. If this store sells student level instruments, they should have this lesson book. It's a very popular band method. If 4th and 5th graders can do, so can you! ;)

    Hope this helps,
    Joe
     
  10. i say try bari sax or alto sax, you just have to transpose down a minor third when applying ideas from reed to string. i think most people have low ombrochures anyways (less time to get comfortable with it is what this will mean) and you'll probably like the tone. i played clarinet, and it was quite literally the tightest ombrochure i ever had, i like sax better
     
  11. Timbo

    Timbo

    Jun 14, 2004
    Getting the octave without hitting the octave key is actually quite easy. You move your bottom jaw up to make the space between the reed and mouthpiece smaller and it makes the reed vibrate twice as fast thus giving you another octave.
     
  12. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    I played clarinet up to senior high school orchestra.

    In my opinion, a good teacher is an absolute must, certainly for the early stages. Fingering you can learn from a book, but without some guidance on the embouchure you're setting yourself up for failure.

    You'll have the lungs for it, it's not about the amount of air you push through the instrument.
     
  13. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    When I was playing sax regularly I experimented with this, but I never devoted as much practice time to sax as I did to my bass. What's involved in getting "throat tones" from a clarinet? Do they subdivide the reed in this manner to perform them?

    Thanks,
    Art
     
  14. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    There were a few notes on my sax I could do this on, especially the "G" without subdividing the reed. It was more of an embouchure change.

    I found by subdividing the reed that I could play some really high pitched notes when I was playing upper octave notes from high "C" up to a high "F". I was only a decent tenor sax player. I devoted much more time to bass guitar, but I enjoyed playing sax.

    My favorite was the bari sax. Whenever the band needed a bari player, I was like: Me! Me!. I played the bari for about three years and I was much better on it than I was on tenor. I loved the bari's sound and it's function within the band. I guess I've always been attracted to the playing the bass line. :)

    -Art