Category Archives: Articles

Finger Tension

“Hi everyone. I’m new to the site. I played clarinet in high school but gave it up after college. It’s not 15 years down the pike and I picked it up again to study seriously about 6 months ago. I was classically trained but I’m learning jazz.

Anyway, I have always been plagued by bad finger tension, especially in my right hand. It really impedes my technical ability. My right hand becomes almost like a rigid claw in just a few minutes of scale workouts. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to maintain a more relaxed posture/fingers when playing?”

You might consider stretching exercises for your fingers, and maybe getting one of those grip master things as well. Fingers have muscles, and the muscles need stretching and stuff. And frequent breaks. And doing something other than “assuming the position”. Ask pianists. Or guitarists. There are lots of things on the net too. But, I’d start with trying to stretch the fingers first, and your wrists.

Albert System Clarinets

Does anyone use an albert system clarinet for jazz?  I’ve already talked with a couple of players who swear by them.  (And, moreover, I was impressed by the projection without a mic over a crowded dance floor.)  It’s pretty easy to find a cheap fixer-upper on ebay, so I’ve been thinking about taking the plunge.  Any thoughts?

Why Do my Posts never go up?

“Can anyone explain to me how the “pending” thing for posts works? I can never get a post up.”

E – Basically, I need to approve them. And your “posts” were kind of either already answered in previous articles (ie: is the E11 good to learn on…..any clarinet is good to learn on), or is $80 good for a B45 (dunno, check ebay?).

Inauguration Performance Was Taped

Inauguration-Recorded MusicFrom Yahoo News:
“Washington – Whether you loved or hated the classical music played at President Barack Obama’s inauguration, unless you were sitting within earshot of the celebrated quartet, what you heard was a recording made two days earlier.”

“They were very insistent on playing live until it became clear that it would be too cold,” said Florman in a telephone interview Thursday night.”

Yeah, I don’t blame them at all. It was a great John Williams arrangement though. Here is the actual performance.

R13, E13, Selmer, or others? Suggestions in picking the right clarinet…

I’ve been playing the clarinet on and off for seven years. I own a student Buffet B10 but I feel the tone quality and the feel of the keys have its limitations. I’m renting a wood selmer 10. The feel of it and the tone quality sounds much better than my plastic clarinet. Selmer has a richer tone and I feel comfortable with the keys. I’m thinking of getting a better wood clarinet. I’m deciding between a Buffet E13 or R13, considered Buffet makes the best clarinets. However, I still had some doubts since I did not have the best experience with my B10. I know it would be best to try them out, but I’d like to know if anyone can give me any suggestions of which brand or model I should go for. I also like to know which actually might sound better, the R13 or the Selmer 10. Or if there’s any great selmer model I could look for.

I basically play classical, but I also like to play some Jazz.

Gonzalez FoF reeds?

does anybody played on the gonzalez “for our friends” reeds? I’ve heard pretty good things about them, and only one comment about not-so-good responsiveness. Supposedly they have a high percentage of playable reeds per box and the cane is organically grown and at least 7 years aged. I just need to buy more reeds and I want to try something besides v12s and hand-me-down reeeds (I really need to start saving them, too).
Does anybody have their own opinions?

Rubber vs. Wood

Dubya writes “what are the differences in hard rubber vs wood for clarinets? I know plastic is the student model material, but I’ve seen pro stuff in both of the others. Is there a quality difference, or is it more up to preference? What would guide those preferences?” 

I can’t think of any “Pro” clarinets that are made of rubber. Never heard of such a thing. There are clarinets that are made of wood, wood and carbon fiber (called Greenline by Buffet), or ABS Resin (Plastic). None of these are rubber. Wood is the way to go. If you live in an area where cracking could be a problem, or are playing in situations where cracking might happen, the wood/carbon fiber is the way to go. Plastic is for student models. Wood simply gives you a better sound, and the cracking potential is very low. So get a wood clarinet.