Doubling on Clarinet

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fluteplayer123
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Doubling on Clarinet

Post by fluteplayer123 » Fri May 11, 2007 6:35 pm

I am thinking of doubling on the clarinet over the summer. I have played the flute (duh! hence why I am posting on fluteland.com) for almost 4 years. Is it hard to double on the clarinet? Also what reed size should I get? Thanks! :D


Adding a question:
Should I double on Clarinet or Oboe? Please help me consider depending on:
How easy is it to change to that instrument from flute?
Will it cost a lot to replace reeds? (I know oboe costs more.)
What reed would you recommend? (Size and brand. Thanks.)
Have you heard someone else who has doubled it before?
Does it effect my flute playing?

I have been playing flute for 4 years and can play up to C4 (high high C, the ear piercing one). I can also play piccolo. Thank you so much for reading this. (I hate reading these things too.) Thank you, thank you, thank you! :D
Last edited by fluteplayer123 on Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mark
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Post by Mark » Fri May 11, 2007 6:49 pm

I never took up clarinet, but it is one of the many instruments my son is
doubling on.. :)
As to reed strength, I think he is using a 2 1/2 Rico Royal these days,
it gives him good control of his tone.
So many instruments.... so little time.... :)

fluteplayer123
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Post by fluteplayer123 » Fri May 11, 2007 8:38 pm

Should I double on a clarinet or oboe first?

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Fri May 11, 2007 8:44 pm

Oboe will have a more severe effect on your flute playing than clarinet, but if you're planning to learn both, it shouldn't really matter which you learn first. I started on flute, picked up guitar, then oboe, then clarinet/bass clarinet. When I played clarinet (I don't play it or oboe anymore, as I don't have the time to devote to practicing both flute and clarinet/oboe) I used Vandoren reeds (V12's to be specific). I found them to be much more consistent in the quality department than Ricos, and they provided a better sound, though I am no expert on reed instruments, and questions about clarinet might be better addressed to a different forum. If you're serious about performing on flute or lack the time to keep up with two instruments, you should reconsider your plans to double, as clarinet will still affect your flute playing, though less drastically than oboe. Percussion, strings, or voice might be a better route to go if you are worried about negatively impacting your fluting. Whatever you choose to pick up, be sure to practice flute regularly to be sure you don't lose facility. In answer to your original question, though, it's not terribly difficult to learn fingerings, as many resemble flute fingerings (at least through the first couple registers), but the embouchure is different (requiring different muscles than can screw with your flute embouchure). It won't be easy to learn to play clarinet well (that's true of any instrument), but if you're just looking to play a few simple tunes, you should have no trouble figuring things out. Just as with flute playing, a good teacher is invaluable if your interest in and goals for clarinet merit it.

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper » Fri May 11, 2007 8:57 pm

When playing clarinet or sax, most of the actual lower lip is folded in over the lower teeth. Be careful to not bite too hard and make your lower lip sore - that would be detrimental to your flute embouchure.

The fingerings for the middle register of the clarinet are somewhat similar to flute fingerings. The biggest difference is that the flute overblows from the lowest register to the next by an octave. The clarinet overblows a 12th, so the fingerings for the lowest register (called the chalameau register) are different than the middle register. Beginning clarinetists usually learn the lowest octave first (since those tones are somewhat easier to produce), so those notes won't have any common fingerings to the flute. Once you adjust to these differences, learning the clarinet is no more difficult than learning any other woodwind instrument.

For reed strength, it generally depends upon the mouthpiece opening. If you get a clarinet that has a stock, factory mouthpiece, a 2 1/2 is probably a good starting point. You'll need to try different strengths to see what works best for you. If the reed is too stiff, it will require more lip pressure and be a bit harder to blow (for a novice). If the reed is too soft, the tone will be poor.

For more tips on playing the clarinet, you might want to visit the "Clarinet Pages": http://www.woodwind.org/clarinet/index.html
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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Mark
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Post by Mark » Sun May 13, 2007 8:30 am

Vandoren V12's are good.. Personally I prefer the new ones by Rico.

Rico reserves.. the tone I can get with them on my soprano sax is superb.
(yes, I use clarinet reeds on my soprano.. :) )

Another thing to consider when doubling with a reeded instrument, is always,
always, always.. practice your flute first in the day. then move to the reeds.

mark
So many instruments.... so little time.... :)

sinebar
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Re: Doubling on Clarinet

Post by sinebar » Thu May 17, 2007 6:23 am

fluteplayer123 wrote:I am thinking of doubling on the clarinet over the summer. I have played the flute (duh! hence why I am posting on fluteland.com) for almost 4 years. Is it hard to double on the clarinet? Also what reed size should I get? Thanks! :D


*Changed the Also (previously wrote "Alson"...my bad :oops: )
I've played the clarinet for about a year then started playing the flute 5 months ago. Both instruments are challenging to play correctly. Neither is easier than the other but the clarinet is a lot more problematic it seems. I think I spent half my practice time fiddling and adjusting and such. There were times I just wanted to throw the dam thing up against the wall because it wouldn't function. And I'm talking about a new Yamaha 450N. Not a cheapo. I had pads replaced, adjustments done everything. Oh and I have 2 of these things and both were a pain in the butt. My Yamaha 381 flute just plays when I want it to. I just put it together and play it and don't have to worry about it. I think the problem with clarinets are that they are made from wood and the key work is complicated.

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flutepicc06
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Re: Doubling on Clarinet

Post by flutepicc06 » Thu May 17, 2007 9:11 am

sinebar wrote:I think the problem with clarinets are that they are made from wood and the key work is complicated.
There may be problems with clarinets, but I don't think that explains it. After all, we have wooden piccolos and flutes, and I'd say that our mechanism is actually a good deal more complex than what a clarinet usually has on it.

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vandoren
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Post by vandoren » Thu May 17, 2007 9:46 am

I played clarinet but had to give it up as I got older and my teeth went :oops: The flute mechanism is MUCH more complex than the clarinet and MUCH more easily damaged.

The music student who bought my clarinets doubles also on bassoon !! Imagine trying to cope with single and double reed.

I cannot imagine attempting to learn flute and clarinet at same time, but then I am an old dude who is certainly no longer versatile.

Don't get used to a soft reed - use a 2 1/2 Vandoren or Rico and keep 3 reeds going and cycle between then - this way you never have to rely on a brand new reed if you damage one. Keep the reeds with their flat side against a flat plate of glass and held down with rubber bands. The reed is the heart of the clarinet - treat it with respect. Learn how to scrape and clip it as it ages.

Good luck
IanR..................

.............still trying to become a musician at 66 years of age !

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Thu May 17, 2007 1:01 pm

deleted original post. I accidentally misread someones comment. :oops: :lol:

fluteplayer123
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Post by fluteplayer123 » Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:08 pm

Thanks everyone for replying.

MaYbE.x
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Post by MaYbE.x » Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:43 am

I think it would make it easier to take up the clarinet first. I personally never played the clarinet, but I did play the sax. I found it extreemly difficult to go from a no-reed instrument to a double reed. I gave up on oboe after a month and took up the sax. 6 months later my music teacher approached me and asked if I would be willing to try oboe again. I eventually agreed, and I found it much much easier. I am pretty sure that the reason I found it so much easier was because of the single-reed instrument I had taken up.
I could be wrong though, but I did find it easier.

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