CAS (clarinet acquisition syndrome)

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Been listening to a lot of gypsy jazz, New Orleans jazz and similar sort of stuff, and the sound of the clarinet has been really appealing to me, and I had a good autumn work wise, so today decided to take the leap and rent a starter clarinet, with a view to buying it (I can put the 1st 6 months rent against the purchase price). I ended up getting a John Packer entry model, the lady in the shop who was helping me out said there was little to be gained from getting one of the more expensive entry models, but I did end up getting an upgraded, yamaha, mouthpiece. 
1st impressions are it's a bit of a trick to get a consistent tone from it, so spent most of the afternoon, in small doses (cos it's hard work on little used muscles) getting a consistent embouchure, but think I'm getting there. Got my 1st lesson booked next weds, so really looking forwards to that.

I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • merlinmerlin Frets: 1022
    Go for it! As I'm sure you know, I play clarinet for a living (sax and guitar too but mostly clarinet), probably not the same fingering system as you though...Have a great time, it's a wonderful instrument. 
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 372
    I love this sort of trad jazz as well, and must admit whenever I see/hear this music I see the point of the clarinet which eluded me when I was an orchestral musician many, many, years ago.  

    The last band I was in we had a alto/tenor sax player and I was amazed when he revealed he had only been playing for two years.  (He said he had a very understanding wife..???)  So it's clearly possible to make progress very quickly.  I do remember he spent a lot of money on mouthpieces though.   


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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 5799
    yeah, mouthpieces seem to be the subject of much conversation. Mind you, as do ligatures. It's not only guitarists that are tone hounds. 

    It does seem to me, in my initial forays into playing the thing, that breathe control is paramount, mastering that does seem to be the challenge.

    Another thing that springs to mind is just how much spit is involved in the thing, playing it is like a one man (or woman) Sex Pistols gig!!!

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • NeillNeill Frets: 372
    VimFuego said:
    yeah, mouthpieces seem to be the subject of much conversation. Mind you, as do ligatures. It's not only guitarists that are tone hounds. 

    It does seem to me, in my initial forays into playing the thing, that breathe control is paramount, mastering that does seem to be the challenge.

    Another thing that springs to mind is just how much spit is involved in the thing, playing it is like a one man (or woman) Sex Pistols gig!!!
    Yeah as I recall this is common to a lot of wind instruments 

    I remember in my brass band days we used to end up with little puddles by our feet.  
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 5799
    @Neill ; be interesting to know if your former band member had any previous musical experience. Anecdotally, I have heard from some people who say they have reached a gigging standard on sax after a few years, which does seem amazing to me. Though whether that says anything about maybe the number of competent sax players there are (certainly there is no shortage of really good guitar players, as this forum can demonstrate) or not I don't know.

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • IIRC Martin Barre said when he was struggling to get gigs as a guitarist he learned enough sax in a week to join a band. It was the sixties though. 

    VimFuego said:
    @Neill ; be interesting to know if your former band member had any previous musical experience. Anecdotally, I have heard from some people who say they have reached a gigging standard on sax after a few years, which does seem amazing to me. Though whether that says anything about maybe the number of competent sax players there are (certainly there is no shortage of really good guitar players, as this forum can demonstrate) or not I don't know.

    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 372
    VimFuego said:
    @Neill ; be interesting to know if your former band member had any previous musical experience. Anecdotally, I have heard from some people who say they have reached a gigging standard on sax after a few years, which does seem amazing to me. Though whether that says anything about maybe the number of competent sax players there are (certainly there is no shortage of really good guitar players, as this forum can demonstrate) or not I don't know.
    @VimFuego Ian was certainly a decent acoustic guitarist, actually he was a better player than me (which isn't saying a lot) but couldn't play electric at all.  He also became a good singer once I had persuaded him to have a go, and he could play a bit of convincing blues harmonica as well. But until he joined our band he had never played in public and he was never a comfortable performer.  I'd say he was something of a natural musician, but I reckon if you can play anything competently it gives you a big head start if/when you decide to diversify.  I had drum lessons for a short while and the tutor said there was a big difference between teaching complete novices and those who had some experience with another instrument. 

    I'm wrestling with this myself at the moment, I've mentioned in a few posts that my left hand is permanently damaged from an accident about five years ago and I get to a stage with playing the guitar where I'm reminded how I could play before and it's a bit depressing.  So I think starting something new from scratch might be the way to go, though I can't see myself returning to the brass section even if it is in my DNA. 

    I'll be very interested to hear about your progress - do keep us informed.

    @EricTheWeary ; yeah - I do wonder about the 60's, some years ago we were looking for a drummer and one of our lot knew a guy who knew a guy..etc etc anyway there was this bloke who had apparently played drums in the 60's in Liverpool bands so, he's got to be good we thought.  Honestly he was absolutely bloody hopeless.  We tried out a few simple Chuck Berry songs and it ended up with me sitting at the kit showing him how/what to play.  I really do wonder about the standard of musicianship in those days, we tend to think of all the greats than started off in the 60's forgetting that there must have been scores of bands who were barely competent.  I was reading something recently I forget who it was, someone well known, said they got in a band because they knew five chords and the others only knew three (actually I think it might have been Ray Davies).  

    Standards were lower generally I suppose, my dad used to book entertainment for the local miners social club, he knew blokes like Paul Shane (Hi de Hi), Charlie Williams, Norman Collier  and various others who now seem to be fixtures in Last of the Summer Wine.  But my mum says the vast majority of "turns" were truly dreadful it was just better than sitting at home.
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  • @neill I can sympathise with you feeling bad that you could play better prior to your hand injury. However, if you can play without being in pain, and still enjoy it, I'd encourage you to carry on. This wouldn't stop you playing another instrument, but you may end up feeling worse if you stopped playing.
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 372
    edited December 2017
    CarpeDiem said:
    @neill I can sympathise with you feeling bad that you could play better prior to your hand injury. However, if you can play without being in pain, and still enjoy it, I'd encourage you to carry on. This wouldn't stop you playing another instrument, but you may end up feeling worse if you stopped playing.
    Ah thanks for the sentiment @CarpeDiem I know you're right. The worst of it is I used to really enjoy playing in front of an audience, these days the idea that anyone might be listening to my bum notes and mistakes horrifies me.  That's why I think taking up something new might help, at least then I can say I'm just learning.  
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 5799
    bumping this, finished my 1st block of lessons with a local tutor. I think it's gone pretty well, she said I was already at or past grade one standard, and she remarked I'd made good progress. There was an initial hump caused by how tiring to the mouth/face blowing the stick is, but once I got past that, it's been pretty easy in many respects. I'm able to play/practise a couple of hours a day. I have had to take a short break from it as I found the weight of it on my right elbow was getting too much (I suffer from what I guess is called tennis elbow) so I've ordered a neck sling to help take the weight, hopefully that'll get me back to playing. Gonna take a short break from lessons while I let what I learnt sink in, but so far I'm really enjoying it. 
    I'm finding the issues with my left hand is making guitar playing almost impossible, so I'm glad I've found this for me, I think it's something I could get properly into. 

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • horsehorse Frets: 444
    VimFuego said:
     There was an initial hump caused by how tiring to the mouth/face blowing the stick is
    Respect
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 5799
    thanks, I won't lie, I put a lot of effort in and got more than my fair share of agonised squeaks for my trouble, but I persevered and now it's a pleasure to put the black stick in my mouth.

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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