Anybody play Clarinet?

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I don't know why but I've always fancied playing jazz clarinet, and they come up cheap oftentimes in cash converters et al. Does anybody here play one, and are they hard to get to grips with?

I have a pretty good musical ear and play jazz a lot on piano, so thinking it might be quite a cool little side project at some point. I did used to play the recorder when I was very young, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't count.

Cheers

And if there's anything good about me, I'm the only one who knows

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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 17570
    I play oboe, fairly similar instrument although oboe is a double reed instrument = more difficult embouchure. Realistically you are looking at a couple of years of basic exercises, major scale stuff to be able to have the stamina to play a piece with any degree of skill, like any other instrument though. Go for it. Get a teacher.
    I am the juice of four limes.
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  • dafuzzdafuzz Frets: 1218
    My daughter seems pretty good at it after about 6 months and it makes a lovely sound.

    Seems a bit of a faff putting it together and taking it apart tbh.
    All practice and no theory
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 6905
    My eldest son played it to about Grade 4. We probably have a clarinet and all the books gathering dust somewhere. I think the fingering for the sax is supposed to be easier, the clarinet is one of those things were creating the notes seem to be shapes you have to memorise rather than an obvious system.
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 2917

    Hmm right I see, how interesting. Well I can't even look at a saxophone for fear of the horrid noise they make, so even if the Clarinet is harder it would be much more preferable. Strange though as you say that the notes are just remembering where to put your fingers rather than being logical, might prove difficult. I wouldn't be getting a teacher (I know I know) so really would just be messing about with it trying to sound a bit jazzy.

    Thanks guys

    And if there's anything good about me, I'm the only one who knows

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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 6905
    Well, that's as I remember it as told to me by an adolescent boy! I'll have a look see what we've got as beginners books.
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 2917
    Sounds good, cheers. I do realise this announces publically announces that I like jazz :)

    And if there's anything good about me, I'm the only one who knows

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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9078
    I played clarinet and sax right through school. Sax is easier on the mouth, and easier for the fingers (lower register has same fingerings as high register as one of the keys is essentially an "octave up" button). The Clarinet has different fingerings for upper and lower registers, so takes a fair bit more learning. A bit like transferring between guitar tunings, but on one instrument- it's just something you get used to, and tbh if you haven't already played recorder/sax/flute then it may not bother you so much anyway :)

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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 17570

    I wouldn't be getting a teacher (I know I know) so really would just be messing about with it trying to sound a bit jazzy.

    Thanks guys


    Sorry but no, it will just make it harder for you. 
    Jazz is an approach that can be taught and it is. It is easier and quicker if you are shown rather than trying to figure it out yourself.
    It is still pretty hard.

    People often say 'yes but the old jazz players didn't take lessons' which simply isn't true.
    They studied their asses off and they played for hours a night with better players than they were- that is how you learn, by being pushed.

    First learn the major and minor scales in all keys, then the modes. Then start applying it to jazz standards.
    Whilst you are doing all this you can work on your embouchure.

    I am the juice of four limes.
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 2917
    edited April 2015
    Thanks everyone, appreciate the inputs! Have had a good "reed" through

    I know lessons would be best but I enjoy making it harder and enjoy it more for it, ive done the same with guitar, lap steel, mandolin and violin, but granted yes they are all quite similar visual instruments. Wind would be different, but having done enough piano lessons to last a lifetime i know the need to learn scales, i think my ear will do the rest as it did when i learnt jazz piano after doing 12 years of heavy classical

    And if there's anything good about me, I'm the only one who knows

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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 6905
    Found Look Listen and Learn which covers basic technique and fingerings, the cd seems to have got lost but that doesn't matter much. A few other things too. You are welcome to have it.
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 2917
    Ooh excellent thank you, that's very kind of you. I shall give you a shout if I do manage to get one! Cheers my friend

    And if there's anything good about me, I'm the only one who knows

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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6065
    bumping this, been thinking about taking up the clarinet for a while now as well, so was wondering if OP made any progress? I don't normally do new years resolutions, but had a good autumn business wise and have some money put aside, so was gonna hire a clarinet and get some lessons (and have managed to find 2 teachers only a few miles from me, which is remarkable in its own right bearing in mind where I live)

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

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  • I made no progress with even getting one let alone learning it, much as I do with most things really. But would be very interested to see how you get on with it especially if you have lessons as I wouldn't have done that (for better or worse)

    And if there's anything good about me, I'm the only one who knows

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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6065
    I'm not confident yet of getting on with one, certainly not enough to risk a lot of money, but I figure 3 months of hire and lessons won't be too expensive, and I'll know after that. I think my main concern is that all the instruments I play are kinda the same; guitar, violin and mandolin, and they kinda play the same. Woodwind seems totally alien to my "musical" DNA.

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

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  • merlinmerlin Frets: 1223
    I play clarinet for a living (and guitar too, but principally clarinet and sax). 

    The fingering system is reasonably logical, it's not just random shapes, but each register has its own issues. And as has been mentioned above, the lowest register (due to the harmonics of the instrument) is a 5th below the middle register. This causes some confusion at first and happens because the instrument "overblows" a twelfth, rather than an octave like so many of the other wood wind instruments, due to it having a straight, rather than conical bore and due to one end being "sealed". 

    It can be confusing but it does have logic and the two registers have the same fingering (very similar to recorder and saxophone) in principle, but obviously sound in different keys. The upper, or altissimo register is a little more random, at least it's a whole new set of fingerings. 

    I would recommend a teacher at first, just until you manage the basics, at least. I've been playing woodwind since I was a child, so it makes total sense to me but it is a pretty steep learning curve and bad habits will stick really fast if you don't have some help overcoming the initial hurdles. 

    Other than that, go for it. If you need advice then PM me. 


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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6065
    will do merlin, thanks

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

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  • merlinmerlin Frets: 1223
    VimFuego said:
    will do merlin, thanks
    I just realised that I posted that for the OP, but please feel free too! I wouldn't want any potential clarinettists left out!  ;)
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6065
    ah, well as I didn't know that, I just assumed it was aimed at me as well/generally. 

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

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