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When to switch to clarinet?
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Author:  Motherdragon [ Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:06 am ]
Post subject:  When to switch to clarinet?

I wonder if I could ask advice about the clarinet?

I am an adult who has recently starting teaching myself the treble recorder - I learned descant at school some 35 (!!) years ago and so I've been relearning how to read music and the different finger positions-notes of the treble.

Ultimately, I'd like to learn the clarinet. Would it be sensible to become proficient in the treble recorder before switching or should I just jump right in and hire a clarinet?

Sarah :0)

Author:  sfmans [ Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: When to switch to clarinet?

I have no experience whatsoever specifically on clarinet, but I've learnt several instruments down the years and I'd suggest you go for it as soon as possible.

If it's clarinet you want to be playing, then you'll never get to start getting anywhere playing clarinet until you're spending your time actually playing a clarinet ....

Author:  Kypfer [ Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: When to switch to clarinet?

My only reservation about "diving straight in" is the cost ... if you can hire an instrument at a price you consider reasonable, especially if you could offset some of that hire cost against the subsequent purchase of a new instrument, then, yes, go for it!

I chose the chalumeau route initially because it was financially attractive to me, buying second-hand.

Do be aware, and I'm not trying to put you off here, that although the fingering is very similar to a recorder, the "embouchure", how you grip the thing with your lips, is a whole different ballgame and takes a little getting used to ... worth the effort, though :)

Author:  dubrosa22 [ Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: When to switch to clarinet?

I would jump right in at this stage if I were you.

Honestly, the difference between the embouchure (lip/mouth/throat) of the recorder and clarinet is quite big. The recorder is like tiny puffs; the clarinet is a stream of strong, powerful air. So why put it off any longer if that's the instrument you want to play?

Just make sure you buy/rent a decent Bb instrument (brands do count unfortunately, cheap Chinese instruments aren't worth mucking around with and will just deter you). New or reputably restored/overhauled secondhand student instruments are quite affordable and will last you many years - Yamaha '250' or '255', Buffet B13, LeBlanc 'Bliss', Ridenour 'Lyrique'... Vito and Boosey & Hawkes if they've been restored well.

The fingering of the clarinet has some small combined similarities with the descant and treble recorders actually, because the clarinet overblows a 12th instead of an octave the corresponding fingering between the lower register (chalumeau) and the higher register (clarion) is almost alike the two different sized recorders (well, sort of!).

Anyway, I recommend you play the instrument you want to play. Get a good quality instrument, decent mouthpiece (Yamaha 4C, Fobes Debut, Hite Premier, etc.) and a few different reed sizes 1.5, 2, 2.5 from Vandoren or Rico/D'Arrario or Hemke and get playing - it's a beautiful instrument!


Author:  AuLoS303 [ Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: When to switch to clarinet?

I would really love a clarinet and having learned the basics on recorders I feel I would have less of a learning curve. Trouble is the cost. Way out of my price bracket, and tho quite a few second hand claris turn up I am very wary as I realise they may well need some work doing to them to make them playable. And I dont know enough about them to know which brands to avoid.

Author:  Mae [ Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: When to switch to clarinet?

I agree with dubrosa22 and say that, with such a huge difference in embouchure. I'm a recorder player who barely can play my chalumeau, and can't play my daughter's clarinet worth anything. If you want to start clarinet, you can get a decent student model, like a Yamaha YCL-20, which has some resale value. I'm not really a fan of renting instruments unless the cost is really prohibitive. I would also recommend lessons on this one because it's tough to get the a good sound out of it without proper technique.

Author:  daveboling [ Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: When to switch to clarinet?

I have played clarinet since 1971. The only similarity between recorder and clarinet is you cover the holes with your fingers. The embouchure is different since the recorder has no reed. The clarinet also requires a higher air pressure. The fingering for the upper register is (mostly) the same as the lower register, but the instrument overblows (with the register key) a 12th, not an octave, so you have to learn to think one note name for a fingering in the lower register and another note name for the second register. When you are ready for the third register, the fingerings match neither of the other registers.
If you want to learn clarinet, get one, and get a teacher as soon as you can afford to. Find the teacher first, and have them assist you in selecting an instrument. There are just as many clarinets that are only good for wall art as there are bagpipes originating from the Indian subcontinent.
Of the transverse blown woodwind instruments, the clarinet is king. I don't mean this in an arrogant way, but it is easier to go from clarinet to any of the others (sax, recorder, whistle, etc), than from any of the others to clarinet. This was my experience as I went from exclusively clarinet (orchestral, and jazz) to doubling winds for Broadway shows. All of the people I played with who started on other woodwind instruments had a more difficult time picking up clarinet that I did their instruments.

dave boling

Author:  fatmac [ Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: When to switch to clarinet?

I went from recorders to clarinet without any problems, if you haven't already, go for it. :)

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