We’ve all been hearing a lot about today’s “gig economy”, which gradually developed over the past year or so due to the work challenges of COVID-19.
In 1825, French instrument maker Denis Buffet Auger sets up his workshop in Paris and became known for producing excellent 13-key clarinets. It was not until 1836 when his son, Jean-Louis Buffet marries Zoe Crampon and creates the Buffet Crampon name.
As a music educator, learning how to care and nurture your woodwind musicians can feel a little bit like trying to decipher the meaning of morse code: Difficult to comprehend. Disjointed. Goes by way too fast to catch it all. Sound familiar?
Like the clarinet mouthpiece, a clarinet barrel can make a tremendous difference in the performance, sound, and intonation of a clarinet. The barrel, sitting between the mouthpiece and upper joint, shapes the way the air enters the clarinet.
The clarinet is made from grenadilla wood (African Blackwood). It is a well-known type of wood famous for making instruments and furniture. This wood is extremely dense and oily when attached to the tree, and you need to take care and pay attention to how it reacts to changing temperatures after it has been cut, because the oil stops producing once it has. Constant temperature changes can have a negative impact on the wood and that’s why clarinetists need bore oil to protect the wood from cracking.
Over time, as you play your clarinet, the mechanisms will shift slightly due to use. This is normal, but it can cause problems as you continue to play, particularly if something shifts far enough that it creates an air leak. When leaks happen, we tend to squeak or a note simply won’t come out at all, especially in the fundamental register (lower notes of the clarinet, without the register key). Thankfully, these small misalignments of keys, screws, etc. are fixable, often with minimal tools and materials. There are cases, however, where you’re likely to do more damage trying to fix something yourself and you should take it to a reputable repair person.
The clarinet is an instrument that is solely based on breathing and air blowing and from your first day in clarinet playing you will working be on airflow, tongue position and articulation. This is something that students of all levels and professional musicians alike practice every day because it is one of the fundamental elements of clarinet playing. Moreover, we need to understand how the clarinet sound is being produced and what are the best practices to do so.
The flute is one of the smallest instruments of the woodwind family, and like any instrument requires care and maintenance. Even though many musicians take the proper measures necessary to keep their instruments in good shape, sometimes accidents happen, as well as regular wear and tear, that do require a visit to the repair technician. It is important to teach care and maintenance to young students so that they can develop good habits early on that can prevent frequent trips to the repair shop. Check out this week’s tips on how to maintain and care for your flute.
When you start your adventure with clarinet, you probably wonder what is better: renting or buying the instrument? At many music stores, you will find various clarinet models at different prices. The range of choices and costs available today can make this decision very difficult. This week, we will discuss the pros and cons of either buying or renting your own instrument.