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.
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.
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.
The clarinet family is very large. Clarinets of many sizes are used in band, orchestra, and as a solo instrument. The family can be broken down into four broad main categories- soprano, alto, bass, and contrabass. The B♭ soprano is the standard clarinet. The orchestra also frequently uses the A soprano clarinet. E♭ sopranino and B♭ bass clarinets are the next most common.
You’re probably wondering what the similarities and differences between the flute and clarinet? The most obvious one is that the flute is smaller than the clarinet! Even though the flute and clarinet both belong to the woodwind family, they have a lot of differences. Read more about this week’s blog post about how the flute and clarinet are different from one another?
Many of us start playing clarinet or saxophone, realize we enjoy it, and keep doing it—which means we use our instruments quite regularly. They are mechanical machines, and their parts will wear over time; inevitably, some kind of repair is eventually needed. Rather than having to find a reputable repair shop that has the time to work on your instrument, why not pursue some training in basic clarinet and/or saxophone repair?
Replacing clarinet pads is a common repair that is easy to perform. A good way to see if your clarinet pads need replacing is to do a visual inspection. If the pads are tattered, discolored, or old, it is usually a good time to replace them. Another way to check to see if the clarinet pads need to be replaced is the suction test for the clarinet’s top and bottom joint. If the clarinet does not seal properly, this means that the pad is leaking air. Loose pads can be reinstalled temporarily by heating the key cup with a cigarette lighter and slipping the pad back under the key cup with a pin. Apply light pressure to the pad so that it remains in the key cup until you are able to properly replace the pad or until you are able to schedule an appointment with a professional technician. The following is a do-it-yourself guide on how to replace pads on your clarinet.
To find the best clarinet ligature for your instrument, it is important to consider the following factors: type of clarinet, your desired sound, inverted or standard, price, and flexibility. Selecting a clarinet ligature can be a complicated process that involves experimenting with different types and brands until you find the one that fits your style of playing.