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Messages - delb0y

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All about Clarinets / Re: Do jazz players favour double lip?
« on: May 31, 2022, 09:41:50 AM »
I'm sure Benny Goodman changed to double lip embouchure at some point. I use single, and I'm too old to change, but I do find that if I experiment with my clarinet angle as I play, my best tone is at an angle of around 45 degrees, rather than more vertical. Not necessarily the most comfortable angle for my hands and arms, but my lips don't mind.


You’ll be delighted to hear this is the final instalment in this mini-series. I’ve stuck to the idea of improvising around the melody, adding in some root notes here and there to help me keep my place. I’ve used arpeggios, and a few chromatics, and this time added in a couple of blues runs from all the work I’ve done there. It's taken a week of focussed work, but I think it’s a passable attempt at a few improvised choruses and now it’s time to apply the methodology to another song to see if I can replicate the idea and keep on progressing.



Thanks Windy!

I didn't record the next couple of steps as they were boring - essentially just playing the triads over the backing track, and then, once happy with that, adding in the sevenths.

That got me to this stage - improvising using the melody, the occasional root note (again, to prove to myself that I know where I am), and now some of those arpeggios.

Still a  long way to go, but the path appears to be a good one, thus far...



This is part two (well Parts 1b and 1c) of this multi-stage project. I'm still at the stage of learning the tune - so the first run through is just the root notes. Nothing exciting, just me making sure I know the very basic structure. As I'm playing this I'm trying to hear the melody in my head, with the intent of knowing, at any give time, what the melody and the chord is. This is a bit boring on this tune as most of the chords last two bars, but it's the principle I'm testing here. The second half is the melody again, but this time I'm dropping in some random notes from the chord at any given time to ensure I'm following the changes / melody. What's nice is that already I'm feeling like I could play some variations on the melody that would be passable. Next stage will be to start playing some arpeggios over the changes. Watch this thread...


All about Clarinets / All of Me - Melody Only, Just Once Through
« on: May 05, 2022, 09:35:32 AM »
I have a new plan... I keep trying and failing to learn how to improvise, so I am developing a new plan. Step # 1 is to really learn the melody and changes of a tune, before worrying about 'owt else. We'll see how it goes.

This Step # 1 on All of Me. I was actually quite pleased with my tone here, for a change.



All about Clarinets / Clarinet Angle and Vandoren 88 MPCs
« on: April 30, 2022, 05:44:27 AM »
To get the nicest tone out of my current set-up (Noblet Artist & Hite Premiere) I have to have the clarinet way up, rather like the pictures you see of the old New Orleans players, not quite horizontal, but getting there. This gives me a nice open sound and as I drop the clarinet I hear a noticeable change in tone, not for the better.

However, that angle is tiring on the arms, and needs a lot of space. I was wondering if a Vandoren 88 mpc, with the altered shape would enable me to get that same tone, but at a lesser angle? Or is that not the point of the 88 series?


This is an experiment in trying to stick to a couple of simple rhythmic phrases throughout a 12 bar blues (allowing myself a bit of freedom right at the end) with the idea being that it might make the improvisation easier by taking out a bit of thinking. Not sure it worked, but here we have the basic blues itself, followed by the improvisation where I tried to (roughly) adhere to the predefined rhythms.



All about Clarinets / Re: mouthpieces for a beginner
« on: March 17, 2022, 05:25:37 AM »
Comparing my 4c to my Hite premiere is like comparing blowing down a blocked pipe whilst suffering from a heavy cold, to blowing down a sparkling clean empty pipe whilst feeling on top of the world. So much difference in ease of blowing. That's why :-)

All about Clarinets / Re: Edelweiss
« on: February 07, 2022, 04:00:32 AM »
I can't leave this instrument alone...

I think not leaving it alone is the key to the clarinet. Well, any musical instrument, but especially the clarinet. It takes a long time to build up the muscles, the muscle memory, the flexibility, the breathing, etc and a very short time to lose all that...

Keep it up!


All about Clarinets / Re: Simple Bb Blues - Acoustic Guitar & Clarinet
« on: February 07, 2022, 03:57:22 AM »
Thank you Airflyte

Yes, just a regular Boehm - a nice one though :-)  It's a Noblet Artist, from around 1967, best as I can tell.

My high notes are a little strangled still, so I spend must of my practice time in that register. It's one of the reasons (aside from peer pressure) that I went up to a #3 reed as received wisdom was the harder the reed the nicer the high notes, but I'm yet to find that.


All about Clarinets / Simple Bb Blues - Acoustic Guitar & Clarinet
« on: February 04, 2022, 12:08:27 AM »
The fingerpicked guitar and clarinet is a combination I'd like to explore more in future. Here, I went back to a #2 reed which was a pleasure after the hard work of recent months with a # 3. I have to ask myself why I persist with the harder reed?



All about Clarinets / Re: Playing by Ear
« on: February 02, 2022, 07:05:36 AM »
I'd love to be able to play be ear like that, just hear the guys on the bandstand, not worry about keys or chords, and just be able to stand up and start playing and be... right. Alas, I can't even get it right when I do know the key and the chords.  :-[

All about Clarinets / Re: For windy
« on: January 05, 2022, 03:53:25 AM »
I know that feeling. The last two months have seen a reduced amount of practice opportunities for me, too, for various reasons. One being that the father-in-law is now living with us and he gets up late, sleeps a lot, goes to bed early, and generally wouldn't appreciate a clarinet being practiced. Then there was a tooth infection that made it impossible for me to play for three weeks. Then (for a while at least) the office reopened and it was back to the commute. Put all this together and November and December were tough. I tried to play every day, often failed, and when I could play it was just long enough for a few notes and a few scales.

Alas, I now find myself gone back to where I was about this time last year, (i.e. when I'd been playing just six months) in my playing, tone, reading, everything. It just shows how easy it is to lose all that hard gained ground on this instrument.


All about Clarinets / Re: Clarinet newbie
« on: January 05, 2022, 12:22:14 AM »
Evan Christopher uses something other than a Boehm system, I believe, but many other jazzers use Boehm and sound great. I don't think it's essential to the jazz, or even the New Orleans sound, to use something such as the Albert system - although I do recall reading once the lack of rings around tone holes on other system allows more, or easier, bending of notes.

Here's a great article on other aspects of the New Orleans sound by the aforementioned Evan Christopher:

I also read that a lot of those ole New Orleans guys started off with a tutor by the name of Lorenzo Tio who schooled them in classical playing first...  So maybe there's the answer.

All about Clarinets / Re: For windy
« on: January 05, 2022, 12:10:33 AM »
I think the need to play long notes every day, and scales too - especially over the break - really, is the hardest thing about the clarinet. It's like there's this "work" you have to do every day before you get to the fun stuff. On a guitar, or a piano, you may get sore fingers if you don't play for a while, but at least you can still play. Neglect the basics on a clarinet and you lose the ability to play with any degree of nice sound. So somehow you have to accept ten or fifteen minutes work every day is just part of the territory. Once you've made that choice, then there's a word of pleasure to be had. The true secret is to find ways of making these drills not boring - I'll play very long notes (say 20 seconds or more) whilst working on a scale (thereby killing two birds with one stone) and really listen to the tone and the notes and do this for ten minutes. I'll play long notes throughout the range. Around the throat register. The chromatic scale with long notes (say 5 - 10 seconds). Blues scales - major and minor. Patterns. Loads of things to practice slowly and afterwards you're ready to have fun...

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