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Author Topic: Playing in the second octave  (Read 1108 times)

Offline LarryS

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Playing in the second octave
« on: January 07, 2021, 03:13:14 PM »
So I thought I'd have a go at playing with the register key pressed. I soon discovered that the high notes need a bit more work and beyond a certain point I get no sound. Stronger reed for the higher notes?
I was using a very tight embouchure here with a Legere 2.5 reed.

https://youtu.be/q3G2MrHUi4w
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: Playing in the second octave
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2021, 06:47:00 PM »
I would try loosening your embouchure - I know, you were recently told to firm it up on the lower notes but it's a fine line to keep that reed vibrating.

I like to warm up by playing the throat tones chromatically and getting the first upper register C to ring out nice and easy.

Let's talk about supporting that air stream as well. Get that diaphragm involved and visualize a nice clean column of air built on that very foundation.

I hope this helps Larry. Everyone seems to have certain specific "hacks" to help their tone.

PS, long tones do help to get everything working together.
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Offline LarryS

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Re: Playing in the second octave
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2021, 02:20:45 AM »
Thanks Airflyte
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Offline Dibbs

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Re: Playing in the second octave
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2021, 09:46:20 AM »
It sounds like lack of support at the start of tongued notes to me.  When you play legato it seems to be going pretty much OK.

Everything - support, pressure, voicing, embouchure - needs to be in place before the note starts.  The only thing that needs to happen is the tongue moving off the reed.

Having said that, the clarion A is is a note prone to "grunting" at the best of times.  It's hard to start cleanly at pianissimo for everyone.

Offline TMHeimer

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Re: Playing in the second octave
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2021, 10:20:34 AM »
Good suggestions above. Are you having trouble specifically with tonguing the high notes, or same when slurring? I analysed the process of tonging years ago and still revert to simply thinking "Ta". Anyway, I use a 2.5 Vandoren wood reed and have not had problems with high notes, so that may mean your Legere is fine since 2.5 is probably stronger in a "plastic" reed. Maybe a mouthpiece issue?
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Offline philpedler

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Re: Playing in the second octave
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2021, 10:51:55 AM »
Hi Larry!

I listened to the YouTube. If someone came up and gently wiggled the clarinet at the barrel left and right while you were playing, would it wiggle freely? If so, your embouchure might be tightened a bit more, and you could use a stronger reed. (But then bear in mind that I play much stronger reeds. You'll get lots of differences of opinion on the strength of the reed and how tightly to hold the mouthpiece.)

Another thing to try: It sounds like your tongue might be too low in your mouth. Try raising the body of your tongue a bit toward the roof of your mouth.

Another thing to try: Try pulling the corners of your mouth back. Try not to grin but pull back as straightly as you can. The goal of this is to flatten your embouchure where the reed lays on it and to eliminate puffing of the cheeks. (I could not tell from the video what was happening around your cheeks.)

Keep playing. Things will come right.

Offline Windsong

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Re: Playing in the second octave
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2021, 07:28:20 PM »
Larry,
How many mouthpieces do you have?  Do you have a surplus of different types?  I ask, because depending upon style of music, and the type of clarinet it is fitted to, you can get wildly different sounds from different bores and facings.  I have 15 or so mouthpieces, (not including unplayable collectables) and among them, probably 4 that I love, and another 5 that I rather "like".  None are newer than 1965.  Some are wood, some are wide, and some are modified.  Some are bright and chirpy and tight (Noblet 2V and Robert Marcellus #13) and some are dark and cozy and loose (Harry Pedler, Chedeville)  and all like slightly different strength reeds, etc.

I suppose what I am getting at is that if you have not tried a number of different pieces, you should.  Ultimately, the "right" mouthpiece for you will will help you identify your style, enhance the pleasure you derive from the clarinet, and broaden your understanding of the capability of your instrument, and whether you are fighting technique or just a lousy mouthpiece.
Cheers-
(EDIT:  I see in another thread that Windy has offered you a French vintage MP, which is great.  I'll be interested to hear your reports.)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 07:48:11 PM by Windsong »
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Offline windydankoff

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Re: Playing in the second octave
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2021, 09:42:20 PM »
Yes, I'll soon be sending Larry a Noblet (or Vito) FRANCE 2V, and a Fibracell 2 reed. Or maybe more, because I feel the same way and I also have way too many MPs.
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Offline LarryS

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Re: Playing in the second octave
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2021, 01:53:44 AM »
Larry,
How many mouthpieces do you have?  Do you have a surplus of different types?  I ask, because depending upon style of music, and the type of clarinet it is fitted to, you can get wildly different sounds from different bores and facings.  I have 15 or so mouthpieces, (not including unplayable collectables) and among them, probably 4 that I love, and another 5 that I rather "like".  None are newer than 1965.  Some are wood, some are wide, and some are modified.  Some are bright and chirpy and tight (Noblet 2V and Robert Marcellus #13) and some are dark and cozy and loose (Harry Pedler, Chedeville)  and all like slightly different strength reeds, etc.

I suppose what I am getting at is that if you have not tried a number of different pieces, you should.  Ultimately, the "right" mouthpiece for you will will help you identify your style, enhance the pleasure you derive from the clarinet, and broaden your understanding of the capability of your instrument, and whether you are fighting technique or just a lousy mouthpiece.
Cheers-
(EDIT:  I see in another thread that Windy has offered you a French vintage MP, which is great.  I'll be interested to hear your reports.)
I have 2mps, the cheap crappy one that came with the clarinet which has a damaged cork, and the Yamaha 4C that I bought to replace it.
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: Playing in the second octave
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2021, 01:15:41 PM »
Larry, the  Legere 2.5  may not be a good match for your mouth pieces. I have a story to tell about matching the reed to the mp but I'm short on time at the moment.

I will be back to tell you my experience. Keep at it!
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Offline Dibbs

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Re: Playing in the second octave
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2021, 08:30:44 AM »
There's nothing wrong with a Yamaha 4C.  In my opinion it's fine at your stage of development, just starting to play in the clarion register.  There's no need to go down the mouthpiece rabbit hole for at least two or three years.  You're really not equipped to evaluate them yet.  For example, I use a Pomarico crystal mouthpiece mostly because of the tone in the lower altissimo (creamy smooth) and ease of speaking in the upper altissimo.  That's the whole of the octave above what you are currently trying to achieve.   I'd be happy to use that Yamaha if I didn't have to play much above altissimo G.

I really think you'd do best to concentrate on learning to make what you have work.

As for reeds it should work with 2.0 to 2.5 legeres fine.  You would do much better to practice more than to mess with different mouthpieces.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 08:33:02 AM by Dibbs »

Offline LarryS

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Re: Playing in the second octave
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2021, 09:03:52 AM »
Thanks Dibbs, makes perfect sense
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Playing in the second octave
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2021, 10:58:34 PM »
In terms of mouthpieces, the Geo M Bundy 3 can be found for about $20 or less, and it's GOLD. Most people won't really need anything better unless they're going pro.
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Offline LarryS

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Re: Playing in the second octave
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2021, 08:11:48 AM »
In terms of mouthpieces, the Geo M Bundy 3 can be found for about $20 or less, and it's GOLD. Most people won't really need anything better unless they're going pro.
$20? That must be a typo...
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Offline TMHeimer

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Re: Playing in the second octave
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2021, 10:14:42 AM »
I guess you could get something for $20. Last time I looked the upline mouthpieces were like $80-$100. But like ligatures, they all play. As long as you get one that allows you to get all the "normal" notes (ie. not double high C....), stick with that. Then get quite good and go through the phase of trying everything under the sun. Then find one you like and stick with it forever (life is too short). I've used 2 mouthpieces since 1975 and they play almost identically.
The Most Advanced Clarinet Book
tomheimer.ampbk.com/
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Amazon, Sheet Music Plus
"Boreal Ballad" for unacc. clarinet solo (advanced)
Sheet Music Plus
YouTube performances - search by title (Nielsen Concerto)