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37 votes
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What do the letters D and E above the staff represent here?

According to the notes given at the beginning of my score: In large orchestras, from rehearsal [94] on, wherever the letter D appears in the 2 Flutes, Oboes, E♭ and C Clarinet parts, these parts ...
Richard's user avatar
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33 votes
Accepted

Why is the clarinet able to play lower notes than the soprano sax?

Both instruments (as well as all single- and double-reeded instruments and all brass instruments) behave as tubes closed at one end. The difference is that saxophone (and all other reeds) are conical, ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
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11 votes
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When I play G, why does it come out as F on bass clarinet?

The bass clarinet is a transposing instrument: the Bb bass clarinet sounds a full major 9th below what is written for its sheet music. For example, that written G in the OP sounds like the F in the ...
Dekkadeci's user avatar
  • 14.2k
9 votes

What is the best length of time to practice for a clarinet?

I want to get better, yet not play for more than 45 minutes because I can't fit that into my schedule. What would be the best about of time to practice clarinet between 15 and 50 minutes? 45 ...
user1803551's user avatar
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9 votes
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Key used by clarinet

The point of transposing instruments is to be able to play different sizes of the same instrument (such as an A and a B clarinet) without learning a new set of fingerings. An A clarinet is slightly ...
Kilian Foth's user avatar
  • 7,563
9 votes
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Clarinet A/B trill with fuller sound

You are correct that the side-key trill is not a very good sound. There is really no way to produce a better trill for that one combo of notes. We all live with it.
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
9 votes

If I were to switch from playing clarinet (6 years) to starting oboe, how hard would it be?

I love the instrument and I'd really like to start learning Then do it. I'm almost 48 years old. About two months ago I started French horn lessons. I have never played a brass instrument before. I'm ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
  • 56.9k
8 votes
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How Common Are the Trumpet in C and Clarinet in A?

Both are extremely common in orchestral music, and any professional musician (or even a serious college student or hobbyist) who plays classical music should have them. And even if they don't, they ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
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8 votes
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Clarinet trilling over the break

This is what the top two side keys are for. From a throat A, adding the top side key results in a B.
MattPutnam's user avatar
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8 votes
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Is it advisable to cover and uncover the clarinet mouthpiece to play each note?

I am not really sure what you mean by cover and uncover. But as a clarinet player with nearly 30 years under my belt I would say there are three (four) ways of articulation. Legato(Slur): You keep ...
Oliver's user avatar
  • 208
7 votes
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Key signatures in Dvorak 9th symphony

The key signature for the first five bars of the clarinet part is wrong, although the notes are correct for A clarinets (they are playing in E major). The clarinets change to B-flat from the 11th bar, ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
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7 votes
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Most Boehm clarinets have 17 keys, but some have 18 or 19. What are the extra keys used for?

The 18th key is usually a left hand Eb/Ab lever. This is an alternative to the right hand Eb/Ab lever and makes fingering combinations involving both fourth fingers much easier. It's become standard ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
7 votes

What does the cross on a square symbol mean?

I am neither a German speaker nor a clarinet player, so please make sure to translate the German text yourself! This music comes from the Carl Baermann's Vollständige Clarinett Schule (Complete Method ...
invisi.'s user avatar
  • 91
6 votes

Is it advisable to cover and uncover the clarinet mouthpiece to play each note?

I guess your teacher was trying to get you to tongue each and every note. It's a better way than merely blowing to start each note - the result is more uniform and clearer, with a controlled start to ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
6 votes

My clarinet is playing flat - how can I fix it?

The first thing to try is playing another clarinet. If that's flat as well, it's you. If not, start looking for mechanical solutions. But it seems unlikely that what seems to be a standard, ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.3k
6 votes

My clarinet is playing flat - how can I fix it?

With an instrument that is consistently playing flat, the first thing to try would be a new barrel. Your 66mm barrel is the standard, but you can easily find a 65mm or 64mm to try. The shorter barrel ...
Rey Abolofia's user avatar
  • 2,678
5 votes
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Clarinet low e quite sharp

First: make absolutely sure it's out of tune. This requires playing while NOT looking at a tuner, and letting someone else observe the pitches of, say, C down to the bottom E. If in fact it's only the ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
5 votes

Do woodwind reeds (Sax, clarinet, etc) need break in to play better?

Yes, reeds do need breaking in. It's only after breaking a reed in that you can decide if it is up to the job or not. Normally you end up with a number of broken in reeds so you can choose which one ...
Jomiddnz's user avatar
  • 5,047
5 votes

Key signatures in Dvorak 9th symphony

The score I found says muta in B after the clarinet entry at the start of the second movement. Clarinet in A would perform the written G sounding as a concert E which fits nicely in the opening E ...
Brian THOMAS's user avatar
  • 11.6k
5 votes

Instrument Switching Question: B flat to Bass Clarinet

Reed and wind players routinely double on other reed and wind instruments, so asking a clarinetist to play a few bars of bass clarinet is fine. There are a variety of procedural considerations in the ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 89.1k
5 votes

Can the Eb alto clarinet and the Eb soprano clarinet be substituted?

Two instruments being pitched "in Eb" does not mean they sound in the same octave, so one Eb instrument cannot necessarily be substituted for another. The Eb alto clarinet has a sounding ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 89.1k
5 votes

Does playing with a mouthpiece patch affect your embouchure?

Using a mouthpiece patch is a personal choice, except when play-testing a mouthpiece before buying it (to prevent tooth-marks on the mouthpiece). Some people like them, some people hate them but they ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
5 votes

Clever mnemonics for clarinet pinkies

Not a mnemonic, but it helps to think of the two upper RH keys and the two inside LH keys as the main ones: Then they go L-R-L-R for (lower octave) E-F-F#-G#. Once pupils have learned that, then you ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
4 votes
Accepted

Playing tenor sax is easy for me. Is a clarinet really that hard?

One of the beginner issues with clarinet is covering the 7 main tone holes cleanly. If your finger isn't covering it fully, the gap will act like a leaky pad. I think this is the most likely source ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
  • 22.4k
4 votes

Saxophone vs. Clarinet differences for Traditional Jazz

I hate to be negative, but there isn't a sax in a Dixieland band. In ensemble choruses trumpet takes the tune, clarinet arpeggios over the top, trombone fills in the middle with plenty of trademark ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.3k
4 votes

Air Leak/Snorting at the back of nose while playing clarinet?

The snorting means that you probably have a weak soft pallet towards your nasal passage. It is totally normal. I know because I have it too. Once you start snorting, it could be embarrassing. I don't ...
Caroline's user avatar
4 votes

Clarinet Transposition

Yes, any music can be transposed into any key. The challenge is doing the transposition. You can learn to transpose either ahead of time or on the fly as you read music that has not already been ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
  • 56.9k
4 votes
Accepted

Why have alternate fingerings?

When you learn to play the clarinet, or sax, or several other woodwinds, you'll soon find that it's much easier to play a variety of note sequences by making use of the alternate keys or alternate ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
4 votes

Why have alternate fingerings?

I'm not sure which instrument you are asking about, however, the following applies to all instruments. Sometimes the particular fingering for a particular note or set of noted depends on what comes ...
ttw's user avatar
  • 25.5k

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