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horrible high notes? 
 

horrible high notes?

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horrible high notes?    15:56 on Friday, January 15, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

bandxdorkxforxli
fe

hi. i've been playing clarinet for about six years now. i used to be a pretty good player, but it seems like lately i've had a really bad tone. my high notes sound TERRIBLE. they're very thin and squeaky sounding.

i haven't upgraded mouthpieces in a while.
i was wondering what brand i should get and if that would help any.

i'm also looking for a new kind of reed. i used to play on vandoren 3s, but i switched to mitchell laurie (sorry if i spelled that wrong) 3s. i heard that using a thicker reed will help with tone... is that true? and what is a good brand to try?

and also, does anyone have any tips that would help my tone improve?

sorry about all the questions, and thanks to anyone who answers.

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Re: horrible high notes?    04:11 on Saturday, January 16, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

bobo
(84 points)

v12's are really good. i wouldnt recommend vandoren b45 mouthpiece. i honestly dont like them they choke the sound and hardly any of the clarinet in my section use that mouthpiece but other like it.it works for them. i use a fobes debut and i love it. but that me. everyone different

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Re: horrible high notes?    04:27 on Saturday, January 16, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jvanullen
(186 points)

First off, I'll address the mouthpiece issue.

The Vandoren mouthpieces are all quite good, and on the less expensive side of professional quality mouthpieces. I play on an M30 and I tend to like it far more than my handmade Greg Smith 1+. Now, this isn't to say that you would like the M30 more, it just means that it works for me. The most important thing for you to do is to get to the biggest music store you can and try some mouthpieces out. Most stores should allow you to trial them. Try anything they have, but be sure to ask for any they have in the Vandoren line (M30, M15, B45, 5RV, etc.)

About reeds, if you want thicker cane, you should've stuck with the Vandorens. Try moving up a reed strength, say, to a Blue Box (often called Traditional) 3.5. See if this helps. If you find that you have to blow too hard to produce a stable sound, move back down and try the 3's again.

And finally, nothing will improve your tone more than practice, practice, and more practice. Don't like the sound of your altissimo? Play long tones starting on say, a G on top of the staff, and chromatically go up, holding the notes for about 8 to 10 seconds each, really focusing on producing a good tone, being sure to keep the tongue high in the mouth. My professor always reminds me to keep the corners firm and imagine you are saying a combination of "She" and "Ew". This has really helped me solidify my tone, and I hope it helps do the same for you.

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Re: horrible high notes?    06:45 on Saturday, January 16, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 1 vote

knowlesy
(2 points)

It honestly depends on what clarinet you've got, Ive got a yamaha and I bought a B45 because they can produce quite a powerful sounds... but the nigh notes were really bad out of tune! Makers like yamaha make the barrel and mouth pieces to suit that instrument
when I went back to my original 4C that came with the clarinet all my high notes sounded quite powerful and had way better tuning!

As for reeds, you dont want to go too thick as they may sound windy and weak, so Id stick with 3 for now, and yea vandoren are good

Tbh, youre best bet is to take your clarinet to the local music store (like Dawsons) and try all their mouthpieces, maybe a few different reeds on your clarinet (with a tuner) if theyre too expensive, then make a note then go online and see if you can find it cheaper

hope this helps :D

<Added>

I forgot to mention as well... for the high notes especially, raise your eyebrows when you play because there are a couple of muscles just below the nostril that move when you do so and they also help provide pressure for the higher notes, after a while you wont have to raise eyebrows itl come naturally... defo worth a go :)

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Re: horrible high notes?    14:57 on Saturday, January 23, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

chaffincr
(4 points)

Definitely concur with this:
And finally, nothing will improve your tone more than practice, practice, and more practice. Don't like the sound of your altissimo? Play long tones starting on say, a G on top of the staff, and chromatically go up, holding the notes for about 8 to 10 seconds each, really focusing on producing a good tone, being sure to keep the tongue high in the mouth. My professor always reminds me to keep the corners firm and imagine you are saying a combination of "She" and "Ew". This has really helped me solidify my tone, and I hope it helps do the same for you.


Would add one thing: use a tuner when working on your tone. It can help you find where your weaknesses are and what you should expect when playing certain notes. A good alternate fingerings chart can also help as each mouth and instrument are different with different needs for certain tones.

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Re: horrible high notes?    14:58 on Saturday, January 23, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

bassoonawesomene
ss

i've been playin' for about 5yrs. i just recently had the same prob and my clarinet teacher just tought me a very handy trick. you must be very relaxed. open your throat. it's a lot like singing. make an aaaaa sound not an eeeeee sound. it makes your tone better, it makes you louder, and it reduces squeaking. i hope this helps!

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Re: horrible high notes?    15:43 on Saturday, January 23, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

newB
(5 points)

Well, it could possibly be the actual mitchell lurie reeds. I've had problems with them especially on high notes and they make very terrible squeaks. I haven't changed my mouthpiece for four years so it could be that too.

   

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