Hi, so I am switching from Bass Clarinet to E Flat Alto Clarinet because my band director asked me to. I can play some on the Alto and the tone sounds fine (I also had it repaired.) But i'm having trouble starting notes. I can play scales and all but when I try starting on a 2nd octave note it just comes out as a squeak. I am mostly squeaking on the 2nd octave 'C, B and E'.
Please help because I need to be able to play it in 4 days!
Re: Switching from Bass Clarinet to E Flat Alto Clarinet. 11:54 on Thursday, November 24, 2011
A quirk of the larger clarinets is that the the upper register can be harder to play than the low if there is a slight leak somewhere. I suggest taking it back to the repairer & get it checked out again - if you only had it done recently a decent outfit will do any work free this time.
As you are already a bass player I would think that an alto would be eaier.
Re: Switching from Bass Clarinet to E Flat Alto Clarinet. 13:24 on Saturday, November 26, 2011
Hello, I am glad that fixing the instrument is helping, but these are some more suggestions.
I play all the types of clarinets, and I am not sure of your playing abilities, but my advice is to definetely use a metal ligature if you are squeaking, but I prefer non-metal ligatures.
Also, make sure you are not biting, and, if you are able, learn how to play double-liped, it is hard at first and takes a lot of practice, but the improvements are immeasuarable.
A good reed is important, too, I do not know what strength and brand you use, but the reeds I use for the lower clarinets are Marca, they are better than Vandoren and, of course better than Rico. Or you can use a synthetic reed, and I swear by Legere, they are the best.