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Switching keys

edited January 2012 in Woodwinds Posts: 3,707
A shoulder injury has forced me to switch from Bb soprano to Eb alto.

I am told that learning all my tunes in different keys will be good for me :shock:

In truth I am just trolling for sympathy :roll: :roll: :x :o

I think this will be as interesting a process as switching to rest stroke picking which only took me a year or so. Thank goodness I can still play guitar if I am careful
The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed

Comments

  • AndyWAndyW Glasgow Scotland UK✭✭✭ Clarinets & Saxes- Selmer, Conn, Buescher, Leblanc et.al. // Guitars: Gerome, Caponnetto, Napoli, Musicalia, Bucolo, Sanchez et. al.
    Posts: 603
    Hey there Jazzaferri, sorry to hear about the injury.
    My first thought was "why not try a curved-soprano on a neck-strap "
    I keep meaning to try to find a nice cheap curved sop, to give myself a break from supporting the straight soprano and clarinet (and now the violin too) using arms & shoulders.
    Alto seems a bit less common in GJ, although it features plenty in Django's original recordings.
    I've tried using alto at the hot club jam, but don't feel comfortable wit the way its sound fits with the guitars, not sure why. S'ok for ballads, but feels wrong on the up tempo stuff. :?
    The other "obvious" solution is Bb tenor -no transposition from Bb soprano:-
    but they are heavy horns on your neck, if you have shoulder problems.
    But they were right, of course.. " learning all the tunes in different keys will be good for you" 8)

    take care

    Andy
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,252
    Depending on your injury, there are supports you can get to take the weight off. I used a strap with a straight soprano (YSS-62) and it wasn't so much my shoulders that took a beating as my right thumb. It's not an issue if you're bell-mic'd or on an elevated stage, but if you're eye to eye with the audience and playing acoustically you're always trying to push that bell up and even though the thumb rest on the Yamaha was as good as any horn I've ever had - it still just killed me... back & shoulders too if it was a long gig and you spend all night leaning back like you're facing into a stiff wind. Other than that, I guess you could Capo that alto up to Bb... (haha.. that would be nice though...) Just had an odd thought... I wonder how flat a guy could tune a C-Melody.... I mean God, it's not like you could hurt the sound of one... those damned things just seem acoustically awkward for some reason - maybe tuning down to Bb would help ?!?

    Anyway - I just googled for supports & found this one quickly. There are a few out there, but this one looks pretty nice.

    http://www.sfoxclarinets.com/Accessories.html
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • Cool. Thanks so much Bob. I will check it out. I use a strap and the curvy neck on my sop but after 10 minutes or so I can really start to feel the impact

    Playing alto the hand position is so different and is no problem. Banged off an hour and a half at rehearsal today :)

    I know what you mean on the C Mel. I have a neat old Chu era conn but even with the most aggressive mpce I have it's still wimpy. I play a JK sx90 II which has a really rich unsoprano timbre to it

    Andy. I looked at curvies but have yet to find one that has enough angular change to get my hand in the necessary position. Once this is over which may take some months I have my eye on a R & C curvy. I love their sound

    I am of the same opinion on the alto sound. It works on some worked up tunes but for jams ans such I prefer my sop. I wonder if it is in part that the alto is pitched much more into the rhythm guitars soundscape and they fight for room. I will have to really work on my altissimo so I can still have a couple of octaves to work with. Less alto like up there too. Time for some more Rascher top tones
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • AndyWAndyW Glasgow Scotland UK✭✭✭ Clarinets & Saxes- Selmer, Conn, Buescher, Leblanc et.al. // Guitars: Gerome, Caponnetto, Napoli, Musicalia, Bucolo, Sanchez et. al.
    Posts: 603
    This probably deserves a separate post, but i am wondering if the C-melody tenor might work with GJ.. It would certainly be easier for someone reading from the same charts as the guitars. I have recently acquired (in the worst possible deal ever) an old 1920's Buescher C-melody tenor , needs some pad work, but I might try a few test recordings &/or take it to the jam session , once it is fixed up, instead of selling it straight away. The C-melody was actually used quite a lot on vintage american jazz recordings, played by guys like Rudy Wiedoeft & Frankie Trumbauer.
    I know there are C-melody sopranos too, though i've never played one.
    A friend has an old Conn C-sop, maybe I should make him an offer he can't refuse 8)

    I'm sure the Rampone & Cazzani curved soprano would be nice, I guess,
    I've never even seen one "in the flesh" . Maybe you can let us hear it in a GJ context, if you get one.
    -
    -

    I went to the shrink the other day & said-
    " Doc , I feel like I am a large dog"
    The shrink said "Lie up here on this couch and relax"
    and I said " sorry, I'm not allowed up there..." . :wink:
    -
    ..that's the way i feel about altissimo on alto & soprano: " sorry, I'm not allowed up there" . :cry:

    -A-
  • Andy. According to a vintage sax collecting and plying buddy the Buescher C Mel is the only C Mel that sounds like a real sax. If you want a Conn ill swap with you :D mine is complete down to lyre and has new white roos :roll: I got it thinking of GJ but have yet to find a mpce that has any*alls and the sound I get on it is just way too mellow for me

    I play with a very loose embouchure and try for a dark smoky sound even on sop. Paul Desmond was an early influence. Hearing Koen deCauter play encouraged me to get back into soprano

    By the time I get back over to your side if the pond I should have the curvy. I have Rellies in Lancaster Inverness and Thurso that I have to visit. I will be needing a dose of GJ after a bit so I will try and see if you are playing somewhere
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Hi. I hope Andy will chime in here as it has been 50 years since I played clarinet. All I play now is sax. Still a bit of soprano ... I can go maybe 15 minutes and then I start to hurt a bit ... But mostly alto

    Guitar is about 30 to 45 minutes and then I have to go to sax. Oh well makes for a broad experience


    There is a section about clarinet in the Sax on the Web forum. I think you will find lots of comments about clarinet setups if the search the clarinet forum

    A couple of thoughts common to both. What is your setup now. What problems if any are you having

    The single most important part in producing sound in a woodwind is the big part behind the mpce. Embouchure is the key to tone intonation and timbre. Are you spending 15 minutes mini mum on long tones per day?
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • AndyWAndyW Glasgow Scotland UK✭✭✭ Clarinets & Saxes- Selmer, Conn, Buescher, Leblanc et.al. // Guitars: Gerome, Caponnetto, Napoli, Musicalia, Bucolo, Sanchez et. al.
    Posts: 603
    well I'll chime in, but there are better clari players than me....
    I started on clarinet about 2 years ago. I thought at first a very 'open' clarinet mouthpiece would be the way to go for gypsy / swing, and bought a yamaha 6c mpc ,
    but now I'm convinced ordinary facings are better , i now use a Yamaha 4C for backup and gig with a Selmer plastic mpc. from a cheap student Selmer CL100 (or 300? i forget the model)
    reeds are vandoren blue 2 or 2.5 classical reeds.
    I use a jazz 'bottom-lip-out' embouchure, inherited from my sax playing, which is good for expressive playing , pitch flexibility, effects, but bad for altissimo, and bad for a Mozart-esque 'dark' clarinet sound. I don't do at lot of long-tones like I should 8) , i DO do a lot of legato arpeggio practice, since arpeggios seems to be a key part of the GJ style

    So I sound like this, & wish I was better :?
    .

    .
    .
    I'm going back to tenor sax, i think, i'll try it at the HCoG this week.
    p.s. hey jazzaferri , you want me to hold that Buescher C Melody til you get here & make me an offer ??
  • You are TEMPTATION incarnate. :lol: i would love that indeed but I won't hold you to it

    While I find Jamess Carter's playing a little overwhelming after a bit I do think that sax does well in the genre. Perhaps we are part of the vanguard of a new sax era
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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