Subject: Received new clarinet and can’t play altissimo-HELP!
Dear Mr. Friedland,
Greetings. I have picked the clarinet back up after 20 years. I had been practicing on my old junior high band Vito clarinet and having success “breaking in” to playing again. I received an Amati 314 for Christmas this morning and can barely get the horn to play above clarion A- Especially the B and C. I thought upgrading to a nice new instrument would help improve and ease my playing, not make it more difficult. I’m just not sure if the problem is the horn itself or if it lies between the reed and the seat. I’m using a Rico 2.5 reed and the mouthpiece that came with the instrument.
Thank you so much for your attention and while I have it could you also suggest a good method book for an adult “re-beginner”.
My very first inclination for this morning after you received your Amati clarinet is that you should find whomever gave it to you and ask them to return the clarinet so that you may choose another, either another Amati,or a clarinet with a better reputation for consistency, for instance ,Yamaha, all of which play. Or, if you purchased it yourself, you will find the line for returned Amatis fairly short,or your internet dealer cooperative
Second, it is a well known fact that mouthpieces that come with clarinets, especially clarinets of questional provenance, are really not to be kept, but given, or better yet ,thrown away.
Yes, there are exceptions, however you have indicated to me that it could be a bad mouthpiece, crooked, warped or what have you.
So, right now, you have those two choices which you may accomplish in ways available to you.
Other than that, I would recommend that you may wish to start your renaissance of the clarinet in your life with a better reed. A bit stronger, or one of those nice reeds from Argentina or Australia, which seem to be made from a better cane than the brand you are using now.
Hope this helps in some way.
The KLOSE book is one of many suggestions I could make. Get the full edition, as it includes much good material.
Happy new Year.