A new Clarinet, and the pitch is flat? (What to do)

Mr. Friedland,

I recently purchased a used Selmer Omega Bb Clarinet from a reputable store in Michigan. It plays well and I am very happy with it except for the fact the the barrel is about 1 cm longer than my old clarinet, a 40 year old Artley prelude. This causes me to play extremely flat in band. I was wondering if there is a place you can special order a shorter barrel. The barrel off of my Artley doesn’t fit. Also I was wondering if you could tell me anything about the Artley Prelude. It says ‘Prelude’ on the bell and has been in our family for about 40 years. Thanks so much for any help you can gives me. Sincerely, J
The barrel on the Omega should be a standard 56-57 mm long. If shorter than that, you should be able to exchange it at the dealer. I believe that any standard length Selmer barrel will fit.
Playing flat in band could have to do with your barrel or the pitch you were used to playing on the Artley. You could be used to playing much higher than the Omega plays.
The best thing to do is to use an electronic tuner to discern exactly where the A is located, and where you play it.
The mouthpiece is also part of the equation and can cause a considerable amount of pitch change.
Did you get a Selmer mouthpiece with the Omega?
You should have and I would ask for one.
So, as far as flat or sharp is concerned, one must have the pitch from a correct given source and then you tune with the source.
Stating flat or sharp means very little, and without hearing you or the clarinet, it is difficult to give you a considered response.
sincerely, Sherman Friedland


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