Changing clarinets in the section………NOT

Hello Mr. Friedland,
I am a grade 9 student in the program at (school) in Canada and I play on a vintage 1961 Buffet R13 Bb (serial number F6), fully overhauled and re-padded in 2006 . Holes show no visible wear. I am using Mitchell Lurie 3 1/2 reeds, a Vandoren B45 mouthpiece, and a Vandoren Optimum L01 ligature, with the original Buffet barrel.
Here is my problem. Recently, within my section, we all swapped clarinets for a bit, and i noticed that my clarinet had a much smaller tenon, my barrel would not fit on anyone else’s clarinet, so we all kept our own barrels, and traded clarinets from barrel down. While playing on my friend’s Selmer, i noticed that it was much easier to do rapid staccato tonguing, and when i got my clarinet back, i felt as though i was grinding to a halt trying to do rapid staccato tonguing. I typically squeak around C5.
What solutions would you suggest to help me improve my staccato tonguing, using this clarinet? Should I get a new barrel, change reed brands etc, or is this a common problem with of this age?
Any information on this instrument would be helpful.
Thank you so much,

Hi D.
Thank you for your interesting question. I am especially interested in the fact that you are changing clarinets around in your section. Even for “a bit” as you say, it is not a good idea for many reasons.

Anytime you change your clarinet with someone else in the section, the change will feel good, or at least different, not a great idea, but certainly no reason to consider a problem if the clarinet you change to plays easier.
In this particular case, the Selmer most probably had a larger bore, and with the narrower tenon of the Buffet barrel, it could very well have been easier to play staccato rapidly. Or you think it was.
It is very difficult to judge a new clarinet with any degree of accuracy.What is important in choosing is the element of time. Mostly a sudden change will feel different. If you find your own clarinet is more difficult , then you have made yourself feel insecure because your playing is momentarily insecure.
After a lifetime of playing, I say please do not do this as it proves nothing and it takes every player, no matter what age,time to become accustomed or used to another instrument.
Certainly it does not immediately cause any kind of problem at all.
Don’t worry about your playing. Just keep practicing on the same instrument for the best results.
Good luck in all your work.
Sherman Friedland


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