[Dixielandjazz] Clarinet or Soprano?

LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing sign.guy at charter.net
Mon Jun 6 15:49:40 PDT 2005

Soprano will cut through where the clarinet can only project in the high
register.  Many clarinet players just don't project very well.  The low
register is almost useless , un amplified, outside or in a big room or in a
room full of people having a good time or just talking.  The clarinet mainly
sends its sounds down toward the floor and you have to point it out toward
the crowd..  This requires tilting the head back to maintain the proper
playing angle.  Many guys if pointing it toward the audience switch to more
straight in like a sax.  This  may not lend itself to a good sound or good
projection.  Tilting the head back isn't very comfortable.  Soprano on the
other hand has the power depending on the mouthpiece you choose.

A few years ago I went to an affair where a guy was playing clarinet.  I
really was there to hear him.  He stayed in the low register almost all
evening and the crowd noise just covered him up.  What a waste.

I worked for a Trombone player who kept after me to play in the low register
because it sounded so good but since almost everything we did was outdoors
he wanted it loud too.   It was an oxymoron to do what he wanted.

I find that I overpower the band on soprano  if I'm not careful.

If you must use clarinet outside find a mouthpiece/reed combination that
will project or at least increase the reed strength 1/2 step. Raise the
clarinet as you play solos and stay in the high register above third space
C.  Finally get used to pumping a lot of air through the horn.  The last is
really important.  Air is everything.

Larry Walton
St. Louis
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Russ Guarino" <russg at redshift.com>
To: "Dixie Jazz" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 2:28 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Clarinet or Soprano?

> It is nice to report,
> My small Dixie band played at a three day air show last week, outside on
> the airstrip where they tie down the planes for display.
> We were keyboard, bass sax, drums and  me on clarinet.
> I discovered that outdoors the soprano sax was a better choice than
> clarinet as it had more projection and richer harmonics.
> This was the best air show we ever did.  The manager said we were a
> "legend".  Mark Allen Jones was on the keys.  Without him we would have
> sounded ordinary.  I think the soprano also made a difference.
> We did not have electricity for the keyboard and amp, so I bought a
> "power pac" at Costco, which I now recommend to any band that does
> outdoor work, not always close to electricity.  It's heavy, but a great
> accessory  to power up mics   and electronic equipment.  One note, a
> guitarist on one gig discovered his old "tube" amp buzzed with this
> power source, but the fully "chipped" amps were OK.
> Russ Guarino
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