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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:51 am 
DS2 has been playing the Clarinet since the start of September and is pretty good on it although he does have a tendency to squeek and we have been told that the cheap instrument we purchased is holding him back and he is frustrated. He also plays the Bassoon and seems to be better blowing a double-reed. I am now wondering if he should learn the oboe instead as he may find it easier and it is a better instrument when trying to get a scholarship. I wouldn't normally change instruments but he is almost at Grade 3 Clarinet so if he ever wants to go back to it he will pick it up quite quickly. My limited experience is once you know one reed instrument it is not difficult to pick up another and since learning the clarinet he is also Grade 1 saxophone after playing it 3 times. I'm not planning to have him play the saxophone but he could just mess about on the clarinet and sax in the house and learn the Bassoon and Oboe with proper lessons.

Can anyone advise me on how easy the oboe is and is it easy to get a good tone out of it? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:07 am 
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have you tried a harder reed on the clarinet?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:14 am 
Bought harder reeds and now he's complaining he cannot blow it. He is quite temperamental and although I do not pander to his whims I don't want him to be put off. He loves the Bassoon eventhough the progress is very slow and steady so I'm surprised he doesn't feel a sense of pride at how fast he is progressing with the Clarinet.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:29 am 
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Don't know if this will help, but my daughter's music teacher says that if you change reed instruments, you should play the new one exclusively for about 6 months before trying to practice both or you get confused. Daughter changed from clarinet to saxophone and found the embouchure quite different. She can switch between instruments quite easily now, but it certainly took a while.

What number reeds does your son use?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:32 am 
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agreed - don't swap around - stick to one reedy thing at a time - the embouchure needs to be developed..


re the harder reeds - squeaks are more likely with softer ones and the answer is often to plough on with the harder reed, yes it is tricky to get a sound at first but that is what learning is all about.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:46 am 
Thanks for the reed tip. He definitely is not stopping the Bassoon so do you think he should stop the Clarinet then and do no other reed instruments?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:53 am 
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
I would have thought he would do better to put most of his musical energies into one reed instrument for the moment, at least until he reaches a much higher level. The bassoon should be a much better instrument to excel in from the point of view of getting chances to play in ensembles etc. If he wants another instrument perhaps the piano, drums, guitar or voice would be better and be complementary rather than confusing. My DS2 and his bassoon are in great demand at university! - he does have a secondhand sax & clarinet stashed away at home "for fun" but has never seriously done more than learn a few basic fingerings.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:15 pm 
Ok, this is what I think I'm going to do. Sit him for Grade 2 Clarinet as he can do it in his sleep and he may as well have something to show for it. Then give it up and get him onto a string instrument like Double Bass (although don't know if two Bass instruments is a good thing) and he is a singer so that should be fine.

Thanks everyone for the advice. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:48 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire
I'm going to put a spanner in the works here and say "why not the piano/keyboard as the other instrument"? It broadens the range of music that you can play, predominantly because you can accompany yourself!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:04 pm 
When he was a chorister he had to play the piano and he hated it. He was quite good and it is such an important instrument for a singer but it's not going to happen, unfortunately. :(


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