This is where I report the unpleasant fact that the very first time I was paid money to play was at a county wide band director's meeting where Selmer put on a display of their full line. Along with Lynn Biggings (another bass clarinet player from my high school), I was half of the alto clarinet "section" playing some typical clarinet choir stuff (i.e, pretty sappy music).
For the time and place, the money wasn't bad ($30 or $40, I forget which for sure), plus they let me take home three bass clarinet mouthpieces in the bargain. Ka-ching!!! I still have one of them and use it occasionally when the time and place is right.
I have spent my entire musical life trying to live down that one evening of shame...
After reading of all these posts, I don't even want to admit that I have in my possesion an alto clarient.
Like you said Pete, every school band had one, and my best friend happens to be that person in my school. ...I know, I know...How sad for her :cry:
A couple of years ago when I was thinking of getting back into bass clarient, my friend gave me her alto since she hasn't opened the case for 20 years, and she thought that I might like it. What do you say to such a kind offer from your best friend...other than "thank you so very much".
So now the little piglet sits in its case amongst my saxes. I don't even remember what brand it is or anything about it. This thread has now got me curious. I will take it out of it's case and give it a blow. Since my clarinet chops are no longer even in existance, I doubt that it would be evident through my playing that the thing most likely needs a complete rebuild. Now that is indeed very sad...
Somewhere, there is some poor misdirected soul who plays (and plays regularly) jazz on his alto clarinet. I think that he still posts on the The Clarinet On The Web website. I'm not aware of anyone else, however.
Imagine if you will, a whole world of speculation, similar to that experienced with alto sax players, that could rise up out of such a practice. Lacquer versus no lacquer. "Mark VI" versus everything else, metal mouthpieces versus rubber ones, Grafton Fibreglas horns versus plastic versus brass ones - all of the world that surrounds the alto saxophone only redirected towards the alto clarinet.
It'd be like bizarro Superman...
And, my high school, even to this day, does not have any of the things cluttering up the band room.
I stay away from the alto clarinet too. last year I bought out the reed stash from a closed music store. For some reason they had a *ton* of alto clarinet reeds. they actually wanted me to buy those .. but they threw them in the entire deal.
Strange luck occurred and some sax player was told by their sax teacher that alto clarinet reeds were the way to go. So I sold him all my alto clarinet reeds .. we're talking something like .. gee .. i don't recall ... 40 boxes or more of various brands and strengths ?
wheew .... i just didn't know what to do with those reeds other than to give them to the local high schools
yes, you could use them for sax ...... i thought the cut was too long but never tried
The COTW website -- which really did exist -- was a testbed I put together for Harri at Sax-on-the-Web easily 5 years ago. The idea was to try to share the membership databases between SOTW and COTW so that we could have all the folks that wanted to talk about clarinet in a little more detail than just a "doubler's forum" could have it, without the annoyance of havening to re-register.
Sadly, phpBB 2.0 didn't support that very well, at the time, and after the forum broke, it wasn't re-created.
I am given to understand that the alto clarinet is largely an American (and British) phenomenon. True, there are a few in some French clarinet groups (but not, I have been told, in the premier military group, their Marine Band, the band of the Republican Guard), but other than that they are thin on the ground indeed.
Every now and then I get crazed ideas for doubles. One such idea -- remember you heard it here first (ha ha ha) -- is to have a big band sax section playing STB parts on alto, bass, and maybe contra-alto clarinets. A similar idea is to have the lead alto on alto clarinet...kind of an other worldly clarinet lead.
One of these days I'll have to get an alto clarinet and try out the idea myself.
What, no C bass? I mean, if you are going that far, why not go all of the way?
The hopes of the alto clarinet fan never really die, but actually exposing their theories to the cold, harsh light of reality is usually all it takes to put paid to them.
Somewhere, someone has probably tried to major in performance on the alto clarinet. Somewhere, someone has probably tried to become the professor of alto clarinet at an institute of higher education. And, all over the world, there are those who cling to their neither fish nor fowl instruments, hoping against hope that someday, their day will come.
Jane Austen said it best: "Hope springs eternal"...
There were, last I heard, between 4 and 8 A. Sax C bass prototypes, that's why .
Remember: there were some sax luminaries on the C melody and Bb bass. There are a few that noodle around with the F instruments. Except I can do the VHS/Betamax debate with those horns, in comparison to an Eb alto sax: the Conn-O-Sax (F alto), for instance, has an absolutely beautiful tone that would lend itself extremely well to an ensemble.
I want to try to be clear, for the folks that do play alto clarinet: we're not trying to disrespect you, it's that we're trying to say that there aren't exactly professional alto clarinet positions out there. While it's GREAT that you get to play ANY clarinet in whatever group you're in, if you're seriously thinking of progressing in the music world, definitely beef up those chops on good ol' Bb soprano or bass. It's also incredibly likely that a university prof will not want to teach you on alto clarinet. However, that's up to the prof (when I was in class, I played bari sax, rather than the traditional alto).
If you're not planning on a pro career and just enjoy playing, please don't worry about the comments here .
This horn has everything. String ligature, bell peg, open tone holes for three fingers (and good luck on covering up that lower joint one, bunkie) plus all of the wonders of the Oehler system (such as it can be applied to an alto length horn). This one is guaranteed to be theft-proof, no matter where you leave it laying around.