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Two bundy?

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#2
Be very afraid

Uh, two open hole alto clarinets? I don't think so. Unless you are blessed with large fingers and money for a complete overhaul and a concert band of your very own, this auction is one to dodge.

Many years ago, in a land far away, I was hired to demonstrate open hole alto clarinets (someone had beaten me to the bass clarinet slots) at a music educator's conference. While the horn I used was first class (top o' the line Selmer), it was an ordeal to operate the thing, and I'd not bet two cents on the abilities of anyone other than a top drawer clarinet player to handle it.

Cheap they may be, but worth it? I don't think so. If you are hell bent (and the term is appropriate) on playing alto clarinet, get one with closed tone holes. They are almost a dime a dozen, and professional level ones are out there for a very reasonable price.
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#3
Cheap they may be, but worth it? I don't think so. If you are hell bent (and the term is appropriate) on playing alto clarinet, get one with closed tone holes. They are almost a dime a dozen, and professional level ones are out there for a very reasonable price.
Hmm. Actually I never had problems with my open-hole Bundy. (at least not problems stemming from the open holes, that is). I don't have very beefy fingers and I am no contortionist either, but I find the placing of the holes quite comfortable.

With this I don't mean to encourage or discourage you to buy a Bundy. But there are worse investments, like investing in banking stocks. :emoji_rage:
 
#5
I couldn´t effort those...
I´ve just bought a Moog Theremin, but I feel like I´ve missed something at that price.
By the way, I´ve never had a problem with the old leblanc with open holes wich I played in the school...
anyhow, it´s not directly a "must have" instrument right now...
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#7
Alto clarinet is never a "must have" instrument. Too little demand, and your time is far better spent mastering your soprano or bass skills (if you have the time to do it in the first place).
Well, you could replace an Alto Sax and at the same time enjoy the virtues of precise finger placement. Call it win-win. :emoji_rage:
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#8
I think I should offer Terry and TTT their own little forum area where they can alternately bash alto clarinet and alto sax.

I'll sit in the corner and practice singing scales while they're doing that :p.
 

tictactux

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#9
I think I should offer Terry and TTT their own little forum area where they can alternately bash alto clarinet and alto sax.
Bashing alto Sax? Moi? Nevah. I have one, too.

I'll sit in the corner and practice singing scales while they're doing that :p.
Whatever improves your musicality... :cool:
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#10
I even played my alto (a Conn artist from the good old days) yesterday on a job. You'll never see me dissing the alto saxophone.

Alto clarinet? Well, that's another story. I once had a nightmare that I was a high school freshman here in Texas, and that there was no bass clarinet opening for me in the high school band. The dream ended with me facing three months of marching band on Sousaphone, followed by six more on alto clarinet. That was more scary than anything I faced in RVN...
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#11
Terry can probably talk about Texas and their bands better than I can. I lived in Ft. Worth (White Settlement, to be overly specific) for about 7 years when I was attending, oh, 5-8th grades. Marching bands were very in, because local football was very in. Because of this, orchestral bands/wind ensembles were also popular.

Back in the early 1980's, at least. And by "very in" I mean that people that supported them acted slightly short of a rabid armadillo.

My opinion on the alto clarinet has always been "it's unnecessary", but a lot of high school bands have a couple. Hey, it always doubles a part. If anyone knows of an "Alto Clarinet Solo with Orchestral Accompaniment" or something that isn't something that's been transposed (heck, even if it has been) from some other instrument, please tell me.

However, I'm not as passionately against the alto clarinet as Terry. I would strongly recommend, however, that if you play one and plan to continue in your musical career, switch to bass clarinet or soprano (regular) clarinet as soon as you can.
 
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SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#12
When we moved down here, my son Christopher started instrumental music in the schools on bassoon. (Go figure.) He made excellent progress over the years, in large part due to having a professional bassoonist living next door to give him lessons in playing and reedmaking.

Then came high school. First off, he was told that he was going to play some sort of brass instrument for the first third of the year, since marching band was the be all and end all of their music program. Next, he was told that he had to spend four weeks during his summer vacation going to "fish camp" to learn how to fit into their marching band program. The alternative was that he would not be playing in the top level band.

So much for instrumental music. As the summer camp requirement would have kept him from hockey camp up in Quebec City during the summer (he played semi-pro hockey (juniors level) for a year in his senior year, spent up in Saint Louis), he took the Mozart route and played outside of the school structure. I had him up on sax by his junior year, and he did three musicals during that time as well. And, he played bassoon in the orchestra up north (we didn't have an orchestra down here) during his senior year.

He still is a comparative wizard on the faggotte, and can play rings around me with little practice over the past six years or so. My lovely wife attributes his character at this point to the fact that he learned how to read tenor clef, while I (a reprobate by any standard that you might choose to use to compare us) still have not mastered that skill. However, he is hopeless on soprano clarinet and can only barely get by on the bass, so I own him in that regard.

Most (but not all) of the public school music folks that I have had to deal with down here have been so focused on the marching band and contest competitions that they tended to leave the musicality part of the equation largely unaddressed. The private school folks, not having to worry about huge marching band issues, are a bit more normal.
 
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