Clarinet/Buffet B12 Questions


QUESTION: I play 2nd clarinet (a Buffet B12) in a community band and high school band. I am also the only clarinet in jazz band. Is this a sufficient horn? In our community band we play songs like Wedding Dance and Gershwin, and other hard/moderate songs. I am using a Rovener Versa Ligature and a Clark W Forbes Debut Student mouthpiece. I am aiming for a jazzy sound, but don't know what combo of ligature and mouthpiece I should use. My reed strength is 3.

ANSWER: Hello Tyler,
The Buffet b12 clarinet is regarded as  a good student level instrument...I do not know what level you play at but from 5th/6th grade level music, you should definitely think of trading up to an intermediate or pro level instrument...If you get a chance to play any of those instruments, you will hear and feel the response of  a pro [or intermediate instrument]  over a student clarinet...Re. mouthpieces,you would be aiming for an open lay rather than a  close lay......I am not familiar with that brand of mouthpiece,and re. ligatures, as long as it holds the reed on,it is fine...Some Europeans  still go with a piece of string like everyone used to do...Some spend up to $200 on a ligerature and I do not believe it is $ well spent....I use a size 2.5 Vandoren, but the lay of your mouthpiece determines how a reed  of any size will play....If you want to play jazz, start collecting jazz recordings and listen to what others do...[Benny Goodman/Artie Shaw/Pete fountain/Kenny Davern ] would be good starting points.....Cheers    Jack

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QUESTION: If I were to go with a pro model, what brands would you suggest? Should I look for used or new? Is a close lay for smaller(thinner) reeds. The brand of the mouthpiece may be an off brand, as I got it off of a site called Wood Wind and Brass Wind. Thanks for the response :-)

ANSWER: Hello Tyler,
If you are a student and big bucks are a problem, there is nothing wrong with buying a used pro clarinet...I have several in my collection...You will find many pro level instruments on EBAY  at varius prices...Even if you buy one that needs work, an overhaul [new pads/springs/corks/oiling/polishing]] would cost around 350-400, depending on who did the work...Then you would have an 'as new' instrument without  shelling out thousands....If you are 'into' jazz, an Obrien no. 3 mouthpiece, or a POMERICO JAZZ'   M/P/ OR A PETE  Fountain mouthpiece would go well...Re. clarinets, if you are more a classical player, a BUFFET clarinet may be the best...For jazz, I would go with SELMER Series  9  or Selmer Series 10 . or a Leblanc Dynamic  or LEblanc DYNAMIC H...These models have been on EBAY recently...Have a look on EBAY and I would be happy to make a reommendation...In the meantime,you can hear my playing on YOU TUBE......Cheers.....JACK

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QUESTION: Would a Vintage Leblanc D. Noblet Bb Boehm Clarinet be good? I will post a link.

Hello Tyler,
I notice the ad says it is a pro level instrument...It is not.   NOBLE makes a 'Noblet 45'  and a Noblet Artist'....Those two are intermediate instruments[and the best models they make]...If I were buying Noblet, I would consider only those.....Cheers   Jack          P.S....The EBAY list of clarinets is changing from month to month...I  bought 2 pro level instruments for $200  and $350, spent $450 on each of them [overhaul] and they are both now valued at $2000.....It would be worth waiting....Keep looking...


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jack wiard


my 'area of expertise' is traditional jazz...i have had classical training...i am from san francisco,came to australia in 1971 to teach h.s. music...resigned to play full time music in 1975 [to present]


i have played with the graeme bell allstars [25 yrs] ray price quintet [5 yrs], led own groups [20 yrs]..played in all the major australian jazz festivals, played 2 yrs with local symphony most recorded jazz clarinetist in oz [39 recordings]..can be heard on you tube

on committee of clarinet soc. of n.s.w for 7 yrs...[now defunct]

a.a. degree,b.mus degree, secondary teaching credential

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