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Uebel Clarinets In The 21st Century: A Primer

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Recently, I wrote an article about the Uebel Superior clarinets, which are my instruments of choice these days. I've received a lot of great comments and questions about that article, but the most common by far is "What about the other models?", so instead of publishing individual articles about each model, I wanted to do one post that touched on all four of the new Uebel soprano clarinet models for those of you who are curious.

Before I break down the individual models, I would like to touch quickly on a few salient points about all of the models: They are all made of naturally aged and unstained grenadilla, and ALL models are available with left hand Eb/Ab key (it's standard on the Superior, Preference, and Advantage A clarinet), and all mechanisms are very heavily silver-plated in the German tradition. All models are also equipped standard with an adjustable thumbrest, and as of this year, all of them feature the Uebel logo on the upper joint beautifully hand-inl…

The Uebel Superior: Why Yes, Yes It Is!

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If you read my blog article summarizing the International Clarinet Association convention in Baton Rouge back in 2014, you may recall that I was extremely impressed by a few instruments, but there was one in particular that snagged my attention...the Uebel Superior. This is a clarinet that provides that beautiful dark, focused German sound that I (and so many other clarinetists I know) love so much, but with the Boehm system keywork that we're all used to. Of all of the instruments I played that weekend, the one that stuck with me the most, almost to the point of obsession, was the Superior.
Well, fast forward a year and a half: I am now fortunate enough to be an Uebel artist representative, and I am playing on a pair of them! I've had them for a little over 5 months now, and I fall in love with them a little bit more every day. For the first time ever (at least since I played exclusively on actual Oehler system clarinets back in 2008 for several months), I am able to produce…

Stopping A Crack Habit Before It Starts: A Primer

[This post's primary audience will be people who do the bulk of their work in less than ideal environmental conditions, namely theater pits and on tours. However, anybody who finds themselves having to play outdoor pops series or patriotic concerts might also find this useful!]
This is an article I've been wanting to write for a while, but something happened recently that made it clear that now is the time. One of my very nearest and dearest friends (who also happens to be my roommate) was very recently playing the reed chair in a fantastic high-profile off-Broadway show, and in this show, among the 8 instruments in his book, he played oboe and English horn.
In the frigid air-conditioning of the theater, during a performance (as he began to play a highly exposed solo), his English horn cracked. No, it didn't crack, it EXPLODED. His precious, dark and smooth-voiced English horn, which was the instrument that his beloved mentor and teacher used for her entire career and then…