As a Band Director, or even a private teacher, you often wonder why your beginner clarinetists have poor intonation.

The standard solutions to fix the intonation problems are to firm up the embouchure and increase the reed strength. Some teachers recommend changing the clarinet barrel because they find the rental clarinet barrel is too long (or short) for the instrument.

There's a new solution that will help musicians have better intonation and get a fuller tone on the clarinet.

The answer to poor intonation: the Proteus Rectangular Bore Clarinet Barrel

fix intonation issues with the Proteus

A rectangular bore?!?!?

Yes, says George Reeder, owner of Rovner Products. (Now if you are wondering, is this the same Rovner Products that makes all those ligatures, you are correct!)

Through extensive research into bandwidth and microwave and antenna technology, Rovner recognized that rectangular shaped cables were better at increasing the bandwidth than round cables. Rovner felt he could do the same with the clarinet barrel and its round bore. (More specific scientific details are at the Rovner website.)

(Listen to the interview here for George's description.)

The harmonic series is supported in a more linear way with a rectangular bore; this improves intonation.

Initially, these barrels were made in wood for the pro market, but George felt that students in school and doublers would benefit more from this equipment.

“When you don't sound good as a beginner, it's not fun. The rectangular bore barrel is like training wheels on the clarinet – you can play in tune!”  George Reeder

Rovner Products' approach is to look at the equipment to help solve certain problems that the embouchure cannot. 

“We like to do the heavy lifting so you can enjoy music…” George Reeder

The barrel is made of polymer, so it's stable for all types of weather, will not crack like wood and is great for all playing situations. It is also affordable, costing under $100.

The barrel is designed to fit the most popular clarinets – Buffet, Yamaha, Selmer, and it can change with the students' growth, allowing the student to rotate it to find the sweet spot.

The interviews

In Part 1, George, goes into the history of Rovner Products, why ligatures are a necessary tool for clarinet and saxophonists, and he goes into great detail about each of the Rovner ligatures available now.

In Part 2, George continues with an in-depth explanation of the Next Generation Rovner Ligatures. 

In Part 3, George goes into detail about the new Proteus Clarinet barrel, a rectangular bore barrel that is not just for beginners, but is also great for intermediate level musicians and doublers.

BONUS! You can watch the full video of all 3 interviews here, or by clicking below, so you can see all the ligatures and the new Proteus Barrel.

About George Reeder

George played saxophone when he was in high school and studied under Ron Diehl, former lead alto for the U.S. Navy Commodores…a perfect fit for a young player who was already a huge jazz lover.  While his interest in music never waned, George set the saxophone aside while pursuing a career in electronics and starting a family.  He didn’t return to playing until he was 30.  As he upgraded his equipment, his first purchase was a Rovner  ligature.  A couple of years later, frustrated at how few opportunities there were to play with other adult hobbyists, he launched a jazz jam in Westminster, Maryland, a small city in a bucolic part of the state.  He then purchased a Rovner mouthpiece and invited Phil Rovner to attend the jam.  Phil not only attended, but was blown away by how successful the jam turned out to be, especially in this unlikely setting. 
In 1994, Phil hired George away from a 19-year career at Xerox Corporation to fill the role of General Manager at Rovner Products.  Unfortunately, the timing wasn’t right and the position was short-lived.  The two parted on good terms, and continued to keep in touch.  George then became general manager of a precision sheet metal company for the next three years, responsible for everything from human resources to the implementation of an ISO 9000 quality program.  That company eventually closed and it was then that George decided to heed the inner voice that kept saying, “You’re an entrepreneur!”  A lifelong love of construction led him to launch a remodeling company, eventually focusing on renovations and design/build for high-end additions.  When the economy tanked in 2008, taking out the construction industry, he had another decision to make:  dog paddle until things picked up again, or jump into a new boat and set sail for a new career.  He chose the latter.  He studied life coaching under renowned life coach, Martha Beck, and also checked in with Phil Rovner again.
This time the timing was just right.  Phil had ideas for several new ligatures and needed help getting them to market. He hired George as a consultant, charging him with new product development and marketing.  For the next five years, George and his wife, Lynn, infused new life into the Rovner name by exhibiting at trade shows, reaching out to educators and new players, and placing creative, eye-catching advertising.  Rovner Products celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014, and it was then that Phil Rovner finally felt ready to retire.  Confident that he had found the right people to lead the company forward, he sold the Rovner Products to the Reeders in January of that year.  The past three years have been a whirlwind of activity to include updating the facility, streamlining processes, strengthening the infrastructure, investing in new equipment, improving customer service, enhancing product performance and continuing to keep the Rovner product line recognized and relevant for future generations of woodwind players to come.

About Rovner Products

Founded in 1974 by Phil Rovner, Rovner™ Products started with the creation of one ligature, the original Dark, but has since grown to include four “Classic” models, four “NextGeneration” models, and the unique Rovner™ Turbo-Charger Kit. Rovner™ Products are distributed worldwide and are enjoyed by all kinds of musicians, from beginning students to la crème de la crème of professionals. Although there have been many imitators over the years, the name “Rovner” is well established and deeply respected, and musicians continue to look to Rovner™ Products for reliability, quality and innovation.

Rovner Products celebrated its 40-year anniversary in 2014, and at that time, Phil Rovner sold the company to George and Lynn Reeder. They have since brought the Rovner company forward with streamlined processes and infrastructure, and have continued to make the Rovner name relevant for today’s and future musicians of all ages.