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
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.
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
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.