Why every clarinetist should use a clarinet stand
Posted March 29, 2009on:
Some people view the use of clarinet stands as optional items, something that is used only by intermediate and advanced clarinetists. I view them as a necessity for clarinetists at all levels of playing. Clarinet stands not only make clarinetists look more professional, they make a couple of musical tasks easier and prevent problems that occur with clarinetists that do not use them.
One problem that occurs with students without clarinet stands is resting the clarinet on the edge of the music stand. The top section on many music stands tends to tip over easily with a clarinet resting on the edge. This has sometimes resulted in costly repairs. Using a clarinet stand discourages students from resting the instrument on the edge of the music stand.
A second problem that occurs when students do not use clarinet stands is that of the instrument being knocked over from lying down on a chair or bed. Students can accidently sit on the instrument, or the chair can be pushed in such a way so that the instrument is knocked onto the floor. Clarinet stands prevent such occurrences from happening.
A third problem that occurs when clarinetists do not use clarinet stands is that of excess moisture collecting on the pads. This can result in a pad replacement being necessary much earlier than usual, because the accumulated moisture and particles damages the pads. Using a clarinet stand lets the moisture drain so that it does not accumulate on the pads.
A fourth problem that using clarinet stands eliminates is that of fiddling with the keys.This is especially important in private lessons, because many teachers like to demonstrate concepts of playing that do not require holding the instrument, or even require both hands to be free. Some ensemble directors, too, do not like the sound of students rattling on the keys. Clarinet stands encourage students to pay full attention.
Not only can the above problems be avoided by using a clarinet stand, they also make a couple of musical tasks easier. One of them is that they make it easier to switch from one piece to another in rehearsals and concerts, since students have both hands free to change the music and do not have to be concerned about the instrument falling off the lap.
The other task using clarinet stands makes easier is that they give students the freedom to prevent or release tension in their bodies, since conductors often work with individual sections for long periods of time. Without a clarinet stand, one hand has to be on the instrument, which discourages students from stretching. With a clarinet stand, students can release the tension that usually occurs in their embouchure and hands.
Are clarinet stands optional, or necessary for clarinetists? Considering the advantages of using one, in the problems they prevent and how they make a couple of musical tasks easier, they should be considered a necessity for all clarinetists. There is no good reason not to use a clarinet stand.