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Sittin' In with Rocco Prestia of Tower of Power Bass Guitar Tab Songbook with CD
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Amati Model 351 C ClarinetIdeal for school orchestra program or the church musician, the Amati C clarinet is a great sounding and affordable instrument. Made with hand-selected grenadilla wood and comfortable key work. Each instrument is fully serviced and play tested before shipping. Amati is a Czech company that manufactures fine European high-quality woodwind and brass musical instruments (both piston and rotary valves). Amati has a highly skilled work force with a strong tradition in instrument manufacturing that dates to the 18th century, as well as the modern technology needed to manufacture band instruments and remain competitive on the world stage.
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I needed a C clarinet and an E-flat but did not want to pay a great deal of money on my budget. I purchsed (from Woodwind-Brasswind) the Amati C and E-flat Boehm clarinets (intermediate models) and am very happy with them. The C Amati plays well in tune with my Vandoren B45DOT mouthpiece. The E- also from Woodwind Brasswind. I use the Vandoren Rue-Lepic #3 1/2 with the B45 and the standard Vandoren E-flat reeds (strength #31/2). Tone produced on both clarinets is very good. I recommend both instruments highly. I received excellent service when ordering the clarinets using my credit card.
Occasionally, I need to perform music written for a "C" clarinet in Church, orchestral, and chamber group settings. I have never been very confident at sight transposition and consequently always write out the transposed part for performance. This exercise gets old quickly. I was looking for an inexpensive instrument that plays well and in tune. I am amazed how well the Amati "C" clarinet performs. The adjustable thumb rest is an unexpected benefit. I have had several individuals that play with me comment that they cannot tell the difference from when I am playing the Amati "C" clarinet or the Buffet R-13 B flat clarinet. Overall, I am very satisfied with the value and playing pleasure this instrument affords me.
I was called very recently to do Donizetti's "Don Pasquale." By the time I got the music, I had only two days to prepare an 82 page opera--more than 50% of which is in C. I'm not particularly proud to admit this, but my transposing chops are probably not what they should be. Forgive me Iggy. (God rest his soul.) Fortunately, I found a respected colleague who was willing to rent me his beautiful 105xxx series Buffet C clarinet. In the meantime I had been hearing some buzz about these Amati C clarinets--mostly about their affordability. Determined not to be again caught off-guard in the future, I decided to give it a try. Frankly, I never thought a horn this affordable--OK, let's not mince words--CHEAP could ever play very well. Man, I could not have been more wrong. I did a side-by-side comparison, and for me the Amati plays better than the Buffet. With the stock barrel, I checked it against a tuner at A441. The throat tones are beautifully in tune, and even though the notes above high A are a bit sharp, there's nothing that's unworkable. For me however, it was the way the horn blew--much more like my R-13 B-flat than even the Buffet C. Go figure. Also notable was the unexpected level of craftsmanship. By all appearances the clarinet is made of high grade wood: tight, even grain (can't say if it's granadilla or not). The excellent keywork felt comfortable under my fingers too. Finally, a special thanks to the person/s who put the clarinet in such outstanding mechanical condition. It arrived over night in absolutely perfect working condition, with well regulated keys and airtight pads. I used it that very night. I keep asking myself how they can sell a horn like this for so little. Hence the one line summary...
I first learned about the C Clarinet in the Cambridge Companion to the Clarinet, ed. Colin Lawson. All clarinet players should have a copy. I then found an old Holton C Clarinet which was indeed strange and difficult to play with cramped key work. So I was very gratified to find that the Amati C plays easily, has comfortable key work, although it has more of the early "clarino" timbre, and is very responsive. Mine is in very good tune. Throat tones are accurate, no need for right hand down. Tone is sweeter and lends itself to more emotion, with an especially effective p-ppp range, ideal for chamber music. It is too bad that the C Clarinet does not have more contemporary literature. I am using it when writing my own charts, and I note that others are using it to cover oboe parts. It would certainly be easier for a youngster to play than the Bb, both in terms of air stream and fingering, but alas, it doesn't fit very well in the school band. Just remember, it does not sound like a Bb in the Key of C-- it is an entirely different instrument with a sound all its own.
After so many years of transposing "C." Clarinet parts in operas and symphonies I decided to purchse a "C" clarinet. I could not afford to spend much money. The Amati 'C" clarinet possesss fine wood and a solid key system. It plays well in tune. I use a Vandoren #3.5 V12 reed, slightly shaved down with the Amati mouthpiece that came with the clarinet. The mouthpiece is of good quality in my opinion. Overall the clarinet is of high quality for the money.
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