F. Arthur Uebel Clarinets

Midwest Musical Imports is very excited to introduce our new partnership with F. Arthur Uebel Clarinets and Moe-Bleichner Distribution!

Ricardo Morales - Principal Clarinet of The Philadelphia Orchestra is now an Uebel artist. Come learn and try for yourself why Morales made the switch to these amazing clarinets!

Event details:

Saturday, October 5, 2019 1:30pm-4:00pm at Midwest Musical Imports

The event will start at 1:30pm with an introduction of the clarinets by an Uebel representative.

The remainder of the event will be an open house with the chance to:

  • Meet and greet with Uebel representatives
  • Learn more about the history and unique details of their production process
  • Trial several Uebel clarinet models

To learn more exclusive details about the clarinets, listen to the Clarineat Podcast with Sean Perrin and CEO Victoria Moe and instrument maker Andreas Moe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TME-bifXgDg

History of Uebel Clarinets: The company was founded in 1936, but within the past 10-15 yrs the clarinets have been reinvented with modern improvements.

Wood Selection: Wood is hand-selected, aged for 5-7 years and another 2+ years after the bore is drilled. Other manufactures now kiln dry their wood, taking it only 5 weeks from tree to completed clarinet. The Uebel clarinets have lesser chance of cracking due to their selection and aging process.

Selection process includes looking for wood density, where the wood comes from and if the drying process is slow enough. Each joint of the clarinet is matched in wood density, weight and grain direction. These factors contribute to an even tone throughout each register.

Durability: The wood of every Uebel clarinet is hand-selected and includes multiple layers of silver plating on the keys which results in a very durable clarinet inside and out.

Clarinet bore: As with most German clarinets the bore is larger than French clarinets. This provides a thicker wall and in turn has a larger, darker sound. The modern Uebel clarinets have a hybrid bore that is smaller than a traditional German bore, but appeals to those most familiar with a French bore system.

Ergonomics: Due to the larger bore, the tone hole placements are also different from French clarinets. The feedback has been that the reach, particularly in the pinky keys, is easier. Those with smaller hands or younger students have an easier time getting around the clarinet; especially on their very popular bass clarinet!

 

 

 

Custom Clarinet Set-up

Did you know that we put extra time and care into each instrument we sell?

MMI specializes in working with world renowned clarinetists to hand-select our professional line of clarinets. 100s of clarinets are played and we look for the following qualities in selecting the best:

•         Tonal center with a consistent tone throughout a wide dynamic range

•         Evenness in response and resistance in all ranges of the scale

•         Exceptional tuning throughout the instrument

Once selected the clarinets are setup by our repair technicians that have over 30 years of combined experience working on woodwinds.

The customized MMI setup includes:

•         Resurfacing tone holes as needed to eliminate unnecessary friction/fuzzy notes

•         Upgrading pads to Valentino Masters, cork and/or leather and replacing select key silencers

•         Reseating and leveling pads to create a proper seal

•         Key fitting, balancing spring tension, adjusting key venting and tenon fitting

•         Cleaning and play-testing

 

Other companies charge extra for the setup of a new instrument. We are offering the setup at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE. Our setup includes 3-4 hours worth of work valued at $450 and to you it is FREE!

MMI at Minnesota Clarinet Academy!

We are excited to be a sponsor for Alex Fiterstein's 4th Annual Minnesota Clarinet Academy this week, July 1-5, 2019. Tori and Caleb will be in attendance displaying instruments and mouthpieces and providing free-minor repairs to the academy attendees.

Be sure to attend the academies final performance on July 5, 2019 at St. John's Episcopal Church. The performance roster is filled with some of the countries best clarinetists. This is a concert you DO NOT want to miss! Visit http://www.fiterstein.com/clarinetacademy for more information.

Graduate to Yamaha!!

 

Purchase a qualifying Yamaha instrument between April 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019 to receive a rebate!

 

Qualifying instruments include:

CLARINETS $50 REBATE:  Models 4xx, 5xx
CLARINETS $100 REBATE:  Models 6xx, 8xx, Cxx, Sxx

OBOES $50 REBATE:  Models 4xx
OBOES $100 REBATE:  Models 8xx

BASSOONS $100 REBATE:  Models 8xx

SAXOPHONES $50 REBATE: Models 3xx, 4xx, 5xx
SAXOPHONES $100 REBATE:  Models 6xx, 8xx

To view above selected models, please click below:

Yamaha Clarinets

Yamaha Oboes

Yamaha Bassoons

Yamaha Saxophones

 

If you have purchased a qualifying instrument already, please submit visit https://usa.yamaha.com/promotions/graduate_to_yamaha_2019/index.html  to submit your rebate!

Featured Clarinet--Selmer Presence Bb Clarinet: Serial R038xx

I am the newest member of the Selmer Paris family and I'm called the Presence. Some people consider me to be on the cutting edge of clarinet bore design as I have been compared to the highest level of clarinet models that Selmer has to offer. This is an amazing accomplishment in my design!

I have a smooth and even tone across all registered and can be played with the utmost of ease. My rounded silver-plated keys allow your fingers to move quickly and easily. The tone hole size and placement allow for impeccable intonation. This will rival most clarinet models from any manufacturer. I come standard with Valentino pads, which are preferred by many clarinetists and repair technicians because they seal, are stable and durable. Watch this amazing video of me being performed on! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iraQnsqGMqo

For more information click -> Selmer Presence Bb Clarinet

 

Featured Clarinet--Buffet RC Prestige Bb Clarinet: Serial 686XXX

Are you looking for a warm, centered and velvety clarinet sound? Do you want a clarinet that has the ability to keep up with demanding clarinet repertoire? Then look no further than ME! I'm different than the typical Buffet R13 or Festival because I have a different bore. I'm versatile by design: I can project through an orchestra, play in tune exceptionally well and play delicately in a chamber music setting. I was hand-selected by Richie Hawley and have received exquisite reviews by prominent orchestral players in Cincinnati, Washington D.C. and Dallas.

My clarinet repair friends have taken exceptional care of me. They treated me to a repair spa day with upgraded key silencers, select pads and lots of key fitting. I'm in the best shape of my short 3 year life. I've toured the country at MMI's clarinet day events but I'm ready to find my next playing partner. Take me home for a trial and let me show you how your clarinet playing can be elevated to the next level!

For more information:  https://www.mmimports.com/product/used-rc-prestige-bb-clarinet-679961-9-18-17/

Featured Clarinet of the Week--Yamaha SEVR (NEW) (Bb)

I was born in 2018 and have traveled far and wide refining my skills as a clarinet. I was professionally setup at the Yamaha artillery in California and was hand-selected at the 2018 Midwest Clinic in Chicago.  The fine folks at MMI have taken me in and introduced me to wonderful new people, but I'm still looking for my forever home.

I sparkle with all silver keys and travel well with a compact case and cover. I have been described as having a warm and centered tone, similar to a Buffet Festival. I might not be most clarinetists first choice, but I am must try. You will be amazed at how easy I am to play and you will enjoy my ability to stay in tune!  Will you take me home on trial?

For more information and photos: https://www.mmimports.com/product/yamaha-custom-v-series-sevr-bb-clarinet/

3rd Annual Clarinet Day

We are excited to announce our 3rd Annual Clarinet Day at MMI!  April 13, 2019 from 10am-5pm.

Jonathan Gunn -clarinet professor from University of Texas - Austin, will be our featured guest artist. Jonathan will performing a small recital and giving a master class event.

Masterclass Participant Request:
- Participants will be selected based on repertoire and age. 4 performers will be selected by the artist; all decisions are final.
- Submissions can be made through the link below or by emailing your name, age, contract information and selected repertoire to tori@mmimports.com by EXTENDED DATE April 1, 2019 5:00pm.

Masterclass registration link

New! Solo Competitions
Performances open to the public

Junior division - ages 14-17:
§ 1st place = $200 cash price

§ 2nd place = $100 cash prize

§ 3rd place - $50 in-store credit

Senior division - ages 18- 26:
§ 1st place = $500 cash prize and invitation to attend Buffet's Clarinet Academy in July!

§ 2nd place = $200 cash prize

§ 3rd place = $100 cash prize

Submission deadline for solo competition is EXTENDED DATE April 7, 2019 at 5:00pm

Submissions can be made through the link below or by emailing tori@mmimports.com with your name, contact information and repertoire.

Solo Competition link

No accompanist required.

Schedule of Events

10-10:30am: Jonathan Gunn Performance

10:35-11:05am: Relaxation and Performance Techniques: Jennifer Gerth and Karrin Meffert-Nelson

11:10-11:40am: Clarinet Maintenance and Crack Prevention: Tori Okwabi and Caleb Rasmussen

11:45-12:30: Audition and Performance Preparation: Scott Anderson

12:30-1:00: Lunch break

12:45-1:45: Junior and Senior Solo Competitions (Open to the Public)

1:55-2:35: How to play in tune: Intonation and Voicing: Sang Yoon Kim and Gabriel Campos Zamora

2:40-4:20: Jonathan Gunn Masterclass

4:30-5:00: Clarinet Choir directed by Rena Kraut

Free small repairs throughout the day and a small lunch will be provided.

Competition Rules and Regulations:
1. Prepare 5 minutes max. of music from the standard solo clarinet repertoire. If you have questions about repertoire please
email Tori@mmimports.com.
2. Accompaniment and memorization is NOT needed. (Piano optional)
3. Entrants must supply 1 copy of their music for the judges.
4. Proper performance attire is expected.
5. Limit of 20 entrants per division allowed. Therefore performers are selected on a first come, first served basis. A wait list will be created in the event of cancellations.

Holiday Clarinet Specials!

Happy holidays from the clarinet department at MMI! If you are looking to buy that talented student or special someone a clarinet this holiday season we have the deals for you! We have a limited selection of open box inventory at a fantastic price! The professional model instruments have been set-up by our expert repair technicians and play tested for fine tuning by our clarinet specialist. A value of $450 and at NO COST to you. You can rest assure that you have a truly wonderful instrument.

Buffet E11 Bb Clarinet- $1000/$970

Buffet R13 silver-plated keys Bb Clarinet - $3512/$3410

Buffet Tradition nickel-plated keys Bb Clarinet - $3502/$3400

Buffet R13 Prestige Bb Clarinet -  $5047/$4900
Buffet RC Prestige Bb Clarinet - $5047/$4900
Buffet Legende Bb Clarinet - $5356/$5200

Buffet R13 nickel-plated keys A Clarinet - $3399/$3300

Buffet Festival A Clarinet - $4326/$4200

Yamaha CSGII Bb Clarinet - $3142/$3050

Selmer Presence Bb Clarinet - $2914/$2800

Guide to Choosing the Right Clarinet

Choosing the Right Clarinet & Clarinet Brands Explained

We stock a wide variety of clarinet brands appropriate for absolute beginners through the most consummate professionals. We’ve created this guide to the clarinets we carry to help you make an informed decision on what instrument is right for you. As always, if you have any questions feel free to call our clarinet specialists at 612-331-4717.

Materials:

Clarinets are typically made from a variety of synthetics or wood (grenadilla). Synthetic clarinets are more resistant to physical damage and change little in different seasons or climates. All other things being equal, synthetic instruments will not produce as warm a tone as a wood clarinet. Wood instruments sound better/warmer but need much more care than the synthetic version to avoid cracks. Wood can very slightly, expand or contract throughout the life of the instrument, causing occasional key fitting problems that will need to be corrected by a repair technician.

Beginner Clarinets:

When searching for a beginner clarinet for a young player, we suggest a synthetic instrument like the Buffet Prodige or Yamaha YCL-255. These are inexpensive, yet have a strong reputation for playing well and holding up to some level of mistreatment. For a slightly older or more careful student, the Buffet E11/E12, Yamaha 450 or Leblanc Serenade are intermediate or semi-professional models that are considered good wood instruments.

We suggest: Don’t skimp on the mouthpiece! The mouthpiece is the most important part of the clarinet for beginners. The included mouthpieces that come with most new instruments (“Stock” mouthpieces) are usually poor quality, making it difficult to produce a good tone with good intonation. Many students give up on music too early because they’re using equipment that makes progressing difficult.

Vandoren makes fine mouthpieces that are priced around $100. The Vandoren B45 and 5RV Lyre are good models to start with and are worth every penny in the early stages of musical development. We also carry Clark Fobes and Brad Behn student mouthpieces that are hand-crafted and are affordably priced between $35-40. For more information, see our online Mouthpiece and Ligature guide.***

Intermediate Clarinets:

If you’ve been playing between 3-5 years the basic synthetic instrument may be hindering your technical abilities, not letting you develop your sound and expressiveness. The current industry standards for intermediate clarinets are Buffet E11 or E12F and the Yamaha YCL-450 or YCL-650. We strongly believe that for new purchases these models are the right way to go. The only other option we suggest is finding an used professional model clarinet that is in good condition. When approaching the purchase of used clarinets it’s best to go with a reputable brand like Buffet, Selmer or Yamaha otherwise you could end up with an instrument with cheap parts that plays poorly. For clarinets, age does play a factor, especially when looking for a good intermediate model. Older clarinets may have cracks, a blown out bore or were poorly maintained. These are factors to be mindful of when buying instruments online without trying them first. If you decide to buy a cracked clarinet have it looked at by a professional repair tech to make sure the crack was fixed properly. Check our Used Instruments page to see what we have available, or call our clarinet specialists to get more information on current inventory.

Professional Clarinets:

After some years of private lessons most mature and dedicated players will start to outgrow their student instrument or intermediate instrument. This happens sometimes in early to late high school years or when a player’s performance opportunities increase. A private teacher or our clarinet specialists can help determine if a student is ready for a professional instrument.

The current industry standard professional model clarinets are the Buffet R13, Selmer Presence or Yamaha CSVR. We also regularly stock other high-end clarinets for trial as well.

As with intermediate instruments, it is imperative that you give a professional instrument a thorough evaluation before committing to a purchase. Our trial policy is easy and flexible so you’ll know you’re making the right decision.

Professional Clarinet Features and Options:

Most professional clarinets are made from Grenadilla wood. However, Buffet also offers a GreenLine series which follow the same manufacturing process as the 100% Grenadilla instruments but with the addition of carbon fibers. GreenLine clarinets can withstand variations in atmospheric conditions (temperature, humidity). The risk of cracking is therefore eliminated. Created in 1994, the GreenLine series of instruments has taken advantage of the excess wood remaining from the clarinet manufacturing process. This process of combining Grenadilla powder with carbon fibers produces a clarinet that is greatly resistant to environmental change.

Other woods for making clarinets include Honduran rosewood and cocobolo but these more exotic woods are used more rarely due to diminishing supplies. Clarinets using these exotic woods are usually more expensive to purchase and provide specific sound qualities for professionals that desire them. Beware! These exotic woods can crack more readily than Grenadilla.

Some professional models incorporate extra keywork. There are alternate keys (ways to finger) for B, C, and C# but there is only one Eb/Ab key on the right hand side so some professional models will have an added left hand (LH) Eb/Ab lever operated with the left pinky finger. This extra key gives the player the option to decide which pinky finger they want to use on difficult musical passages. The Eb/Ab key can be helpful but most clarinetists play without one just fine. Some professional clarinets have a low F correction key. The low F on clarinet tends to be sharp and the low F correction was added to help fix the problem by bringing the note down in pitch.

Testing Clarinets:

Choosing a new intermediate or professional level instrument can be a daunting task but enlisting the help of a private teacher or knowledgeable sales person can make things easier. Always bring your mouthpiece, reeds, and the instrument you’re currently playing when trying new instruments. Playing your own instrument first will give you a baseline and a better idea of what you like and don’t like in a new instrument. Using your current mouthpiece setup will add some familiarity to this process and give you a better sense of the differences between your clarinet and the clarinets you’re testing. The biggest things to look/listen for are how the instrument feels in your hands and how it feels to play it. Switching back and forth from your clarinet to the new instrument will help you feel the different resistance levels as the air moves through each one. Make sure to use a tuner when testing to check intonation. Play a familiar passage of music and some basic scales the same way on each instrument. Resist the temptation to “show off” or play music that is so technically challenging that you are not really testing the instrument but your own abilities.

Tips from our Techs--Humidity Issues

 

Tip from head repair technician, Eric Anderson

Summer is that time of year when humidity increases and the wood body of instruments begins to expand.  This happens along the width and length of the wood grain affecting both the fit of keys, levers, and tenons.   When the wood expands in the summer months, woodwind instruments often don't fit together without a struggle, if they even fit together at all! We find that this issue is most prevalent during the first year of a new instrument's life, and especially prevalent in newer clarinets.

If this happens with your instrument to the point where abnormal force is required to take it apart, it's best to have an experienced repair technician take care of it.  A technician will be able to adjust the fit of the tenon cork, the exposed wood on the tenon, or sometimes both.  Ignoring the problem and blowing warm, humid air down your instrument will only make it worse!

The humidity will also make keys fit looser, but don't worry!  We never fit keys too tightly in the summertime because they will most likely expand in the fall/winter and potentially bind once the humidity drops.  Loose key fittings won't harm your instrument, they only cause them to be slightly noisier.  If you can live with the loose key fitting in the summer, great!  It should return to normal in the fall/winter.  If it is an issue for you, we can certainly fix it, and if we do, don't forget to come back to get the fit readjusted after the humidity changes.

If you ever experience issues with your instrument and don't know what to do, remember we are only a phone call away and are happy to help!!