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What do clarinet and coffee have in common?

Orleans Coffee Bar in New Orleans

Longtime readers of this blog probably know by now that I love coffee (and all other forms of caffeine).

It dawned on me recently that a lot of the words we use to describe clarinet tone are also coffee buzzwords (pun intended):

  • rich
  • smooth
  • dark
  • velvety
  • robust
  • smooth
  • and many more!

While this is just a funny coincidence, there is a larger similarity I’d like to discuss.

Just like you probably have your own unique coffee preferences (cream and sugar, cold brew, or however else you take your coffee), you also have your own unique clarinet preferences, in specific regards to equipment.

Some clarinetists prefer mouthpieces with closer tip openings, while others prefer more open. Some clarinetists prefer inverted ligatures while others prefer traditional. Some clarinetists prefer having the left-hand Eb/Ab pinky key, while others don’t.

Keep this in mind the next time you’re testing equipment. Just because your friend/teacher/colleague/student prefers one option doesn’t mean that you will necessarily choose the same thing. Clarinet equipment is definitely not one-size-fits-all!

The list is as infinite as our coffee options – try them all to find out your favorites (both for clarinet and coffee)!

(FYI my coffee order of choice is a cortado. What’s yours?)

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