Should I let my friend borrow my bass clarinet?

OP here. Hmm… damned if I do and damned if I don’t. :frowning:

Another consideration is the fact that I do try to practice my bass clarinet every day. If it were being borrowed for a while, I’d lose that practice time.

And no, I don’t think objects are more important than people or anything.

I did phone a music store in Ontario today, and they said they might have bass clarinets available. Waiting to hear back from them though.

I never thought for a second that you were saying an object is more important than a person. Zebra misunderstood the core issue.

Do you understand that saying no doesn’t make you a bad person, even if your friend gets upset?

It looks more and more likely that I will be needing my bass clarinet after all this summer, anyway.

Do all bass clarinets have the extra buttons? I know nothing about this. What makes it bass (producing a deeper tone, I suppose)? Is it a bigger diameter? How old is yours?


Hey, tell me again what I understand and don’t understand. In other words how my opinion is stupid.

Did you read the OP?

edited for length and bolding mine.
Did she say anything about a the friend has a history of carelessness? No?
Did she imply that she would have bass clarinet gigs this summer? No, just that she wants to play it. We have no idea if EmilyG is a professional musician, a teacher, or just someone who has a collection of instruments that they like to play. Now she is saying something about needing it herself, why not stated, so that is a different story.

IF she needs it for her own musical jobs, she should not rent it out. If she doesn’t have a need for it except her own emotional attachment, well I hope the bass clarinet is as fulfilling as a friendship with a person.
Saying no, for no god damn good reason other than “I’m attached to it like mad”, preventing a FRIEND from having a JOB. Well, I’m sorry, I think that is kind of shitty. I don’t even believe that it is called in for repair as much as she claims.

FTR I was a music major in college. Woodwinds. I’ve played a bass clarinet. When I realized that I wasn’t going to continue playing, I sold my top of the line sax and clarinet to students for a bargain price. I knew they would be putting them to good use.

So EmilyG, are you a professional musician? What are you going to need it for? What is the instrument you play the most? (when you are getting paid?) Or is all just for fun. That’s OK too. But saying you won’t lend it out because you are emotionally attached to it. Well… Why? Was it your Dad’s instrument? What is the story behind this emotional attachment? Maybe then I can understand better and not be such an asshole.

My mother always said “neither a borrower or a lender be”.

On bitter experience, I will update that to “never lend something unless you’re quite happy to never see it again”.

Zebra, Emily is not you. You are not an asshole. I’m sad that you let your head rule your heart and sold your sax. Even amateurs can love their instruments, as the word “amateur” implies. She doesn’t have to justify her emotional attachment to her instrument (and neither did you). I was never good enough at music to be a music major, but if you were that good, at least I hope you still have music in your life.

Can you figure out just how you want to attack my position? Am I a touchy feely hippie? Or a stone cold stoic who has no heart?
Or maybe you can just let me have my opinion and let EmilyG decide if she wants to listen to it.

<Shrugs and withdraws extended hand>

Don’t do it. That clarinet will never be as special to your friend as it is to you.

When I was first learning to play the flute as a teenager, my Dad bought me one so I didn’t have to use the school’s instrument. A nice one - not orchestra quality, but a good one, nonetheless. I no longer play, lacking musical talent, so I loaned it to a good friend, but I missed having it, even if I rarely played it and even then, just practised a few scales and put it away. It’s not the dollar value of the instrument that makes it important, it’s that it was a gift from my Dad.

It stayed with my friend for years, and I wanted it back, but it was packed and moved and stored and forgotten by both of us for chunks of time. I finally got it back and realized that even if I don’t play it, I don’t want anyone else to have possession of it.

Its okay to say no. You don’t have to add anything to that, though sometimes, “No, sorry”, is a bit easier for someone else to hear. You can also add the etiquette approved, “I’m afraid that won’t be possible.”

I wouldn’t lend it. It’s a prized possession that would be a pain to lose and an inconvenience to be without. I don’t think you’d be selfish or mean for not letting it go.

I assume it’s not a situation where the clarinet could come home to you every night while it’s in use? If not, just forget it.

It’s rare to have a friend who has a bass clarinet with extra notes. Tell him to pretend that he doesn’t, and do whatever he would do for this gig in that case.

Your friendship is precious and so is your clarinet - so don’t lend it and you’ll get to keep both!

You don’t have to lend out your dearest possessions to be a good friend. I’d stress that I plan to use it, rather than the fact that I wouldn’t trust anyone with it, to avoid hurt feelings. There must be somewhere that is in the business of renting out instruments that can rent one out that no one is attached to, or maybe a university or music school he can make an arrangement with. The instrument may be rare, but if there is music written for it that he is planning to perform, you surely don’t have the last one.

I would let someone borrow my clarinet, but not put it in their mouth, because, eww.

Words of wisdom. You should make it your signature line. No really, that is cool.

You don’t know what to do???

It’s rare and special???

Take your clarinet out of it’s case, stomp on it, throw it in the toilet and leave it there for a month, take it out, let it dry, and then burn it. Or, you could lend it to your friend, and have it come back in worse shape. If it comes back at all, which it won’t.

Everything about the OP is just wrong. Do not lend a rare anything to anybody. This is your friend? BFD. Of course, it is your friend. Nobody lends stuff to strangers. And, the strangers are in no position to lose/steal/damage/neglect your property. Let friend rent one
from somebody else. Even give friend the pleasure of searching for the music store himself.

Reading this makes me want to scream at you to “Just say No to drugs.” Stop it! Do not even consider lending the clarinet.

I think you are too easily led about by your friends.

Well, I don’t know enough about the OP to agree, but if indeed her practice schedule is daily, then that’s that as far as I’m concerned – no further question.

But for a closer friend or something more than a mere professional acquaintance (e.g., not just some musician you’ve collaborated with a number of times, but a friend), I’d be inclined to a compromise –

the borrower can use the instrument for live performances and the occasional rehearsal where he or she can’t just make do with the standard instrument. This depends on the schedule, but I wouldn’t hesitate to loan out a very nice instrument to a good friend for the occasional job. Not for rehearsal three times a week – not even one rehearsal a week.

But not if it were inconvenient for me (I don’t mind people falling by my place whenever they want, and practicing/playing/jamming if I’m not busy) and not if I needed the instrument and not if it were something really unique – then, yes, you need to consider your own feelings and needs first (including your social needs – sometimes being a stand-up lender who is not a doormat can lead to some benefits for your musical career/hobby).

I’d probably try to help him or her find a way around “needing” the special instrument, or find another source, or just loan it out for the occasional special performance, depending on what I felt like.

I got confused reading the thread and returned to the OP – so, someone wants to take the instrument away and might even be “able” to come get it for an entire season? For some sketchy-sounding “show”?

And your practice regimen is daily, ideally.

Nope, my advice does not apply. I’d loan it out to someone in town for the occasional show. Not so they could jam with their friends for a season just for fun.

Any reason why the “show” can’t be re-scored for a standard instrument? Any reason the friend can’t find something locally?

And, if he or she is not going to personally pick up and return the instrument, that’s an instant fail right there. Shipping delicate instruments is just not an option if you aren’t able to rely on backup instruments WHEN your instrument gets damaged, destroyed, or lost.

For “what makes it bass” I’m sorely tempted to post a lmgtfy link, but my kids just brought me a Father’s Day card so I should mellow a little. It’s a much bigger instrument than a regular clarinet, curved backwards, down then backwards again at the top and with an up-curving silver bell at the bottom making it kinda reminiscent of a saxophone made of ebony and silver instead of brass (but with a far mellower tone than a sax).

From context, the OP’s is a few inches bigger than a regular bass with some extra keys for the low notes.