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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000066.txt from 1995/01

From: "David B. Niethamer" <NIETHAMER@-----.BITNET>
Subj: Re: getting started
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 23:32:37 -0500

On Tue, 20 Dec 1994, Bruce Hudson wrote:

> My questions are the following:
> generally what kind of endurance (in terms of time) do even
> experienced, professional players have; and
> is there anybody out there with experience with students in a
> similar mode and how long did it take be able to practice in
> really large hunks of time.

Bruce - I think your practice routine sounds fine. Better to have the
breaks than to batter your lip (not to mention your mind!) with three
hour sets! I have two suggestions, inter-related-

1.) long tones - I practice (to the great chagrin of my long time
Richmond Symphony colleagues) twelfths, beginning on low E(slurring to
3rd line B by depressing the register key), and ascending chromatically to
the thumb f (slurring to
second leger line c), each 12th on one long breath, played mf-f
(comfortably solid sound, no fancy dynamics). This develops breath
control and embouchure stability for me (and drives my orchestral
neighbors nuts!)

2.) Leon Russianoff taught me a neat trick, "blowing without playing".
During long tones, or in the practice of legato passages, I stop and rest
the barrell on my left shoulder, blow with a sort of flute embouchure and
finger the passage in question, being certain to keep the air stream
steady. You can practice this without the clarinet by pinning a piece of
paper to the wall with your airstream, or manipulating a candle flame in
a similar manner.

The point of all this is to keep from excessive tightness on the reed as
the practice session progresses, and to keep the reed's variability from
altering the way you use your air to blow the instrument. I find this
helps my sound quite a bit.

Hope this makes sense to you, and helps your development of endurance

David Niethamer

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