Klarinet Archive - Posting 000119.txt from 1996/01
From: "Gregory T. Wright" <103147.1471@-----.COM>
Subj: Toe taps, counting, CL overtones
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 1996 01:38:45 -0500
I admit it: I tap my toe, my whole foot, a good fraction of my leg, and
maybe my head. Not violently, but there is motion.
Of course, as a saxophone player I can get away with it, because in jazz
it is a matter of course to tap, and in a concert/symphonic band, I never sit in
the front row...
My biggest problem in such a band is getting lost in extended rests; my
solution to this is adapted from a fix I came up with from scuba diving(!). In
diving, one often needs to communicate numbers to a buddy (nonverbally, of
course). ASL (sign language) allows displaying any number with one hand, but
this can be impossible with neoprene gloves on (Music is coming, I promise). To
communicate a number from 1-5 to my buddy, I hold up that many fingers. For
6-10, I tip my forearm over 90 degrees, and display the number as 5+(no. of
fingers). Seven becomes 2 fingers sideways (5+2), and 10 becomes 5 fingers
I count long rests on my fingers, sort of. My initial problem was that
unconciously "conducted" with the director. Now, I redirect that energy into
keeping track of where I am, when this is difficult. (It also beats the heck
out of hearing sections of the band mumble "1 2 3 4, 2 2 3 4, 3 2 3 4, 4 2 3
4..... 18 2 3 4". Take it or (most likely) leave it.
Something which may be more helpful, especially in jazz or other
syncopated settings, is a trick for simplifying swing patters shown to me when I
was in high school. Very often, a player will have (4/4 time, 12/8 feel) a
measure in which an accented note is to be played on the "&" of 2, which is
preceded only by rests: Quarter rest, eighth rest, BOP! Replacing each 8th with
one (mental) syllable, this becomes "sha-ba-do-BOP" Compound syncopations might
be something like "sha-ba-do-Bop-ba-do-Bop"... Take this, listen to some
recordings you know well, and see if it fits your style of thinking. If you
have a struggling student, this may help.
Re: "The harmonics of the clarinet are very complex" Not really, it's
just that you only get every other one. Techies will recognize this as a
"square wave." When you listen to a soprano clarinet play the (concert pitch) A
below middle C, you hear frequencies of 220 Hz, 660 Hz (220 x 3), 1.1 kHz (220
x 5), 1.54 kHz (220 x 7), 1.98 kHz (220 x 9)............... This is why
clarion register fingerings are a twelfth higher than chalumeau, rather than an
octave. (1 octave would be 220 x 2 = 440 Hz) How does this affect recording &
"flutter"? I have no idea.
Good Luck, and may you
all get the gig of your dreams!
Gregory T. Wright
PS - Bass clarinetist Marty Walker, are you out there?