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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000792.txt from 1996/04

From: Everett Austin <austine@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: dynamic range
Date: Sat, 27 Apr 1996 01:55:18 -0400

On Thu, 25 Apr 1996, Jennifer Hefferlin wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> I am having difficulty developing the low end of my dynamic range. Here
> is my setup: Borbeck 11 mp
> Bonade inverted ligature
> Vandoren V12 3 1/2
> When I find a reed that is supportive of mf to fff and provides a clear
> bright sound with flexibility, I find that it isn't much good in the
> throat tones and lower below a mf. The resistance and resonance dies,
> the reed becomes *too soft*.
> I have approached this problem first by trying stiffer reed, didn't like
> that because it took too much work (and no I'm not really lazy), this
> works in an orchestral setting, but for solo pieces I have found that a
> reed that will support softer dynamics doesn't support the whole dynamic
> range. Second I approached it from the standpoint that something was
> wrong with my embochure, tried several slight adjustments, some worked
> some of the time, but none of them were *it*.
> My goal is to develop a resonant and focused pianissimo in the throat
> tones and lower that is clean and clear and in such a way that I am able
> to make the transition to higher pitches and/or louder dynamic ranges
> smoothly and easily.
> Is it the reed, the mp, or me?
> Thanks in advance!
> Jennifer Hefferlin
I have two thoughts which might help. One is that softer dynamics
generally require firmer air support, especially if the desire is to play
with a focussed tone and not "subtone" or "detimbree"(my keys won't do the
accents graves). Another way to think of that is less faster air and more
abdominal muscle pressure. If one merely blows softer the result is more
of a subtone though the dynamic will be soft. Russianoff has a good
discussion of dynamics and air support if you can find his books (two
vols)in a library, as they are out of print.
The other thing which should help is to
use resonance fingerings for the throat tones to improve the centering and
resonance and often tuning of these weak notes. There is a good
discussion of this in Jack Brymer's book The Clarinet.
I hope this may help some and not seem too obvious.
Everett Austin
Fairfax, California

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