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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000861.txt from 1996/04

From: niethamer@-----.BITNET
Subj: Re: Frustration and Starting Over
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 1996 23:41:45 -0400

You wrote:

> Since I was making really = good progress, my teacher started working
> tonguing into the picture.
> Since that time, things seem to be getting worse instead of better =
> (even the legato and long tones). I realize that my embouchure and =
> tongue position when playing legato/long tones (even with good tone) is
> = completely incompatible with good tonguing
(much snipping)
> In addition, I = find it easier to tongue rapidly than to tongue slowly
> (eg staccato = sixteenths are much easier to accomplish than quarter
> notes)

Two things - 1.) you *definitely* need to develop *one* embouchure for
all the aspects of your playing. If you feel the need to "support" your
lower lip with your tongue, perhaps you need to try a different mpc or
reed strength (or both) so that you can eliminate this habit. Perhaps you
won't sound as good at first, but you obviously can't tongue with this

Once you can do your long tones without using your tongue, I'd suggest
holding a long tone for about half your capacity, then beginning to
tongue quarter notes at a moderate tempo. do this on notes that are
comfortable at first, and expand your range with this exercise gradually
from day to day. You need to "walk" before you run with those 16ths! The
image of you current situation is that of the toddler, lurching toward
the sofa ever faster, hoping to hit the soft cushions before the floor
rises up to meet him!

This approach may be frustrating at first, but if you can relax and
control your tongue, it sounds like speed will be no problem!

Good luck!

David Niethamer, Internet Liaison
International Clarinet Association
Principal Clarinet, Richmond Symphony

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