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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000154.txt from 1998/04

From: Neil Leupold <>
Subj: Re: Slur from Mid to low B problem
Date: Sat, 4 Apr 1998 17:45:12 -0500

On Sat, 4 Apr 1998, Mark Charette wrote:

> If I lightly tongue I can get that low B no problem. Any suggestions
> visualizations to move my throat correctly to get that slur?

You've hit on a very effective potential solution already. The method
of using the tongue to facilitate the connection between the two notes
can be considered an intermediary step, and you should continue to do
it in order to develop recognition of what the air and embouchure feel
like in that exercise. Be aware that slurring from clarion to chalumeau
B is not easy for anybody who is still developing air and embouchure
technique, and the issue pertains to constriction of reed vibration
in combination with a continuously supported, well-focused air stream.

An exercise you might try would be the sequence:

(1) Take a full diaphragm-based breath

(2) Initiate the clarion B with the tongue for 1 second

(3) Stop the tone with the tongue while maintaining air support
behind the tongue via the diaphragm

(4) Change to the chalumeau B fingering and release
the tongue again to initiate the lower tone for
one second

(5) Replace the tongue on the reed to stop the chalumeau B
(maintain air support during stoppage of the reed)

(6) Change to clarion B fingering again

(7) Release the tongue and initiate the original tone again

In order to properly use the tongue, the embouchure must be firm
and stable, and the bottom teeth must be away from the reed. Any
undue pressure or constriction of the reed via the jaw will mitigate
any efforts to slur the distance of an octave regardless of register.
And most importantly, the air must be applied under constant support
via the diaphragm. After you've done the above exercise several
times in succession, it should become apparent that the jaw is
dropped, and the lower teeth do not press upward into the reed
with much pressure, if any at all. You'll find yourself mouthing
an "ooh" syllable with the lips, perhaps, while pushing across the
octave gap via the diaphragm. The purpose of the exercise is to
bring about these attributes in a single motion, after which you
should be able to remove the tongue from the equation and make
the connection without any hiccups or squawks. As with any new
skill or development, it takes some time and practice.


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