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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000481.txt from 1998/04

From: John Kurokawa <>
Subj: RE: Rhapsody Slur
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 10:06:51 -0400

Regarding the Rhapsody slur...

One of my favorite excerises for learning this excerpt (and the first thing
I do when I have to start getting it ready...) is a trick I learned from
Cincinnati Symphony Principal Richie Hawley:

1. Without the clarinet, make a sound like a donkey- EEE-YAW- see how it
feels in the throat...
2. Try this on an overblown throat G (sounding D). Getting the slide going
down should be easy- getting it to come back up may be a little harder.
That's what you have to isolate.

I find using the donkey EEE-YAW exercise is very useful and good for
developing the flexibility needed to perfrom the dreaded gliss. When I
actually perform the excerpt, I use a combination of this with sliding
fingers, being careful to keep my embouchure very loose until the last
moment that C comes up to pitch. Nothing special, really. Unlike some, I
find that a harder reed is necessary to make this gliss (actually,
portamento) work. When I try to do this excerpt with a soft reed, it just
closes up.

Hope this helps,


P.S. Any of you who may play the Tommy Tune/Manhattan Rhythm Kings Show,
beware! When we did this show on a pops concert, the conductor announced
that he wanted the clarinet section to perform the clarinet parts from the
doubler's books. When those parts were set in front of me about 2 minutes
before the first rehearsal, I saw the Rhapsody gliss in the overture- up a
step (i.e. from low A to high D). Both performances went very well, but I
think I got about 10 extra gray hairs in the process :-)

John Kurokawa
Principal Clarinet, Dayton Philharmonic

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