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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000618.txt from 2000/04

From: "Kevin Fay (LCA)" <>
Subj: [kl] Laying Off
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 13:57:28 -0400

David B. Niethamer posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2000 6:44 PM:

<<<I think there can be a good effect from putting aside a piece and coming
back later - perhaps what you experienced here? I don't recommend it as the
main practice technique, but it can have a good effect for a piece
where you've practiced long and hard, and begun to obsess about the details
to the point that you can't see the forest for the veins in each leaf, let
alone the trees.>>>

This can be true for the instrument as a whole, I think. I'll offer an
anecdote (me).

For a variety of reasons, after I graduated from law school I did not take
the clarinet out of the case for three and a half years. I sold all of my
instruments (except the cherished Bb R-13 bought as a senior in high
school), and concentrated my time on work and, when possible, sleep.

After moving back out to Seattle, I got a desperate call to help a local
community orchestra whose second clarinet player sort of disappeared. So I
blew the dust off the horn, bought an A , and revved up.

The most amazing thing -- while my chops were a bit rusty, the primary thing
that I lost were BAD HABITS. The teaching from my university professors
stuck, while the motor memory of bad articulation crutches and hand position
did not. From an overall performance perspective, my playing was better
that my college recitals; the raw finger technique took a little bit longer,
but was also up to par in a few months.

Now I'm certainly not recommending that anyone quit for a few years as a
method to improve their playing. I'll just attest, based on personal
experience, that if your life path causes you to take a substantial break
you should not despair. You may in fact end up better because of the


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