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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000109.txt from 2001/07

From: "Karl Krelove" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] HELP!!!!
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2001 13:04:37 -0400


All the responses to your post that I've seen so far point to one area, the
throat and the back of the tongue, as the focal point for a smear
"technique." "Dropping my jaw, loosening my embouchure" have limited benefit
because there needs still to be enough firmness there to keep the reed
vibrating. Players gliss successfully using open mouthpiece facings with
soft reeds, close facings with stiff reeds and everything in between - don't
forget, you've still got to play the rest of the piece, so the closer you
stay to your normal setup, the better. The more you can do with your
throat/tongue position, the less you need to rely on your fingers to provide
the slide. It may help to have a face-to-face session with someone who can
already do this so you can hear close-up what the throat position can do and
have the other player describe to you what he/she is doing and how he/she
has practiced it.

There are lots of descriptions of the techniques people use and the mental
images they use to drive those techniques in the Klarinet archives. This
topic comes up for periodic discussion because Rhapsody in Blue is so
frequently programmed (at least here in the U.S.), and there's no good way
for the clarinet player to fake it - he/she is so completely alone (most of
the time even the conductor keeps still).

Good luck.

Karl Krelove

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jessica Miller []
> Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2001 9:26 AM
> To:
> Subject: [kl] HELP!!!!
> I've been hesitant and embarrassed to ask for your help until now but
> desperate times call for desperate measures...The opening of Rhapsody in
> Blue has plagued me since I was thirteen years old and lost the part at a
> music camp due to the fact that I was (and still) unable to
> "smear." Now a
> professional opportunity has come up for me to play this solo. I am a
> conservatory trained clarinetist who unfortunately has really
> never had the
> experience or opportunity to study or play any other styles of music other
> than classical. I have consulted with classical clarinetists and jazz sax
> people who can "smear" I have gotten their two cents but am
> still unable to
> do it. I have tried dropping my jaw, loosening my embouchure,
> softer reeds,
> a open mouthpiece, sliding fingers, lifting fingers, etc...The
> closest I've
> come is an inconsistent sort of smear from G to C (above the staff). Does
> anybody out there have any tried and true tricks to help me...or is it too
> late to teach this old dog any new tricks?
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Get your free
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