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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000421.txt from 2002/02

From: Tom.Henson@-----.com
Subj: RE: [kl] What's a good book to practice rhythms?
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 12:30:19 -0500

Mike,

I can relate to everything you have said.

I graduated from high school in 1973, went on to play in the 7th Army Band
in Europe for a few years.

When I got out of the service I slowly drifted away from playing until many
years had passed.

I just took up clarinet again about 7-8 months ago. It has been a slow
process.

I had to go back to basics big time and still am.

Biggest piece of advice I can give is to be patient with yourself and never
push too hard, or you will start to get bad habits.

I wanted to be able to play the same pieces that I did also, but to do so
too early would mean you are forcing your fingers and embroucure beyond
their limits. This can ultimately lead to bad habits.

Think of it this way. You have now LOST all of the bad habits that you ever
had. Now is the chance to do it the right way, one step at a time.

Everyone is different, you may find that after a few months of practice that
you are getting back to where you were when you quit. I suspect it may take
longer.

I am just now, in the last month, working on the Mozart concerto that you
mention and find that some things I can do well, and others not so well.

I purchased Abe Galpers book Tone, Technique, and Stacatto. This is an
execellent book for people getting back into it or for beginners as well.
You build on all the foundational things and he has actually made the
exercises quite musical so you will be able to get some musical satisfaction
from playing the simple exercises.

If you are like me, your time is precious, so you must set a consistant
schedule and try your best to stick to it. Even if you only practice 15
minutes a day at first, make sure that you are VERY focused and you know
what you want to accomplish in those 15 minutes. Don't let you mind wander.
You will be amazed at how soon you will be able to extend to 20, then 30
minutes. Take breaks whenever you get tired for a couple of minutes and
shake out your embrouchure so to speak.

I also play long notes to warm up with slow scales, thirds, and arpeggios.

The upper register came back slower in my experience than the lower
register, this I think, is in part due to the breath support needed to play
well up there. As my support got better, so did the upper register. Same for
the embrouchure.

I started out on a # 3 read and am using Gonzales, Mozart, Steurer. I am
now up to a 3.5 and this feels comfortable at this level for now. Later, I
may try to go up to a # 4.

I know this is a long post, but it is because I know exactly where you are
at.

Be Patient!

Tom Henson

Mike wrote << Here is the problem I am having as a person who took lessons
for 10 years in
school, 1963 to 1973 and is now has been practicing since January of this
year. >>

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