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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000943.txt from 2002/06

Subj: [kl] In defence of warm-ups in general
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 14:35:11 -0400

I was never a big warm up person, until I hit the age of 35. It was about then that I became solo chair in the US Army field band. Sitting assistant is a totally different gig!!! As principle you can be up to your butt, in the cadanza to Agean festival 7 min into a rehearsal. I have this theory that all clarinetists, myself, the great ones that have been listed included, have anywhere from 15- 40 min of the first notes of the day that they would prefer that no one would hear. So I the question I ask is. Do I want that to be in the middle of a big solo, in fron of my coleagues, in front of the people I'm in charge of, or the people that think they deserve the chair I'm in becuase they have a DMA and studied with whomever? I don't think so.

So one day online, I run into Bob Springs warm up. And I ask myself, "Will this work?". The next question becomes How willl I know if it works. The answer becomes I have to TRY IT!! So I decide I will head into work 40 min early for a month and do his routine, exactly as prescribed and I will evaluate it at the end of one month. I believe it worked, seven years later I still do that everyday. On days when I don't have time to do any other playing I will make time to do that warm up. I never show up to a gig unwarmed up! It's not the easy way, but for me it's the best way. For my students, it's turned out to be a god send. The result of Springs warm up me has been consistanly improving technique, faster cleaner articulations. It's nice to know at age 42 that I play much better than I did at 35, and judging the learnigh curve I'll play better next year.

It doesn't have to be Bob Springs warm-up, you can devise your own. But he has lots of chops, and I'm a firm believer in ... If you want to do what others can do, than do what they have done and you will get there.

In other words "if you like what you sound like, do what you already do, If you like what someone else sounds like, try to do it like they do. But to change a result you must first change an action!!!

Tom Puwalski, Yamaha performing Artist, former principal Clarinetist with the US Army Field Band, author of a "Clarinetists Guide to Klezmer" and most importantly clarinetist with Lox&Vodka, the eastcoast's hottest klezmer Band. Check out


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