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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000958.txt from 2004/10

From: "Karl Krelove" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Playing scales three octaves up
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004 09:23:43 -0500

In my experience, the three scales wanted in these auditions to cover three
octaves are E, F and G Major. Of these, the one that causes problems for
most students is G, mostly because of the highest note, which involves a
jump to a new harmonic and therefore comes out thin, out of tune and
unpleasant sounding for most students when they begin practicing it. A
teacher who is knowledgeable about clarinet and clarinet reeds can help.

The other problem is that many students simply don't know what notes go with
what fingerings above altissimo D. I suppose they don't like the sound of
those notes either and avoid practicing them. When they need to play a
passage in that register in their school literature, many of my students
simply feel around for a note that *sounds right.* Or, slightly better, they
learn what fingering the written note refers to and never learn its name, so
when they try to play a memorized scale the fingerings make little sense
because they don't associate with a step-wise sequence of notes (C-D-E-F).
It's interesting that many students who have no trouble playing a clarion F
or a chalumeau C on request have no idea what fingers to put down for an
altissimo E or F-sharp, even though they've played hundreds of them in
musical (band) contexts.

Karl Krelove

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Josh Gardner []
> Sent: Sunday, October 31, 2004 12:57 AM
> To:
> Subject: RE: [kl] Playing scales three octaves up
> Three octave scales can be a pain initially, especially when a
> student does
> not have a ton of experience up there. When I learned them, I took one
> scale at a time, starting with the lowest one, E, and
> incorporated the third
> octave of that scale into my warmup. Once that scale was very
> comfortable,
> I moved to the next. After a while, I had them all. My warmup
> consists of,
> among other things, every major and harmonic and melodic minor scale three
> octaves at several different tempos. Practicing the third octave gives
> daily experience playing in the "dreaded" altissimo register and after a
> while, these notes become very comfortable and less "dreaded."
> Even though
> the director is using extrinsic motivation to motivate students
> to learn the
> third octaves, they are beneficial in my opinion (and not just to
> get a good
> chair in auditions).
> It is unfortunate that so many band programs rely so heavily on
> competition.
> My high school band was INCREDIBLY competitive in the marching bang scene
> and therefore more emphasis is placed on marching as opposed to the
> aesthetics and enjoyment of MUSIC, so I understand where you're
> coming from.
> It's a wonder it's still considered music education.
> Good luck
> Josh Gardner
> -----Original Message-----
> From: kimi []
> Sent: Saturday, October 30, 2004 8:06 PM
> To:
> Subject: [kl] Playing scales three octaves up
> My daughter is in her four year of band now. Her
> skills with the clarinet have become quiet impressive
> for one that is just fourteen. She is currently
> working on a grade four solo piece that she will be
> playing in the spring for competition.
> One of the things I have heard her talking about that
> has her stressing out is that it seems they have to
> try out for seat positions on both the concert and
> symphonic band at school. They are just finishing up
> marching band and they won A superiors all across the
> board. The thing is, she seems to be stressing
> because evidently they have to be able to play three
> octaves up on some particular scales that the
> instructor has told them they'd have to be able to do
> to place in a chair position.
> Does anyone have any advice or comments on this three
> octaves up thing?
> Thanks
> Kathy
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