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 Missing easy notes
Author: conrad 
Date:   2006-08-13 08:51

With some encouragement from this forum I joined our local windband in Jan 2004. From initially not being able to keep up with the others, I now enjoy the music , especially the concerts where the adrenalin raises our performance a few notches.

I now play with another third clarinettist in a small group, planning a gig in a few weeks. I practice the more complex bits till I feel they are "under my fingers", but one tune has eluded me. I play it OK at home but when I play with my colleague, the instrument (me) just doesn't play. I have tried to concentrate on fingering problems and embouchure issues. At home - no problem; at his house - nothing comes out. He proposes to drop that number from the repertoire, but I would like to persisit.

Any clues as to what I am doing wrong?

Conrad

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 Re: Missing easy notes
Author: David Peacham 
Date:   2006-08-13 11:00

Don't forget to cover the holes properly, and don't forget to blow.

Sounds silly, but it's true. When you are tense or nervous, these are the things that go wrong. Your fingers flail wildly, and no sound comes forth....

-----------

If there are so many people on this board unwilling or unable to have a civil and balanced discussion about important issues, then I shan't bother to post here any more.

To the great relief of many of you, no doubt.


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 Re: Missing easy notes
Author: Bob Phillips 
Date:   2006-08-13 14:58

Happens to me, too. David Peacham is right --its usually my fingers not covering the tone holes --or pressing firmly enough on a lever.

Bob Phillips

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 Re: Missing easy notes
Author: Bruno 
Date:   2006-08-13 15:44

Here's a tip taught to me by a great flute teacher:
1. On the sheet music, parenthesize the hard phrase, then instead of playing the phrase itself, play the bar before, adding the first couple of notes in the hard phrase.
2. And play it FUNEREALLY SLOW! It has to be PERFECTLY executed. If it isn't, slow down! You brain doesn't know the difference between playing a mistake and playing it right. It will learn the mistake just as efficiently as the correctly played version.
3. Do a similar technique exiting the hard phrase; start with the last 2 or 3 notes IN the hard part and play it and the easy bar beyond.
4. When it's smooth add some more notes of the hard phrase both at the "front" end and the "exiting" end. Do this many times with each note tongued and each note not tongued (legato).
5. Finally, after you have really got the entrance and exit under your fingers, very slowly join the whole thing. You will then be playing a)the bar before, b) the hard phrase, however long, (not eight bars I hope!), and c) the bar beyond.
6. Slowly metronome it up to tempo. DO NOT ALLOW MISTAKES. slow down if you must.
What this accomplishes is to make what was previously a "hard" part into perhaps the strongest part of the piece, and it will become a well-executed anchor instead of a part you fearfully anticipate as you play through the piece (which almost guarantees a flub!).

Best of luck,

b/

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 Re: Missing easy notes
Author: clarinetwife 
Date:   2006-08-13 15:54

A week or two before I performed the Weber Concertino I was suddenly having tremendous issues going down to the lower clarion C# the turns near the beginning. At first I thought perhaps a key was fluttering open, but this was not the case. Once the problem happened a few times I got into a mental state where it persisted. I actually decided to perform those turns with the LH instead a few days before the concert and practiced them that way. So, you are not alone in having a possible block about something you should be able to play.

Your post is titled "missing easy notes" rather than "probems with tricky section", but then you talk about practicing the more complex bits. I find that my students will sometimes woodshed the hard parts but forget to count their longer notes. Of course, the solution is different for the easy and the difficult. If you are indeed having difficulty with the tricky parts, practice with different rhythms or with a completely different style and/or articulation to derail whatever negative patterns have been established. If it is indeed the easy parts, focus in on how your part fits in with what the other players are doing, but don't wait for them to play their note as your cue. Rather anticipate where there note is going to be so you are not late and are in rhythm

Best of luck!
Barb

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 Re: Missing easy notes
Author: ginny 
Date:   2006-08-13 17:32

My son has gotten me to do the 'more air than sound' practice. It works for getting a relaxed kinesetic sense of how playing a passage should feel. You might consider practicing the area with your partner this way and then seeing if you can play with sound.

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 Re: Missing easy notes
Author: conrad 
Date:   2006-08-13 19:57

Thanks for support. I appreciate others have similar problems. The part I "freeze" at isn't difficult - a single bar moving from open G,G (crotchets), G,A (quavers) B crotchet. Once I miss the B, some of the next next few bars, which are fairly simple, and include a quaver run starting on top line F, ending on open G, just don't come either.

The music isn't difficult. I feel happy with dificult runs after practice. Even if I play the occasional wrong note doesn't phase me. It's just this one tune and these few bars.

Conrad

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