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 High Notes C5 - C-6 Tips ?
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2017-09-13 02:02

Any tips for the high notes from C5 to C6. Trying to play high part Stranger On The Shore and these notes are 'stuffy' like reed is closing or biting but I am not. When sound they are good. A Rico 3 reed. Sometimes I can adjust fingers or embouchure or dip reed in water but nothing consistent. Have not tried to play much in this range. Does it just take persistence and adjusting before it comes? Anyone go through this when learning the high notes?

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 Re: High Notes C5 - C-6 Tips ?
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-09-13 04:43


You're bringing back some old memories for me :) I was in your position 5 years ago. Thankfully I started playing the clarinet with a good embouchure (a double lip actually) and rarely ever had a biting problem. But we've all had to go through that period of getting the high notes to come out easily.

You said you are using Rico reeds. Have you tried out other brands before? Why not try Vandoren if you've never tried them before?

I'm also thinking it might be your reed strength. You said the notes are "stuffy" but I think you are trying to say that the sound doesn't resonate? That you need to use a lot of air and you get a wimpy, choked off sound? If that's the case, try not to bite so hard on the reed. Tighten up your facial muscles but don't clamp down on the reed. If that doesn't work. try increasing the reed strength maybe? But only after you've tried out Vandorens...

Once you can hit those notes, try practicing them by playing long tones with crescendos and diminuendos. The hardest part is playing high notes soft, so that's what you should be practicing as much as possible! If you are in a band/orchestra, and your director is warming you guys up by playing long tones, try playing those high notes softly and blend with the group.

I remember when I was in 6th grade and we were playing concert Bb scales long tones, I would try my best to play them in the higher octave but trying to not let my band director notice I was doing so. You know you're on the right track when you play those high notes while doing long tone warmups and the director doesn't complain about how awful they sound haha  ;)

Once you can play it soft, there shouldn't be a major problem when you bump up to a forte dynamic. Unless you overblow and the sound spreads. But that's for another story.

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: High Notes C5 - C-6 Tips ?
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2017-09-13 06:24

C5 is the 3rd space on the staff, and C6 is two lines above the staff - agreed?

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 Re: High Notes C5 - C-6 Tips ?
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2017-09-13 06:50

Philip- I agree.

Ray- Actually, instead of stuffy it squeaks a lot but when I don't play the song but just the scale they sound good, and I think it is the fingering and changes not to just prior and after notes in order but the changes and fingering. I think it would help to practice the scale C5-C6 more before try playing a song where different notes are fingered. As I said I haven't played much in this register before. And I wanted some confirmation that more practice might help. Need more practice in this register definitely. Soaking and drying or adjusting the reed does not really help. I too use a double lip. I also have some 2.5 and 2 reeds other than Rico which I have not tried with this piece. Thanks for the input.

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 Re: High Notes C5 - C-6 Tips ?
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-09-13 06:53

Given that he is talking about the clarinet part for "Stranger on the Shore," I think that is what he means.

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: High Notes C5 - C-6 Tips ?
Author: fskelley 
Date:   2017-09-13 16:29

C5 [C5] ... C6 [C6] ... per this board's convention. Click on "smileys/notes" at upper right.

Stan in Orlando

EWI 4000S with modifications

Post Edited (2017-09-13 16:30)

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 Re: High Notes C5 - C-6 Tips ?
Author: A. Ottensamer 
Date:   2017-09-13 18:32

Hi BGBG, try practicing slurring to these high notes during practice. The squeaks come from not placing the finger correctly and not adjusting your embouchure accordingly. You have to change how much you open up inside your mouth when you go from low notes to high notes.

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 Re: High Notes C5 - C-6 Tips ?
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2017-09-14 04:08

Since I'm not familiar with the piece you might post a copy.
There might be some suggestions to help with technique, etc.

~Robert L Schwebel
Mthpc: Behn Vintage, Lig: Ishimori, Reed: Aria 4, Legere Euro Signature 3.75, Horns: Uebel Superior, Ridenour Lyrique

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 Re: High Notes C5 - C-6 Tips ?
Author: Ed Lowry 
Date:   2017-09-15 00:17

Stranger on the Shore -- a good trivia question. First British pop song to be number one on the American charts. Played by Acker Bilk -- what a great name! He had a really loose-sounding embouchure which he ascribed to getting into a few scrapes (as I think he called it) as a youth. It was featured as the piece that Rowena was learning to play in Mr. Holland's Opus. When I first heard it, I thought that no teacher would allow a student to play with that tone. But Acker pulled it off.

In the version I have on CD, he takes it up to and perhaps beyond E 6 for awhile -- which is not how the notes are written in my "one hit wonders" songbook.

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 Re: High Notes C5 - C-6 Tips ?
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2017-09-15 00:48


Thanks for the "smiley's" hint - I never noticed that's where the syntax for notation was located!


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