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 Rubank Intermediate Book
Author: twebb 
Date:   2017-11-02 14:57

Hi folks,

I realize the value of an instrumental teacher! However I live in a remote area and have some woodwind experience. I live over ten miles to the nearest loaf of bread and well over an hour to any kind of instrumental music instruction. So it will have to be self-instruction for me.

I'm aware of the Rubank material and plan to use that along with the assessment features in SmartMusic as the core of my self-instruction.

My question regards the approach to utilising the Rubank method book. Can I simply start at page one and continue with the succeeding pages in numerical order? Is that a viable approach? I'll be 75 next month and no thoughts of Carnegie Hall, but I do enjoy playing the old standards and smooth jazz. For me, it beats fishing!


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 Re: Rubank Intermediate Book
Author: LC007 
Date:   2017-11-02 16:23

Hi Twebb,

Sounds like you really are way out there in the booneys! I am also just a beginner. I am 62 and re-starting the clarinet after 20 years. Mind you I never got very far 20 years ago - perhaps 6 months playing in all. I did take a few lessons at the very beginning to make sure I was assembling and holding the thing right, how to make an embouchure, and get some basic questions answered (starting reed strength, blowing, playing position ...).

And now it's been 2 months since I re-started it again. I am learning on my own and making good progress but I do plan on taking a few more lessons soon. I don't want to develop bad habits/technique. But I am practicing everyday - twice a day, usually in front of a mirror.

With the internet today it's very easy to learn a lot of stuff. And method books abound. I can't comment on the Rubank book because I never used it but I recognize the name and I believe it is a very popular and well respected method.
I do a lot of scales/long tones and the Carl Bearmann method (free on the internet ( https://www.clarinetinstitute.com/solo-clarinet-music.html ). And then I try to pick out melodies from popular songs. I do this both by ear and music sheet.
Another good site is https://www.8notes.com/clarinet/sheet_music/ . They have music sheet and backing tracks.

You say you have some woodwind experience. I don't know how much experience you are talking about but it will certainly help you along. But if you can manage a lesson or 2 or 3 - even if they're weeks apart - I'm sure you will benefit from them. In any case good luck and most of all have fun.

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 Re: Rubank Intermediate Book
Author: two toots 2017
Date:   2017-11-02 16:33

In case no one else answers, yes, of course you can do this and learn a lot. At our age we know if we have the self discipline to devote the practice time without a timeline type goal. If you can do that you will be successful, but if you can safely drive I think a weekly goal lesson would be a motivator and is also a check to be sure you are doing things correctly and a social interaction.

We drive 45 minutes every week to our lesson. It also helps that I have a "clarinet buddy" to cause me to practice on those days when I really don't want to.

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 Re: Rubank Intermediate Book
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-11-02 17:21

You don't say what previous woodwind experience you've had or how long you played any other instrument, but it will certainly help. If you have the music reading skills already learned from your other experiences, you've solved half of the problem beginners typically have. You can get the basics of clarinet from reading on the web or in many of the available method books, but be wary of thinking too deeply about mechanics at the beginning.

If there are competent teachers an hour away, I would also suggest arranging a monthly lesson, or maybe just an occasional session when you want help with a problem. You don't need weekly monitoring and your learning process will (should) be driven by your own interests, but having someone else objectively listen to the result of your practicing who is able to suggest improvements can be useful.

Rubank is useful for practicing basic technique and building reading (notation) skills. If you're planning to start with the Intermediate book, you must already have a fairly well developed skill set. I wouldn't go through it line by line. Pick and choose what looks like it would be useful. IMO the Intermediate book is the least well organized of the four books in the series, and the musical material isn't especially interesting. The Advanced books, once you've gotten to their level, are better organized, even if the music is still dated (it needed to be already Public Domain when the series was first published in the 1930s). You should also look for music in styles you think you'd enjoy and practice that along with the Rubank.


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