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 Re: Grunting (undertoning) in the lower clarion
Author: Brad Behn 
Date:   2018-02-12 19:03

Regarding grunting and the INSTRUMENT:
1. Check to make sure you have a good seal. No leaky pads please.
2. Upper LH notes (especially on A clarinet) are notorious offenders. A register tube which has been slightly shortened can help, or even better, use the standard pad but reduce internal volume by placing the head of a thumbtack on your "cork" register key's pad in such a way as to let it protrude inside the tube. (note: a tack with too great a volume displacement will lower pitch of your throat Bb to much, and make an airy/stuffy sound on Bb and long B).
3. Tonehole voicing can help improve response, but this is best left for an highly experienced clarinet acoustician. Slight undercutting, and pad-height (regulation) adjustments, and pad beveling (chamfering) can allow for improved airflow and aid in both response, and pitch.

Regarding grunting and the PLAYER:
1. Make sure to properly voice your embouchure in such a way as to achieve OPTIMUM reed vibration. In America we teach a firm embouchure with an "Ee" vowel shape inside our mouths, and with fast wind.
2. Supported wind is most essential.
3. My teacher Robert Marcellus instructed a "firm upper lip" to aid in control and grunt issues. Of course the upper lip has nothing to do with the "contact patch" - where the tire meets the road - so-to-speak, however the lower lip moves sympathetically in this scenario - firming up, creating a more efficient reed vibration, and better platform for control and subtle lip pressure where nuance is essential.
4. IMPORTANT - voice your playing so the sound is focusing as far forward in your mouth (feeling).

Grunting and the reed:
1. Make sure the reed is vibrant and lively.
2. Make sure the reed isn't too light or too firm.
3. Make sure the cane of your reed allows full and natural blow through with good zing. A reed that is dull sounding lacks sufficient vibrational integrity for optimum response.

Grunting and the mouthpiece:
1. IMPORTANT - make sure your mouthpiece properly focuses the sound. It should be centered, resonant, and focus as far forward in mouth as possible (feeling)
2. To that point - make sure your mouthpiece's facing isn't too long (curve too flat) for your selected reed shape and strength. If too long, it can focus the sound too far down in your throat, making it difficult to shape your sound, and keep the grunt OUT.
3. To the above points - make sure your mouthpiece properly focuses the sound to an "Euh" vowel sound. If it sounds more "Ah", then you are getting the sound focus too far down your throat.

Brad Behn

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 Topics Author  Date
 Grunting (undertoning) in the lower clarion  new
Micke Isotalo 2018-02-12 13:00 
 Re: Grunting (undertoning) in the lower clarion  new
Brad Behn 2018-02-12 19:03 
 Re: Grunting (undertoning) in the lower clarion  new
Ken Lagace 2018-03-03 18:44 
 Re: Grunting (undertoning) in the lower clarion  new
Tobin 2018-02-12 20:05 
 Re: Grunting (undertoning) in the lower clarion  new
Micke Isotalo 2018-02-12 22:58 
 Re: Grunting (undertoning) in the lower clarion  new
Bob Bernardo 2018-02-15 10:02 

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