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 The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-04-20 20:56

I'm sure I'm not the only one here who is new to clarinet playing. Maybe we can use a thread like this to share where we are in our practice and commiserate on our challenges.

To start us off: (don't feel like you have to answer all of these!):

How long have you been playing clarinet?
Are you taking private lessons or are you learning on your own?
How often do you practice? How long are your practice sessions?
What method book are you using? Do you like it? Hate it? Why?
What's your current "setup" (clarinet, mouthpiece, reeds, other)?
Do you have a musical goal?
What is your greatest joy in learning clarinet?
What is your biggest challenge right now?
What has surprised you the most?

What else is on your mind?



Post Edited (2019-04-20 21:12)

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-04-20 21:11

How long have you been playing clarinet?
Since January 2019.

Are you taking private lessons or are you learning on your own?
I'm taking weekly lessons. I also trawl the Internet for ways to improve. I especially like Michele Anderson's and Michael Lowenstern's YouTube videos.

How often do you practice? How long are your practice sessions?
I try to practice every day, in the morning when I'm freshest and most caffeinated. I try to practice for at least 30 minutes.

What method book are you using? Do you like it? Hate it? Why?
I'm using Avrahm Galper's Clarinet for Beginners, Book 1. For me, as an adult learner with other music experience (voice, recorder) the pacing seems really good.

What's your current "setup" (clarinet, mouthpiece, reeds, other)?
I have my mom's Selmer Bundy Resonite, circa 1951, Clark Fobes Debut mouthpiece, and Vandoren "blue box" 2.5 strength reeds.

Do you have a musical goal?
I want to play music in a group.

What is your greatest joy in learning clarinet?
Getting back in touch with my musical brain.

What is your biggest challenge right now?
Ensuring I'm using the right strength of reed. I go back and forth between 2 and 2.5. (My tone seems better with 2.5, but some of the reeds can be harder to blow than others.)

What has surprised you the most?
Clarinet is so freakin' expensive! The reeds!

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-04-22 17:25

Hi,

I'm new too. I started in April 2018.

I started with the tune-a-day books, which are great for learning the early fingering. The fingering chart in the new tune a day book 1 is particularly good.

For technique I read "Essential Clarinet Technique" by John Davies and Paul Harris, but also the clarinet technique doctor book. I also watch the videos by Michelle Anderson and Michael Lowenstein.

After tune-a-day I started working on the ABRSM grade books and I am now on the grade 3 book.

Just before my grade 2 exam I switched to a new Yamaha CX Custom clarinet. I use a J&D Hite mouthpiece. I used to use 1.5 classic Vandoren reeds, but recently switched to Vandoren V12 2.5 reeds.

I generally enjoy playing slow sad pieces, but am really enjoying the Mr Benn theme tune. I find memorising the scales very difficult.

I also play in a community orchestra. I have a very patient teacher and a helpful woodwind shop, both within cycling distance of my house. I don't think that it would work without both of those.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-04-22 18:03

Hi, Sunny!

How long did you wait before joining a community orchestra? I'd love to sit in with one of our community bands this fall, but wonder if I'll have enough clarinet experience by that point. (I'm a good sight-reader, but suppose it'd be helpful to -- oh, I don't know -- know all the fingerings before trying to play in a group.)

Thanks for telling me about "Essential Clarinet Technique."

Beth

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-04-22 18:29

Hi Beth,

I'm very lucky to be in a beginner's orchestra where it's okay to be new. The conductor writes music to fit our skills. I like it a lot.

I'm tempted to blather on and tell you about it, but I've got in trouble blathering on threads elsewhere before so I will stop here. :-)

Sunny

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-04-22 19:42

Not to worry: I'm nothing if not a blatherer! (So blather away.)

I also read your thread about hyperventilation and breath support with interest. I've been finding that I naturally seem to engage my diaphragm in the clarion register but that my blowing is more "flabby," if you know what I mean, in the Chalameau. I'm trying to be more conscious about support as I practice, but am finding it hard with so many other things to concentrate on while learning the basics.

Beth

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: eac 2017
Date:   2019-04-22 21:00

Look for a new horizons group n your area. Newhorizonsmusic.org This organization is oriented to new and beginning and returning adult musicians. We have several community bands in my area and I can honestly say I enjoy the new horizons concerts more than the one of the older more established and supposed better bands. The band has improved over the past years and some of the players are definitely advanced and provide leadership and musicianship for the entire ensemble. And they all seem to have lots of fun!

Liz Leckey

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-04-22 22:19

Great idea, Liz; I'll look into that organization.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2019-04-23 04:10

I was also going to suggest a "New Horizons" band. At the time that I returned to the clarinet after a 47 year absence a NH band started locally and I joined as a founder member. I still play with them 12 years later. As the band improved over the years we found that the policy of accepting members with rudimentary skills was holding back the development of the band, so we formed a second "beginners" band. Novice players develop their skills there and then move on the the main band. It also provides a means for experienced players to develop their skills on different instruments.

We also have a few small instrumental groups that have grown out of the band while still remaining part of it. We have a clarinet quartet, a brass group and a jazz group. We also work with the music programs of local schools, with workshops and joint performances. I can think of no better way of growing your instrumental and ensemble skills among a group of like-minded people.

Tony F.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-04-23 05:11

Thanks for that input, Tony. I discovered that -- wonder of wonders! -- there is a New Horizons group in my town, and one of its bands is a beginner band. They meet on Friday morning, so I think I'll go check it out. I can think of no better way of staying motivated than playing in a group.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-04-23 11:43

That is exactly the kind of orchestra that I play in. I think our more experienced members enjoy it too because they get to play all the great solos without having to give a big commitment to a more serious orchestra.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: eac 2017
Date:   2019-04-24 15:16

Cane reeds can vary from day to day depending on the weather, particularly in the colder climates. I have decided to reduce the number of variables in my playing by going to Legere reeds. Yeah, they are expensive but the time you spend chasing reeds trying to get one to work also costs you in frustration and time away from the other tasks of learning. Get a couple and rotate them and you will be pleased with the consistency. Ultimately you will save money. Search the Bulletin Board on Legere reeds for ideas as well as the legere website https://www.legere.com/ for information.

Liz Leckey

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2019-04-26 01:06

Eh....I tried for a while. Since way back when, when I took all the music ed classes even though I was a performance major (on a stringed instrument) I did have some instruction. I took a couple lessons from a local very fine player. As a brass player I already had embouchure muscles and wind control. But....I found no matter what I did, short barrel and all, I was flat across the whole range. Good clarinet, good mouthpiece. I gave up. I was getting a good sound (from my POV) for everything except the clarion which I didn't get around to attempting, too, but the flatness with no apparent solution just did me in. I went back to oboe, horn and tuba, all of which I can play in tune just fine. I should have had the teacher try my setup, but clarinet people seem to be more woozy about germs than oboists, who routinely will go back and forth with reeds.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-04-26 01:39

Ack! That sounds like a miserable experience. Do you think you'll ever try again, or have you completely lost the love for the clarinet?

I'm having Clarion woes myself, but I'm muddling through. Two weeks until my next lesson, and then I'll see if I sound as thin in that register to my teacher as to myself. I'm trying not to fret about it for now: I'm such a newbie at this, after all. I'm also trying to take to heart the idea (Malcolm Gladwell's, I think) that it takes about 10,000 hours of work to become expert at something.

I've got a ways to go...!

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: Green Henry 
Date:   2019-04-28 02:04

Excellent answer. Re playing with other people: YesYesYes! I took it up as a slightly aimless idea for a hobby three years ago when I retired with a vague idea of "playing classical music with other people", then fell in love with it and I haven't done any of the other things I was going to do, I just play whenever I can. It's not even that expensive when I consider how much cycling equipment I haven't bothered to buy... (I do still swim, but even that is "like the clarinet" because it's all about breathing ;-))

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: Green Henry 
Date:   2019-04-28 02:21

Dear Sunny and Beth
1) I blather on but I put it down to enthusiasm which is a Good Thing. Hope you agree...
2) As a late starter I was worried about all the other musicians doing an Invasion of the Body Snatchers and pointing at me and saying "You! You aren't any good! Get out!" but the opposite is the case. Better players (more or less everyone) have always been pleased that someone is getting into it. It's like a secret society that wants everyone to know about it. Non-musicians think it's a closed shop, but the more the merrier
3) I suspect as one gets better and plays in better ensembles there is more selection
4) My favourite playing together is duets I play with a someone I met at a saxophone session. We choose what to play and how fast. We get on well, but only meet to play.
5) Metronome when practising. Do it. Wrong note at right time is incomparably better than right note a moment early or late.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-04-28 03:16

As dear Martha Stewart would say, "Enthusiasm: It's a Good Thing."

I'm glad I'm not the only one who's strangely obsessed with learning the clarinet. I'm in my 50s, an avid knitter and professional volunteer, and felt like I wanted to learn an instrument and get back to performing music. (I used to sing in chorales, but my voice and hearing aren't improving with age.)

Thank you for reminding me to use a metronome!

My husband and son are tiring of me going on and on about the clarinet but don't seem to visibly flinch when I squawk. (Another Good Thing.) I'm trying to keep the spending in check -- though clarinet has so many shiny, interesting tools.

What instrument are you playing?

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: Green Henry 
Date:   2019-04-28 10:37

Martha has a good point!

I started with the Yamaha student model (the plastic one - is it a "250"?), but I upgraded to the next one up in their range, a "450" I think it's called, which is wooden and I think sounds better. I'm thinking of rewarding my recent exam pass by getting a "better" one, but deep down I know that 99% of sounding better will only come from inside.

The Yamahas feel well made and more or less identical to play, though the wooden one felt quite heavy at first.

For an orchestra (as opposed to a wind band) you really need an A clarinet as well. I currently have one on loan from a friend who isn't using it - lucky me, but I feel I should return it and get my own. It's a very old Boosey and Hawkes. Feels very strange at first as it's slightly longer, but I'm used to it now. It's made me think a) what sort I use might not matter so much and b) old ones are OK, maybe I'll try to get one second hand next time.

I also try not to bore my wife and (grown up) kids with how great the clarinet is and how much fun I have / how frustrated I get, and most of the time I succeed in buttoning my lip, but not all the time! I'll always remember hearing tennis player Lindsay Davenport interviewed after she won Wimbledon, and asked what her family thought. She said that they didn't have much to say. After twenty years her family were "over her tennis career". Good old Lindsay!

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-05-04 19:58

Thank you so, so much, Tony and Liz, for recommending that I look into New Horizons groups. I attended both Concert Band and Beginner Band last week, and it was a riot!

I could only play along with Concert Band about 20% of the time. However, it was easy to sight read along and to keep my place in the music. I feel confident that once I have more lesson time under my belt I'll be okay. (It really helps that I've sung in lots of choral groups -- and that I'm a rogue alto -- so I have some sense of harmonies and patterns, even though I don't yet have the technical ability with my horn.)

The Beginner Band was a better fit, of course. It's a much smaller group -- only about 7 members -- so I was called on to play with abandon and to switch parts a fair bit (I covered 1st clarinet, 2nd clarinet, or Bb trumpet parts, depending on where I was needed. There's another clarinetist with whom I switched parts.). I could play about 90% of the music, so was able to think more about dynamics, etc. This group will be a safe place to learn more about band-music notation, blending, etc. so that I can be a better band member in both groups.

Anyway, I'm so grateful to you both for urging me to look into New Horizons. So energizing -- and gives me motivation to keep working! (I was also gratified to observe that my tone doesn't suck as much as I thought it did!)

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: RKing 
Date:   2019-05-06 18:01

Beth,
This thread is an excellent idea and even though I don't consider myself a rank newbie, I was away from the instrument so long that I basically had to re-learn it when I came back.

How long have you been playing clarinet?
I have been back at it for about four years. I first learned to play in the 5th grade (1957!) school band, but dropped it when we couldn't afford the extra lesson cost in Junior High. I was also taking piano lessons.

Are you taking private lessons or are you learning on your own?
I started taking private lessons to re-learn the saxophone in 2013 and added the clarinet a year later, so I could re-learn it, too.

How often do you practice? How long are your practice sessions?
I generally practice twice a day, 30 minutes or so each time.

What method book are you using? Do you like it? Hate it? Why?
Rubank. We used this book in grade school and my private teacher uses it today. I have studied sax, clarinet, and flute - and Rubank is the method I have always used. It is a boring blue book and it works best if you have a teacher to guide you along. But it can be challenging and it seems to work.

What's your current "setup" (clarinet, mouthpiece, reeds, other)?
I have a Yamaha 255 "plastic fantastic" and a Buffet R-13. I have a dozen or so mouthpieces. I started on a Selmer Goldentone in school. Then re-started on a Fobes Debut in 2014, switched to a Fobes Cicero 12, and I am now using a Vandoren B45 Lyre with Vandoren Blue Box #2 and Aria #3 reeds.

I have a support brace where I can rest the bell of the clarinet and there is no pressure on my right thumb right now, so I can practice and try to regain the strength and control in my right hand (see below). I do not have enough strength to assemble the horn, so the Yamaha has been semi-permanently assembled. The Buffet will wait inside its case until I get well.

Do you have a musical goal?
I want to recover from all of my medical issues (spinal fusion and wrist fusion), so I can play the clarinet in my community band. I started in the band on the tenor sax and played the bass clarinet in my last two concerts. But my favorite instrument is the soprano clarinet and that is the one I want to play.

What is your greatest joy in learning clarinet?
The sound of the instrument. It makes beautiful music. I grew up watching Pete Fountain play on the Lawrence Welk show and always wanted to sound like him. I'll never make it, but I can dream!

What is your biggest challenge right now?
Recovering from wrist fusion surgery, so I can hold the clarinet properly and use my right hand properly. I injured my hand in a crash about 40 years ago and have not been able to hold the clarinet since then. It is very frustrating to see small children hold and play the clarinet very well and I cannot even hold on to it for more than 10 minutes. So I get to start all over once again. <LOL>

What has surprised you the most?
How much fun I am having with music right now. I played my way through college, but was never good enough to make a living in music. It is so much more fun to play and not have to worry about the grocery money!

Cheers,

Ron

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: mdj 
Date:   2019-05-07 00:36

Another user here thinking this thread is great!

Q: How long have you been playing clarinet?
A: Approx 4 years.

Q: Are you taking private lessons or are you learning on your own?
A: Have taken lessons since day 1. I didn’t even know how to assemble the instrument much less make a squeak.

Q: How often do you practice? How long are your practice sessions?
A: I try to practice daily but life sometimes gets in the way and I cannot. When I do it’s about 45-60 minutes. Sometimes I get 90 minutes.

Q: What method book are you using? Do you like it? Hate it? Why?
A: I use whatever my teacher subscribes and have always let her lead the way. I’ve also picked up along the way a few of the standard scale/exercise books to work out of that are often mentioned here.

Q: What's your current "setup" (clarinet, mouthpiece, reeds, other)?
A: I began on a very good Yamaha I had refurbished that my wife used 40 years ago when in school. Used it for about 2 years. I now am playing Buffet R13, Fobes San Francisco MP and Legere 3.25 Euro Sigs. I began on a Fobes Debut and experienced various reeds. Mostly used VD Trad 3.5’s in the past.

I’m not that into gear so I don’t have much in my ‘collection’. Have no plans on changing anything unless there is a need dictated by my teacher.

Q: Do you have a musical goal?
A: Just continue to learn and have fun. Perhaps someday play in a local community band. Or, perhaps meet a few other instrumentalists who play at my level or a little better who would tolerate me.

Q: What is your greatest joy in learning clarinet?
A: My teacher. I love the learning process of studying with her.

Q: What is your biggest challenge right now?
A: Speed.


Q: What has surprised you the most?
A: How complex the instrument is. Many make it look effortless.



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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-05-07 20:24

mdj wrote:

> Q: Do you have a musical goal?
> A: Just continue to learn and have fun. Perhaps someday play
> in a local community band. Or, perhaps meet a few other
> instrumentalists who play at my level or a little better who
> would tolerate me.

Hey, David --

See if there's a New Horizons group where you are. The ones in our area, it turns out, are pretty fantastic (not high-performance caliber, but good enough). Members and the conductor are really tolerant of learners -- and, in fact, the organization's goal is to provide a performing venue for adult learners.

The only drawback for our local groups is that they meet on weekday mornings. Early. Before I'm fully caffeinated. Still, I'm having lots of fun.

Beth

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-05-07 20:28

I love your expression "plastic fantastic," Ron and am hereby stealing it.

Your recovery sounds frustrating, and I hope you're able to get back to comfortable playing soon! Has a neck strap been suggested to you, to take some of the weight off your right hand? I think there's other adaptive gear out there, too.

Beth

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2019-05-08 00:54

COULD NOT RESIST ANY LONGER:

How long have you been playing clarinet?
Since 5/13/14 - 8/26/14

Are you taking private lessons or are you learning on your

own?
Some of both. Started with 16 private lessons to get

going then all on my own.

How often do you practice? How long are your practice

sessions?
Try to do 30-60 minutes a day but life often gets in the

way.

What method book are you using? Do you like it? Hate it?

Why?
None, unfortunately. Have one called Bruce Pearson

Book 1 - Bb Clarinet STANDARD OF EXCELLLENCE

Comprehensive Band Method I got while taking lessons to

fill in the gaps. Seems acceptable.

What's your current "setup" (clarinet, mouthpiece, reeds,

other)?
Buffet Germany E-11 Bb clarinet, OEM mouthpiece,

Vandoren M13 Lyre MP, KASPAR MP, Rico & Steuer reeds

2, 2.5, 3 strength, Korg Chromatic Tuner, various kinds of

cork grease, 3 cloths on cords.

Do you have a musical goal?
Only to play and enjoy it. No professional or band

affiliations or desires.

What is your greatest joy in learning clarinet?
Only to finally DO it and be successful enough for my

own needs and desires.

What is your biggest challenge right now?
Just starting to get into scales.

What has surprised you the most?
That I could learn to do it at all.

What else is on your mind?
That is about it. Except desire to keep improving.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: RKing 
Date:   2019-05-08 02:25

"I love your expression "plastic fantastic," Ron and am hereby stealing it.

Your recovery sounds frustrating, and I hope you're able to get back to comfortable playing soon! Has a neck strap been suggested to you, to take some of the weight off your right hand? I think there's other adaptive gear out there, too.

Beth"


Feel free to use the term with my blessing! <LOL>

I bought the Yamaha to use in the upcoming July 4 outdoor concerts and have been surprised at how good it sounds.

I have tried a neck strap. I use neck straps on my saxophones and they work fine - but we mainly use the right thumb to anchor our right hand and guide the horn, so it doesn't handle that much weight.

The neck straps they market for the clarinet are like Bungee cords - very springy. I found they took a little weight off my thumb, but not enough. So I tried a sax neck strap and it worked better, but the adjustment slides on all of these straps gets in the way of your LEFT thumb, so the strap can be a bother.

Since the strap didn't do enough and the pain injections wear off too fast, I decided to have the surgery. Only time will tell if it solves the problem.

Cheers.

Ron

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: mdj 
Date:   2019-05-08 13:21

"Hey, David -- See if there's a New Horizons group where you are. The ones in our area, it turns out, are pretty fantastic (not high-performance caliber, but good enough). Members and the conductor are really tolerant of learners -- and, in fact, the organization's goal is to provide a performing venue for adult learners. The only drawback for our local groups is that they meet on weekday mornings. Early. Before I'm fully caffeinated. Still, I'm having lots of fun. Beth"

Thanks, Beth. I would love to someday. However with my crazy work schedule I could never make rehearsals during the day. Ours are all somewhere from 9-11.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-05-08 15:52

Great to see you here, BGBG.

I commisserated with you in your other thread about starting to work on scales during my practice sessions. I'm only taking about 5 minutes right now to do scales, and am doing them as slowly as I need to so I can play them without mistakes. So far, I'm just doing C, F, G, and Bb major scales. At this point, my goal is just to get the patterns "in my fingers."

By the way, my copy of Baermann III arrived, and it will be well beyond me for some time to come. Wowzers!

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2019-05-09 06:27

My problem is not having books or scales to practice but in finding the time to practice. Too busy with other things and end up rushing through it. Once I got involved with working on reeds but I felt I was too involved in the mechanics than in the music so I got back to the playing part of it. And I did not really know if it was the reed at fault or something else. I really want to play the scales some every day though. Have about 36 pages of them now.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2019-05-09 06:58

Uh Oh....As I look at these 36 pages of scales they are somewhat of a mystery. The notes look familiar but I realize I do not really know or understand the concept of the scales. I can probably play the notes but feel lost and see I am going to have to find something that explains the scales rather than simply playing the notes. The sharps and flats are indicated at beginning of the staff lines but the notes are not marked so I have to remember what not to make sharp or flat. Anyone know of a site that explains or discusses the scales and how to go about studying them?

I just did a search and found some sites but of course I do not know how to choose which one(s) would be the most helpful from a musician's point of view.



Post Edited (2019-05-09 07:08)

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: RKing 
Date:   2019-05-09 17:31

If you are unfamiliar with western music theory and our concept of diatonic scales, etc., then I suggest you go "back to the beginning" and pick up a copy of something like "Clarinet for Dummies" and "Essential Elements (clarinet)". I still have both of these books and they helped when I started back on the clarinet.

These books are geared for beginners and will help you learn basic music theory as you go. If you can play all the notes on your clarinet, you are ahead of the game, but an understanding of basic music theory will be very helpful if you wish to play in a group.

And another tip - even though I started playing the piano when I was 10 years old and started college as a music theory major - I still "mark up" my music as my piano teacher taught me. <LOL> Some bands only loan the music to you. I take the time to make my own copies and I note the beginning key signature (and changes) plus all time and tempo changes. Then I also mark up the sharps and flats from the key signature at "first use" in various places in the piece.

There is nothing to be ashamed about if you do this. Many times during rehearsals, we will stop and pick up the song in different places and we don't always have time to go back and re-check what key or time signature we are playing, etc. If the music director says to start "at the pick up for measure 79", you want to be prepared.

Hope this helps,

Ron

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2019-05-09 19:08

Have decided I will just savor & enjoy the playing and do SOME scales and related. Like someone said in a post, "life is too short to be making and modifying reeds, repairing clarinets, and spending time on the mechanics unless needed and leads to a worthwhile goal". I like to learn but like playing MORE.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-05-09 21:23

The way I'd approach scales, if I had your goal of being able to easily play the music you like, is to identify the key your piece is written in, and then practice that scale a bit before you play your song. That may help get the sharps or flats "in your fingers" so you can enjoy playing your song more.

(I wrote about this at some length in replies in another thread.)

Don't overdo it. Scales are tools to help you play music more fluidly. Play the notes of the scale you decide to work on. Play the scale very, very slowly, to figure out what it sounds like and how your fingers are supposed to move. Don't feel like just because a scale is written in 16th notes (yikes!) you have to play quickly. Go slow.

The important thing is that you do what serves your musical goal. :)

Beth

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2019-05-09 21:51

Yes , I recall. Just starting to feel like too much work. Have to overcome this. Think I need to make a list of the scales and the sharp/flat notes in each for easy reference. By the time I see this many notes on a page I start wondering how to enlarge it without making it over. Did this many times with music pieces that were very small. Printed staff paper and drew notes 1/4" in size instead of 1/16" to see them 3 feet away. But can't keep doing this in large quantities.
I find your thread interesting and helpful. Thanks for the encouragement. B.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-05-10 01:51

Jenny Maclay posted a good blog post a few days ago on developing technique:

http://jennyclarinet.com/2019/05/the-complete-guide-to-developing-great-technique/

Jenny is a doctoral student in music in Quebec, I believe, and really seems to know what she's talking about. Great blog!



Post Edited (2019-05-10 01:53)

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: eac 2017
Date:   2019-05-13 16:50

Great blog about technique but her recommendations for books on technique are ambitious to say the least for beginners. I would suggest David Etheridge's "A Practical Approach to the Clarinet" series (he has one each for beginning, intermediate and advance clarinetists, only $15 each), J.B. Albert "24 Varied Scales and Exercises for the Clarinet in All Major and Minor Keys" edited by Julie DeRoche (the practice patterns are written out fully as opposed to the original edition, only $13) and "Prep Steps Before You Kroepsch" by Dr. Kristen Denny-Chambers, only $12. Much more approachable and realistic books, lovely new plates for printing so all are very legible. For beginners I would also suggest learning one flat and one sharp, then two flats and two sharps then moving to three flats and sharps instead of going around the Circle of Fifths recommended by Dr DeRoche.

Great thread! It has made me think about what I would do differently when I returned to my clarinet about ten years ago as well as what and how I need to approach my practice sessions now.

Liz Leckey

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: RKing 
Date:   2019-05-13 19:24

I will put in an extra plug for "Prep Steps Before You Kroepsch". It is really well done. There is one page of exercises devoted to each key and they are actually fun to play.

I never thought I would use the word "fun" with an etude book, but these are fun to try and exercise your fingers (and brain). Start slowly as usual and enjoy!

Ron

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2019-05-14 15:16

Once again, great recommendations -- thanks! My biggest challenge is to not bite off more than I can chew at this point. It's hard to be patient when I want to do *all the things^ now.

Keep those reality checks coming!

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2019-05-14 22:23

Another Silly Question: Now my problem is that on many or most music I download and/or print, including scales, has mainly small notes like maybe 2mm wide. I have always gotten wide space staff paper and for music I wish to play wrote out the notes larger and in pencil draft about 4-5 mm wide so could see them from a few feet away easily. Then I would play the pencil draft and if/when all correct I would blacken the notes in with PaperMate Flair Medium marker to make permanent. Seems like a lot of work but not really and it makes it easier to read.
With scales I tried enlarging with printer to 400 or 800 % but then found that even 1500% was no larger than the 800. To do that I took a screen shot of the scale with FS Capture and printed it in higher %. I am concluding that the best way to make notes but not the 8.5x11" staff paper larger is do do what I have done and copy them onto staff paper. Have not yet found easier or better way.
Unless someone else has found a way to enlarge the notes size only. If so I would like to know how. Otherwise I shall return to copying the C, F, and G major scale on large space staff paper. I just like the big notes.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: Green Henry 
Date:   2019-05-15 09:27

Dear BGBG
This is hard work! One way to make it a bit easier might be to try Muse Score. This is a free music notation software package, quite similar I believe to Sibelius but free! You have to register., but then you also get access to a lot of music that others have posted.

It's pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it, and there is an online manual and tutorials.

Two advantages are: you can print in various sizes, and it gets everything "right" for you, like key signatures.

It only works on computers (Windows or Mac), not on tablets or phones.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2019-05-16 01:18

Thanks. I believe my needs are simple enough to just keep on copying when needed. Just wondered how others did it.

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 Re: The Beginning Clarinetist Thread
Author: BGBG 
Date:   2019-05-17 07:07

Decided to try MuseScore 3.

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