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 Staccato
Author: Clarinetlover98 
Date:   2019-07-01 19:49

Dear Clarinet friends,
in past time I have got a problem. I'm a clarinetist from Austria, and I would like to ask about staccato. My staccato is quite fast but when it comes to a point of velocity, the articulation becomes fuzzy and not clear. The notes are not really seperated anymore and sound hard and not light and fast. So, could you tell me my mistake please so that I can improve? I would be very happy about it.


Best regards Clarinetlover98


Ps. My teacher sad my tongue is to near to the reed so thats the fuzzy effect.

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 Re: Staccato
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-07-01 20:09

If you are a very fast single tonguer than I would say that are are doing something differently when you speed up that you are not when you play at moderate tempos. For single tonguing staccato it is best practiced slowly (very much like Bonade would recommend - play first note by quickly releasing the tongue from the reed and then immediately placing it back on the reed; move fingers to next note; play next note by quickly releasing tongue from reed and immdediately placing the tongue back on the reed; repeat. All the while you continually blow air. He referred to this as "synchro-staccato."


It is also best to place the very "tip" of the tongue at the very top edge of the reed (immagine a dot placed rigtht at mid point of the very tip.....and aim for that).


Now if you use double tonguing as you move faster and faster, the technique really becomes minor interruptions of the air flow and that IS less distinct. You don't necessarily perceive the articulation from the playing stand point, but you will hear it on the playback of a recording of yourself. Alexey Gorokholinsky talks about this in his video tutorial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoInFr4b8kQ


However, if your teacher listens to you and says there is a problem hearing articulation, then I would not know how to address that any further.








.................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Staccato
Author: Clarinetlover98 
Date:   2019-07-01 21:10

Dear Mr. Aviles,

thank you very much for your fast answer. My last question is how is it when you play only one note as repition in a fast way?


Thank you very much.

Best regards.

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 Re: Staccato
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-07-01 21:35

I assume that you have not heard of the "synchro" or "stop staccato" practice method.

It is slow motion exercise of what we do fast. It will sound like this: TUT..pause...TUT...pause...TUT....etc.

I believe Benade described this in his Clarinet Compendium.



............Paul Aviles

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 Re: Staccato
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-07-01 21:49

>>TUT..pause...TUT...pause...TUT....etc.
I prefur;
THUT..pause...THUT...pause...THUT....etc.

For 'TUT', it is implied that one blows at the same time of the beginning of the sound.
For 'THUT', the air starts first and then the tongue releases the reed to use the air pressure that is already there.

Also, be constantly blowing air pressure during the 'pause'.

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 Re: Staccato
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-07-01 23:49

Ah Ken, the resultant sound must be explosive! Therefore it does come out as I have described......like little "pops" or "explosions."


"THUT" incicates to me coming off the reed too slowly.



Another analogy would be to press and release the valve on a full car tire. You want that sort of authority to the begining and end of the sound as you practice S-L-O-W-L-Y.







...............Paul Aviles



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 Re: Staccato
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-07-02 00:02

I have never had success teaching the TUT way, nor did I tongue properly being taught that way. Let the players try both and see what works for their individual physical make up.

I also could never tongue altissimo well while struggling to get it to work voicing "E". When I finally tried lowering the back of my tongue, all I could think was "WOW", everything was now working like magic.

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 Re: Staccato
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-07-02 02:21

One more shot at tonguing thing.


It is not a "way" to play clarinet. It is an exercise, or rather a step by step dissection of what is actually happening at speed. Robert Marcellus once said, "teaching proper tonguing is like potty training."


I just mentioned the voicing thing in another thread. Voicing is merely another way to change air speed. Personally I just manipulate air speed with my abdominal muscles (more "push" for higher notes). My only nod to voicing is for a good glissando but I am convinced that what is involved there is mostly the quick over relaxation of the embouchure.




..............Paul Aviles



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 Re: Staccato
Author: Clarinetlover98 
Date:   2019-07-02 12:43

Dear Friends,

thank you for the quick help. This is good Input. I will work on that.

Sincerly, Clarinetlover98.

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 Re: Staccato
Author: Ed 
Date:   2019-07-02 15:34

Quote:

It is also best to place the very "tip" of the tongue at the very top edge of the reed (immagine a dot placed rigtht at mid point of the very tip.....and aim for that).


I find that the exact placement varies depending on many factors, tongue length, amount of mouthpiece, etc. It is often best for a player to find what variation works for them.

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 Re: Staccato
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-07-02 17:15

Tongue length is not an issue as long as it fits in one's mouth. I may also say that the amount of mouthpiece one takes in (length of lay) and the angle at which one holds the clarinet is just as arbitrary to proper tonguing. Tip-to-tip tonguing offers dead on accuracy in terms of precise control of reed and knowing exactly when "on" and "off" happens (reed vibrating or not vibrating).


Your only other options are how far down from the tip you place what part of the tongue. I would say any of those variants offers less control and less immediacy.


HOWEVER, this is with respect to single tonguing! Double tonguing becomes a whole different ballgame.







..............Paul Aviles



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 Re: Staccato
Author: brycon 
Date:   2019-07-02 22:29

Quote:

Your only other options are how far down from the tip you place what part of the tongue. I would say any of those variants offers less control and less immediacy.


I tongue slightly farther back on the tongue and slightly farther down on the reed. Moreover, I know many other professionals who do as well. For myself and many of my students, I find this approach works much better than what you describe. So maybe there are other variations...



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 Re: Staccato
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2019-07-02 22:47

There are indeed a lot of ways to tongue well. Contact points, syllabification, angle and depth, tongue shape and tension can all vary. Further, varieties of articulation sound can be demanded by different music or passages or phrases or interpretations. It has been claimed (and on this forum, I think,) by someone with deep professional credentials, that one of the very best single tongue practitioners today uses anchor tonguing.

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 Re: Staccato
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-07-02 23:29

Ok, I feely concede that one can get really good results using all manner of technique.


Actually one thing we don't really discuss freely is the lack of swift tonguing that plagues a majority of us. In fact I have tried to make more of double tonguing with students to allow more of them to become competitive. One particular student said to me after a tutorial on how I wanted the double tonguing to happen, "but how will you know if I'm actually doing that?" This student had no trouble at all keeping up with my double tonguing just using standard single tonguing. Unfortunately many of us have a native musculature that holds us back.


This is why I have gotten a little less dogmatic (just a little) about old school, standard tonguing exercises. Double tonguing should be taught as a standard technique to ALL students and the approach is different, what we see in the link I posted above of Alexey Gorokholinsky.





.................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Staccato
Author: Ed 
Date:   2019-07-03 05:38

A friend tells tells me that Stanley Hasty talked about the "birth tonguing rate", the concept that some people just have a naturally fast tongue, while others don't. I have seen this over the years. I have known some players with a lightning fast staccato. When I have asked what they have done to get there, invariably the responses I have gotten is a shrug and "nothing really, I have always been able to do it."

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 Re: Staccato
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2019-07-03 21:06

Indeed there is a strong genetic component to a really rapid tongue. However if the player isn't using proper air, tongue placement, etc the speed will be greatly reduced.

Being able to say di, di, di, di, di, di, di, di (about 20 of them) really rapidly indicates that the person has a very good shot of having a quick tongue.


And not, would be the inverse.

http://www.SkypeClarinetLessons.com


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 Re: Staccato
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-07-03 23:11

Well I don't know about that David. From what I have experienced myself (and with students) you can bring things up a small percentage utilizing various practice techniques but your stuck with what you've got. That's why I wish there was more emphasis placed on double tonguing as a standard part of learning clarinet from the git go.



My single tongued "di, di, dis" are about at 108 beats per minute. And let's face it that's not going to win any important auditions.




..............Paul Aviles



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 Re: Staccato
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2019-07-04 04:23

I agree with Paul that STARTING with a tip to tip approach is sound, as long as other approaches are allowed for students who do not experience early success with this method. I also tongue significantly back from the tip of the tongue, although not to the extent that I would ever slip into anchor tonguing. This was never addressed in my studies as it was never an issue in my playing.

I strongly question whether double tonguing should really be taught "from the git go". It's an advanced technique that requires much greater stability of the back of the tongue than most beginning and intermediate students will have developed. I think single tonguing should be thoroughly worked out and maximized before double tonguing is broached. Having not ever taught double tonguing early on I do wonder how that might go. What has been your experience Paul? Has anyone else taught it to younger students?

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 Re: Staccato
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-07-04 04:37

Well...........I'm in the middle of trying it out.




.......sh


.............don't tell anyone




................I'll let you know how it goes




............................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Staccato
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-07-04 04:56

I was going to leave it at that but that would be a disservice to the issue.


The way I look at the idea of waiting for some level of advancement is that there is no way to know what advanced enough is. Also, double tonguing is an adjunct technique. It doesn't displace or interfere with standard technique. To get thoroughly adapted you do have to put in some serious time as referenced by Pittsburgh principal Michael Rusinek:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRgKs5t86A



No reason not to have that available.....if you need it. If you're playing that tongued sixteenth note section of the Nielsen at 144 beats per minute single tongue, then just don't worry about using your double tonguing.





..............Paul Aviles



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 Re: Staccato
Author: Clarinetlover98 
Date:   2019-07-06 18:13

Dear clarinet friends,

thank you very much for the advices.

Now I am a tip to tip player. The only problem I am lelft with, is how to keep the tip of the tongue upwards constantly.


I would be really happy about your advice.

Thank you, best regards, Clarinetlover98.

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 Re: Staccato
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-07-06 19:32

Clarinetlover98 wrote:

> Now I am a tip to tip player. The only problem I am lelft with,
> is how to keep the tip of the tongue upwards constantly.

Stop thinking - obsessing - about it and just tongue. Think of the way you articulate when you speak. Mimic that to the extent that you can, given the intrusion of the reed and mouthpiece.

Trying "to keep the tip of the tongue upwards constantly" as a goal in itself will inevitably cause tension that will be destructive of light, relaxed tonguing. Let your tongue do what it has to do to touch the reed.

Karl

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 Re: Staccato
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-07-07 02:55

So are you recommending that it's fine for the tongue to hit random points along the reed willy nilly?


I think that might be called a speech impediment.



:-)





.............Paul Aviles



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 Re: Staccato
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-07-07 04:57

I'm not recommending mimicking a speech impediment. Clarinetlever98 will have a much better idea whether or not his speech is clear and precise. And my suggestion came well after the discussion about tip-to-tip contact and where on the reed to make the contact. His concern about keeping "the tip of the tongue upwards constantly" seemed one step farther than necessary toward putting the cart before the horse and worrying more about what everything is doing than what the result sounds like.

Sometimes over-concern for mechanics gets in the way of results.

Karl

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 Re: Staccato
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-07-07 06:51

I just see the placement of tongue as a result of where it is going. There should be no strain involved, only the certainty of correct posture that comes from correct repetitions.



Perfect practice makes perfect.






...................Paul Aviles



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