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 bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: fbjacobo 
Date:   2021-02-22 20:04

I have a bass clarinet student who is just starting the Rubank advanced method on clarinet. I need some appropriate bass repertoire. He has already completed the Rubank Concert and Contest collection, and is half way through the Rhoads book. Can anyone recommend any more repertoire? I'd love to give him some bassoon concerti, but they are a little too hard. At least, the outer movements are. He's fine with adagios. All the bass clarinet solos I can find were written for college/conservatory level players, and are likewise, too difficult for a 9th-grader.

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: Hank Lehrer 
Date:   2021-02-22 20:33

Does he have a Low C bass?

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: Katrina 
Date:   2021-02-22 20:56

There is an entire Rubank book of Contest/Concert Solos for Bass Clarinet that ought to work well for you.

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2021-02-22 21:30

fbjacobo wrote:

> I'd love to give him
> some bassoon concerti, but they are a little too hard. At
> least, the outer movements are.

Have you looked into cello literature? If he has a C bass, the range should fit. If not, a small amount of transposition of C, C# and D would solve the problem. It seems to me there's a wide range in terms of technical level of cello lit from the Baroque and classical periods that are great fun to play. Can he handle any of the Bach Cello Suites?

Karl

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: fbjacobo 
Date:   2021-02-23 22:07

No. He's only in 9th grade.

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: fbjacobo 
Date:   2021-02-23 22:10

He's not advanced enough for the cello suites (or at least, most of the movements). Also, they're in bass clef. He doesn't know bass clef - yet. It would be a problem for him to be learning bass clef at his level. I'd rather spend his efforts on learning the instrument better.

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: fbjacobo 
Date:   2021-02-23 22:13

No. He's really too young to be spending that kind of money on an instrument.

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: tdufka 
Date:   2021-02-23 22:46

Karl, apart from the Bach Cello suites, do you have experience with other cello repertoire that you could recommend?

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2021-02-23 22:48

fbjacobo wrote:

> Also, they're in bass clef. He doesn't
> know bass clef - yet. It would be a problem for him to be
> learning bass clef at his level. I'd rather spend his efforts
> on learning the instrument better.
>

I misunderstood when you mentioned bassoon pieces that he reads bass clef. I understand that there would be a learning curve involved in having him practice reading bass clef parts and that it would distract a little (temporarily) from his technical development. But you might re-think not having him start to learn BC now, while he's young and less wedded than he'll be in 4 or 10 years to TC parts. Certainly not with the Bach suites, but maybe going back to an easier level using a baritone b.c. or bassoon method book (maybe even Rubank, starting with covering the Elementary book as quickly as he is able to do it). Doing this along with continuing advancement in the TC material he's now studying, I don't think it would take long before his BC reading caught up with his technical level and he could progress in both clefs.

If he's exclusively a bass player, he's going to have a hard time as he gets older and more advanced playing anything except band music without being able to manage bass clef. And it will be easier for him to learn it now than it will be later. Lots of kids begin piano study at his age, which requires reading both bass and treble.

I know this isn't what you asked about, and maybe not something you had wanted to consider, but I couldn't just let it pass.

Karl

Karl

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: fbjacobo 
Date:   2021-02-24 04:41

I'm of two minds on the bass clef thing. I may just have to bite the bullet qne do it so he has repertoire. He is a serious bass clarinet student, although I told his parents that he needed to know clarinet also if he wants to play in an orchestra, so we spend the first 5-10 minutes of each lesson doing that. The rest is on bass. I appreciate the feedback.

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: Buddy5000 
Date:   2021-02-24 06:27

I'm currently a 10th grade bass clarinetist. I spent most of last year working out of the Artistic Studies from the French School book. I really feel like I've gotten a lot better from playing these etudes.

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2021-02-24 08:04

tdufka wrote:

> Karl, apart from the Bach Cello suites, do you have experience
> with other cello repertoire that you could recommend?

To be honest, I don't teach bass clarinet and I only practice it in preparation for a job, so I don't have repertoire at my fingertips. But for advanced or intermediate material, a quick search at IMSLP turns up at least a few cello sonatas (e.g. Mendelssohn, Schubert) that might be generally suitable for a junior high/middle school bass clarinet player, though not for one who is just starting to read treble clef. There are also a number of books of studies and individual solos for any given level of cellist listed on the J.W.Pepper site that a bass clarinetist could play provided the bass clarinetist reads bass clef. I'm sure other music distributors have cello music that is light on double stops and specialized bowing exercise and musically interesting.

For a graded approach to learning the clef, the Suzuki cello books might be very useful. They're organized to provide a graded series of solo pieces for young cello students who, in classic Suzuki tradition, learn most of the books by rote from recordings and teacher modeling, but there's no reason why the same material wouldn't be good for a bass clarinet student who has a secure basic playing technique and is trying to learn to read bass clef. He won't be learning the rhythm side of the notation, only the pitches as they appear on the staff.

Apart from the Suzuki series, there are any number of elementary and intermediate cello methods on the market that could serve the purpose. You probably shouldn't ask a student to learn a new clef at his current technical level, at least not at first. Youi also should avoid using material the student has already learned from a treble clef source to make sure he is reading and not playing the familiar material by ear.

I can go back to my own experience. I hadn't learned to read anything but treble clef as a clarinet student. I didn't begin to take piano lessons until my first year of high school. I don't remember having any problem learning to read the bass clef for my left hand. But I've known adult reed players who, when faced with a bass clarinet part in bass clef, have to write it out (or have someone else transcribe it) in bass clef. The rest of their playing is all treble - the saxes, clarinets, flute, even oboe. Only if their doubles include bassoon do they have any experience with bass clef. Being limited to treble clef is a great inconvenience for them.

Karl

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: fbjacobo 
Date:   2021-02-24 17:32

I'm of two minds on the bass clef thing. I may just have to bite the bullet qne do it so he has repertoire. He is a serious bass clarinet student, although I told his parents that he needed to know clarinet also if he wants to play in an orchestra, so we spend the first 5-10 minutes of each lesson doing that. The rest is on bass. I appreciate the feedback.

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: tdufka 
Date:   2021-02-25 01:07

Thanks Karl!

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2021-02-25 17:21

Any piece for clarinet will work fine for bass clarinet, Just use clarinet repertoire and etudes. That's what I did for years but never had a student that young on bass. Music is music.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: fbjacobo 
Date:   2021-02-25 22:55

Hi again!

I guess I'm something of a purist. I want him to do Bass Clarinet music (or at least, music for low instruments), not arrangements of pieces that are not meant for a low instrument. I guess the Schumann Fantasiestucke would work, now that I think of it. Any other suggestions?

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2021-02-26 02:30

Ruth Gipps Prelude for Bass Clarinet. Will need a low C though it could be played up the octave. It’s also the composer’s centenary year this year.

Peter Cigleris

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: tdufka 
Date:   2021-02-26 04:06

Hi Peter, do you happen to know of any publisher that sells a .pdf version of that score? All I can find online is the printed version.

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: Hurstfarm 
Date:   2021-02-27 18:37

The Ruth Gipps is only available in hard copy. It was recorded recently by the CBSO's bass clarinettist, Mark O'Brien: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctCb4_uebWg - on a Royal Global Firebird bass.

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: tdufka 
Date:   2021-02-28 00:58

I was alerted yesterday by a Richard Amick that it is indeed available for digital download here:

https://www.juneemersonwindmusic.com/PRELUDE-Op-51-d3be186d-e21c-4652-b786-df6b3eefccef.html

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 Re: bass clarinet repertoire for a student
Author: Hurstfarm 
Date:   2021-02-28 01:21

Well spotted, thanks! I looked for it earlier on Emerson’s website and only found the print version - apologies for the misinformation!

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