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 Learning to cross the break easily
Author: Rocky Beach 
Date:   2024-03-01 20:31

I know there are videos on YouTube showing how to cross the break easily. But I’m not sure which of these advices really helps and which one doesn’t.

can you recommend a video that’s really helpful in your opinion? Or describe how you are doing it?

Also can you recommend exercise books (where is written LH or RH in the notes) to learn how to best use the left hand and right hand pinky keys in combination to have the most easy fingering without having to slide between keys?

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 Re: Learning to cross the break easily
Author: m1964 
Date:   2024-03-01 22:01

The first thing you need to check if the craw foot is adjusted properly so the E/B key closes together with the F/C key.
Even slightest misalignment will cause troubles playing long B, thus making the transition to long B problematic, unless you press very hard on the key.
Also, if the pads on those two keys are not installed correctly, playing long B will require more finger pressure.

It helps to play long B with the F/C key closed as well- if there is a problem with alignment, it may help.

I am sure you will get more advice here from other participants.

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 Re: Learning to cross the break easily
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2024-03-02 00:41

Approach it from above, rather than below. Be sure you are using fast air and a high tongue position so that the upper register notes speak clearly and are not more than a little flat. This is a good time to review embouchure basics as well.
A well formed embouchure that doesn't move around when changing registers is important. The upper register is more picky about how well you cover the tone holes. The notes won't speak if your fingers are even a little bit off.

You may need a higher reed strength then you started with, but tread carefully there. A reed that is too hard will make the high notes easy but will also cause you to use too much jaw pressure, which makes for lots of problems down the line. You want a reed strentgh which helps support the high notes without being all airy sounding in the lower register.

Michelle Anderson (Clarinet Mentors) on Youtube is excellent in dealing with these issues.

Learning your major scales and arpeggios (and chromatic scale) is the best training on how the pinkie keys work best. You'll never have to slide between notes in any of these if you are using your pinkies correctly. There are times in actual music that you will, but they are fairly rare and you probably won't see any for awhile if you are playing music that is appropriate for your level right now.

(There's nothing wrong with trying something hard sometimes, but especially at the beginning you should mostly be playing things that progress slowly and evenly in difficulty.)

For adult self learning, the Rubank Clarnet Method books are pretty thorough in helping you through the process of learning corerct fingering habits. Hope that helps!


Post Edited (2024-03-02 00:45)

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 Re: Learning to cross the break easily
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2024-03-02 01:44

I've always thought it is best not to even think "break." As a beginner it may seem daunting to play from the A (the second space on the staff) to only the very next note which is the B (middle line of the staff). However, if you are armed with the notion that it does require more air to move to the next register (as it does on a recorder......no fancy register key there!), it should go much easier.

I start students with moving from (for example) from the C (first ledger line below the staff) to the G that sits on top of the fifth line of the staff - same fingering, just adding the register key AND a little more effort. You can pick other note combinations that are the same octave and a fifth apart starting from the low F (that's the note on the third ledger line below the staff) paired with the C which is the third space of the staff. Play the low note as slow half note (or even whole note), then simultaneously add the register key and more ENERGY. The upper member of the pair should pop out rather nicely now (play that the same length). Try that several times getting used to that feel and sound. Mix up the pairs of notes you use. Then, try that from the upper note to the lower note (a little harder to cut back on energy but that's the idea). Once you have a comfortable control over that idea you can then try the "dreaded" A to B now armed with the knowledge of how that feels properly.

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

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