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 Tone and technique
Author: Joe 
Date:   1999-06-27 22:13

What can I do to help imporve my tone and technique?

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 RE: Tone and technique
Author: Debbie 
Date:   1999-06-27 23:45

This is one of those topics of discussion that can be endlessly debated & in many different directions!!! But you can't go wrong if you work on mastering "the basics"...if you don't already have a teacher, find a good teacher who can show you many things that a book can't quite elaborate enough on (and a book can't actually take a clarinet & "show" you "how it's done"!!!) Will also help you avoid learning some bad habits that will have to be UN-learned later on; a most frustrating experience!!! Work on mastering all your major scales, chromatically & in whole steps; practice long tones with full breath support & correct breathing; master all the correct fingerings for the full range of the clarinet (this WILL come with time & diligent correct practice!!!); don't be obsessed with "speed" and "how fast" you can play something, especially at first; work on something as slowly as you need to in order to do it CORRECTLY...if you can't play something correctly slowly, you certainly won't be able to play it fast & coreectly!!! In time, speed will come. Work on sight-reading music, work at maintaining correct embouchure....also obtain CDs of great & legendary clarinetists who have beautiful & characteristically sound fundamental clarinet tone....and listen to them often...develop a mental image & concept of what a beautiful clarinet sound is to you....and go for it!!! Best of luck to you...just keep working at it daily...one day at a time....you'll be pleasantly surprised how the time passes and it all starts "coming together" for you...and you'll be glad you did it the right way!!!

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 RE: Tone and technique
Author: STuart 
Date:   1999-06-28 19:31

I think tone and technique and musicianship and expression and all these things are one. If you listen to yourself, just simply listen with a clear mind, things will come together. I would encourage you to learn by ear some of your favorite melodies. If you know some major scales you can play Somewhere Over the Rainbow in all of them. This piece is good for understanding intervals, and fits right in your ear. I was surprised to find how much this exercise built up my playing. I really found a new pleasure in playing. Finding a good teacher is tough, in my opinion, but important, like Debbie said, in avoiding the formation of bad habbits.

Good luck and don't lose sight of the joy of a melody!

PS: I got so hooked on this I started singing Karaoke with my friends. Then even alone! Now I Karaoke in the morning, sometimes during work...

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 RE: Tone and technique
Author: Marc Meurin 
Date:   1999-07-12 18:47

For a better tone, practice long tones every day, at least a half hour from low E to high F or G. Practice in a room with soundproofing or at least a carpeted area so that you can hear the 'real' sound you are producing. Concentrate on the sound you want, starting at PPP to F or FF then slowly back to PPP.

For great technique practice trills every day. Within a couple of months you wont believe it's you playing. Don't be afraid to practice trills very slowly at first to get the right transition without any in between sounds. I mean VERY slowly. When you have sound down, speed it up. Practice half and whole step trills. Each trill should be practiced at least twenty minutes to an hour. I know this sounds extreme, but virtuoso's practice them up to three hours, each trill! It goes without saying, you will not need a book for this so close your eyes and concentrate, concentrate, concentrate. Also, practice the difficult things. Forget about practicing what you already can do. You waste a lot of time practicing the simple scales but you do have to keep them in mind once in a while. But it is very important to challenge and push yourself. That's another key to success, push yourself to the limit...you can do it! Good luck, and try to find that place where you can hear your real tone, a carpeted or soundproof area. Another suggestion is to soak your hands in hot water for about 5 minutes. Try it as hot as you can bear without burning yourself. This relaxes the nerves. Another key to practice is to relax as much as possible.

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