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 bass clarinet lessons
Author: col 
Date:   1999-07-27 10:12

Hi

I would appreciate some advice on teaching the bass clarinet. I have taught B flat clarinet for the past several years and have just been asked whether i teach bass clarinet. I said i would help them out while they look for someone more permanent. Could you please give some advice on what music,and exercises you would recommend for begginer bass clarinet students.

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 RE: bass clarinet lessons
Author: Katherine Pincock 
Date:   1999-07-27 17:37

When I was working on learning bass clarinet, I found that most of the exercises you do on Bb work equally well on bass. It's especially good to do long tone studies, since the bass clarinet does require more air support. One thing to watch out for is the placement of the embouchure on the mouthpiece: most people tend to take in too little mouthpiece, and it makes everything much more difficult. The best guide for that is to put the point on the embouchure where the edge of the lip is at the point on the mouthpiece where the reed is just starting to separate from the table. It'll feel strange, especially if the student has played Bb before, but it makes everything easier. It's important to do work on articulation, since the air column moves a lot more slowly on bass, and on intonation, since most basses, in my experience, have some unusual tuning areas.
As for books etc., I've seen a few, but more of those were intended for more advanced players (things like bass clarinet orchestral excerpts.) I think that it would be easier to take Bb exercises and modify them for your purposes. Hope this helps!

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 RE: bass clarinet lessons
Author: Alec Thigpen 
Date:   1999-07-27 19:01

You might also try rewriting some of the low note studies in the Klose' book to include keys additional to the bass, Eb on most, but possibly down to C if appropriate. This might mean to just transpose down a half step on some of the existing studies for the Eb addition.

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