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 one more problem....
Author: Therese 
Date:   1999-08-01 07:33

Any suggestions on how to approach the opening solo in "Rhapsody in Blue"? by Gershwin? I have never been able to "smear" very well due to a very overtight embouchure. thanks in advance!~*therese

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 RE: one more problem....
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-08-01 13:06

Check the Klarinet archives & try searching here in the archives. It's been discussed to death is both places :^)

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 RE: one more problem....
Author: Kevin Bowman 
Date:   1999-08-02 19:45

A couple of hints:
1) It *can* be done with a rock-solid embouchure but is *much* easier to do if you learn to "relax" the embouchure a bit.
2) The smear really only applies when you get over the break. Go chomatically from the chalemeau G to clarion B or C - you must be able to play the chromatic scale *very* quickly - it has to be even.
3) The smear is done mostly by sliding the fingers off the rings (in whichever what is most comfortable). This takes a LOT of practice - it took me years to perfect (or nearly) my technique. The biggest problem: grasping the instrument too tightly. The key is to relax.

Have fun. An introduction to Rhapsody in Blue led me to become a fan of Artie Shaw - probably the biggest user of glissandi (portamento, actually) in the swing era. Although I've never had the pleasure of performing the opening to Gershwin, I use glissandi quite often in my jazz performances (although I still can't compare to Artie :)

Kevin Bowman

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 RE: one more problem....
Author: Daniel 
Date:   1999-08-03 06:07

Hmmm... in the original piano version of the Rhapsody, it's merely a diatonic scale starting on the 5th scale degree of the key (Bb major scale starting on F <for clarinet would be C scale starting on G>), not a chromatic scale. And i don't think i've ever heard the Grofé arrangement for orchestra and piano played as a chromatic scale either.

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