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 How to play Armenian style?
Author: hambone42 
Date:   2013-09-20 04:52

Hi all,

First time posting here. I just got an albert system Bb clarinet from Armenia and I'm trying to learn how to play Armenian style music. I've played on a classic Boehm system for a few years, and was classically trained so things like bending notes are new to me.

I've recently spoke with someone who told me that I needed very thin reads to play Armenian style music (0.5 - 1), I only managed to find a 1.5 Rico.

I'm wondering if anyone can tell me what's going on, for example, in this video:

Is he bending, trilling, etc? What are the techniques that I must learn to play like this?


Post Edited (2013-09-20 04:58)

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 Re: How to play Armenian style?
Author: Katrina 
Date:   2013-09-20 16:46

That's an awesome link! I've not had much practice with mid-eastern and Armenian clarinet playing, but much of it is similar to Romani clarinet playing too!

I have been trying for years to develop this kind of playing and like you I'm classically trained...The tone quality/timbre is the thing to start with before dealing with bending notes. You should strive for a singing, vocal, light sound. Pitch bending and portamento or gliss is easier with a light sound.

Listening and continuing to try to sound like this and PRACTICE is the best thing to work on it...

There's also a website called Greek and Turkish Clarinet that can provide you with many ideas and more videos. They've got an active discussion board too.

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 Re: How to play Armenian style?
Author: hambone42 
Date:   2013-09-22 21:52

Hi Katrina,

Thanks for the response. I've already posted on the gtc forum.

Practice is definitely key. But I've noticed a huge change in sound when I switched from my old student Boehm to a more intermediate Albert (made of wood) clarinet. Also when I changed from a size 3 reed to a size 1 and 1/2. I still have my old mouthpiece so I think the next step is to get a new one.

Things like reed size, mouth piece, special scales/arpeggios, and playing techniques is what I was after.

For example, one technique I've noticed is the heavy use of pickup notes and trills. I can't tell if these are happening with the fingers or with the mouth/tongue, though.

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