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 Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-13 18:52

Hi,

I'm still struggling with moving legato from low to high notes and I wondered if I could ask again for a spot of advice? I did ask before but I'm still utterly unable to do it right.

The hardest thing I'm trying to do is to go from open G to high E and it's not even theoretically that hard to get the fingering right, but I get an almighty shriek from clarinet every time.

I took my clarinet to the shop and it is apparently working just right, with no leaks.

I have been gradually readjusting my fingers so that the movement becomes more and more tiny between the two notes. I'm also trying to change my embouchure to the right position for the second note, before I actually quite make the change, but the reed still goes wild when I actually make the change.

The only thing that I can find that helps, is to very very lightly flick the reed with the tip of my tongue to steady it as the vibration changes from the low note to the high note, and I just wondered if you think that that is a reasonable thing to do?

I'm playing a new Yamaha Custom CX clarinet, with a J&D Hite E mouthpiece, and a Rigotti Gold 2.5 light reed, and Silverstein A-frame ligature. The barrel is now a Yamaha standard barrel for the model, but shortened to 62mm to keep me in tune.

Thanks so much for thinking about it. :-)

Jennifer

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Plonk 
Date:   2019-11-13 19:21

Do you mean E in the top space of the staff, or E on 3 ledger lines?

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-11-13 20:09

It is not a 'shriek' you are getting but an 'overtone' of low 'C'. There are no shrieks or squeaks on a clarinet, they are uncontrolled overtones.
All of the overtone eriess in acoustics are Octave, twice the vibration speed of the root, an Octave and a half, 3 times the root, 2 octaves, 4 times the root, etc, etc, etc.

However the unique sound of the clarinet is produced by skipping every other overtone. So for low 'C' the overtones are G, E, A, etc. The register key triggers the G and the lifted left index triggers high E (most of the time). But you are getting the next overtone above the 'E', altissimo 'A', because of an improper embouchure.
Congratulations, you are playing the upper reaches of the clarinet already. Good job!.

Now, how to control it;
In simple terms, the embouchure needs less jaw 'bite' and more side muscle pressure, like whistling. Also there air speed and inner mouth shape 'voicing' skills to learn about.

There are many excellent links on this site about embouchure that you should investigate.

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-13 20:59

Hi Ken,

Thanks that sounds really useful. I haven't tried varying the sides of my embouchure and I don't know anything at all about voicing, so I will look into that.

Thanks for taking the time to explain.

Jen

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-13 21:02
Attachment:  jump.jpg (352k)

Hi Plonk,

Thanks for asking. It's the notes in the attached image.

Ta!

Jen

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-11-13 21:43

Wow a 62mm barrel. Maybe there is something wrong here Jen. I'm wondering about the mouthpiece first. It's older and they do warp with time. I liked David Hite. A very nice man. Made nice mouthpieces.

Have you had the mouthpiece looked at? Way back in my college years I didn't take in enough mouthpiece so I experienced what you are talking about. After college I figured it out, not from teachers, but from a fellow double lip embouchure player. His advice was simple, take in as much mouthpiece as you can until you squeak, then back off just a shade. This is a hard change that can take a few months to learn. I've also realized that thicker mouthpiece patches on the beak and also too far forward placed on the mouthpiece can cause these issues. My goal when I had this problem was to play 12ths starting at the low E then hitting the octave key. See if your MP is in tune with the 12ths, if not you might also have a barrel issue as well ass a mouthpiece bore issue. At one point, just by moving my embouchure I was able to hit the 12ths without the octave key. This might be something to try for a few months. Played very slowly of course, whole notes.

If you want to part with your mouthpiece I'd be happy to measure it. We can do same day shipping. Figure out if the table is off or the rails are uneven, both, and maybe a small scratch you can hardly see. Once your mouthpiece is set I feel it's just steady practice of adjusting your embouchure, breathing, tongue position and maybe a reed change to a different company. Start with 12ths and then work your way from low to high.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-11-13 21:44

SunnyDaze wrote:

> The hardest thing I'm trying to do is to go from open G to high
> E and it's not even theoretically that hard to get the
> fingering right, but I get an almighty shriek from clarinet
> every time.
>

So, from your answer to Plonk, you're talking about C4 (middle C) to E5 (a twelfth above). The squeak is almost certainly caused by something's being open above the RH 2nd finger, venting the air column to produce a new node, much as the register key produces E5 from A3.

A couple of things to try:
Play G with your RH 1st and 2nd fingers down, so when you make the jump, you only have to move the left hand. If the squeak doesn't happen, but it does when you move both hands, one of your RH fingers isn't covering when you move everything at once. It can be because the rings and the top pad on the lower joint aren't adjusted correctly. If, when the pad is completely closed, the rings are a little too high, your fingers may not make good contact. If, when you've gotten the rings all the way down, the pad is not fully closed, that's a leak. If the bridge keys aren't adjusted correctly, the whole lower stack may not be able to go down all the way. All might seem well if the leak check wasn't done with the two sections assembled (bridge keys engaged) and the fingers you actually use weren't pressing on the rings.

If it isn't the RH fingers not covering, then you need to feel very carefully as you play to see if you may be only partially covering one of the LH holes. You also need to pay attention to whether or not you might be bumping the throat A key or the G#/Ab key or even the LH sliver (D3/Eb) key. Opening any of those even slightly when you make the change of fingerings could trigger a squeak. Not completely covering the thumb hole when you press the register key could be a culprit, too.

The only thing about these LH solutions is that they'd also affect other intervals from open G up into the clarion notes. So would reed or mouthpiece problems, and probably also embouchure movements. If it's really only jumping to E5 (what about F5 or F#5?), it's most likely a problem with the top pad or the first two fingers on the bottom (RH) section.

I don't remember if you have a teacher. You might try to eliminate or confirm a RH issue by having someone else who plays clarinet reasonably well to finger the interval while you blow with a normally formed embouchure. Turn the mouthpiece around with both the reed and the keys facing you so you can put the mouthpiece in your mouth while the other player works they keys.

Karl

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2019-11-13 22:06

You needn't change embouchure at all for this interval, and probably shouldn't. Play the E6 first, with an embouchure that allows the note to start well with a good sound, then slur to the C4 without changing anything. If that works well - and if there's no problem with the instrument - then that same embouchure will work in the other direction, C to E.

Another thing to practice. Play the C4, then using voicing alone produce the G5 a 12th higher, without changing the fingering or the embouchure. Then with the same fingering produce the E6, again by voicing alone. You can proceed further, to A6 etc. Work this up and down, and also the similar progressions starting on B4, A4, etc. You'll become aware of how voicing works, as separate from embouchure.

You needn't change embouchure anywhere in the normal range of the clarinet for normal tone production. Deliberate changes for reasons of intonation or tone quality are applied as needed, but you should have a general "set it and forget it" embouchure for nearly all of what you do.

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-14 01:37

Thank you so much for all of this great advice. I have made a list and will start to work through it all tomorrow.

Philip's advice is the thing that initially really jumps out at me, as I know I also can't slur back down. I have to stop the top note and restart the lower note when I slur down as well. Does that narrow it down a bit?

Thanks so much for your kind offer to look at my mp Bob. I am in the UK, so it would take a long time to reach you, but I will try one of my others and see if that helps. The mp does have a thick patch on it but the one that came with the clarinet doesn't, so I'll try that one.

Sorry to ask a dumb question, but why is open written G called C4? I'm not really up on the nomenclature, but I did find this page, and I'm still a bit confused.
https://www.8notes.com/clarinet/fingering/default.asp?notename=g4

Thanks so much again for your great advice. It really does help very much.

Jen

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-11-14 01:51

>>why is open written G called C4?
(You meant why is written C on the top of this site called C4? I bet)

There isn't a standard for the number on the note.
In this case, line below the treble staff, middle C on an 88 key piano, is the 4th octave up from the bottom.
On a 76 key piano it is C3, etc, etc.

Sometimes it is called C1 on the clarinet and sometimes it is C4.

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: hans 
Date:   2019-11-14 01:59

Jen,
One more suggestion, if I may.... have someone else do the fingerings while you do the blowing. If that succeeds, then it is probably a fingering issue and not a mouthpiece/embouchure issue.
Regards,
Hans

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-14 01:59
Attachment:  jump.jpg (352k)

Thanks Ken, yes I see what you mean.

The thing is that I'm playing a G and I'm not sure why it's being called a C. I'm just wondering if there's a misunderstanding, or if I'm not getting the nomenclature. I've attached the photo of the sheet music here again.

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2019-11-14 01:59

"why is open written G called C4?"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_pitch_notation

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-14 02:12

Hi Hans,

Thanks, yes that does sound extremely sensible. It's a bit hard to find a bloke who will come that far into my personal space and I don't know any female clarinet teachers nearby. I will keep it in mind in case I find someone who would do it though.

My teacher says it's likely that I'm not putting my fingers down all exactly at once, but I feel that there is more to it. The physics of the situation plays out quite differently on my other clarinet as well, and I'm not sure why. On the other clarinet sometimes as I cross the break I can feel the column of vibrating air in the low note joined to the column of vibrating air of the high note as if the one is pulling the other down the tube to get it started. Not always though.

It's a bit puzzling.

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2019-11-14 02:24

Jen, it's not called C4, it's called G4; and the upper note is called E5.

Why not drop in to WW&R and ask Daniel – or almost anyone there, including customers – to listen to your effort.

Can you get the E5 without the G4? If you can, just take off all your left hand, blowing the while, and then put it back as near as you can to where it was.

Tony

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-11-14 03:06

Where do you see G4, on a tuner? If so, it is set up wrong.

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-11-14 05:54

SunnyDaze wrote:

> The thing is that I'm playing a G and I'm not sure why it's
> being called a C.

I'm sorry - I probably started this confusion. I started writing about slurring from C4 (middle C) to E5 (top space treble clef. Your original post asked about slurring from open G (G4). Yes, C is C and G is G - there's no nomenclature problem, just careless posting on my part. The suggestions I made were made with G in mind as the bottom note, not C.

Karl

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-14 10:43

Hi Tony,

I did ask Daniel actually - he's so great with this kind of thing. He suggested that I practice singing the interval exactly as I want to play it. I've been doing that all week and found that I need much more vocal projection to pull it off with just my voice, and also that I need to have a much more erect posture in order to get that projection. At the moment I play my clarinet using a claritie sling which keeps the clarinet quite close to me. So then I tried removing the sling and holding the clarinet right out in front.

Anyway, having got it right with my voice and having and gone back to the clarinet, it makes no difference whatsoever. I'll try all the things suggested here today and see how it goes.

Thanks for the clarification on the C/G confusion.

For this -> Can you get the E5 without the G4? If you can, just take off all your left hand, blowing the while, and then put it back as near as you can to where it was.

I'm not sure what you mean by that.

Thanks!

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-14 11:57

You'll never believe this but I just tried the first thing on the list and it worked. I tried pulling in the side of my embouchure so that my lower lip is pressing much less hard on the reed and it completely changes everything.

I shall show my teacher and see if this is good. He can hear it better than me and will know if I'm finally getting it right. :-)

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-14 15:03

This is really interesting now. I figured out some stuff that might be useful for others in the same situation.

I'm trying to do three legato jumps: E4->C5, then F4 -> C5, then G4 - > E5

If my embouchure is wrong (not pulled in enough at the sides) then I get a silence between notes and a clear break in the vibration of the air column on the first two transitions (E4->C5, then F4 -> C5), and a shriek (overtone) when I play the third transition (G4 - > E5).

If I pull my embouchure in at the sides and get the fingering right then I get the good legato transition on all three.

If I get the embouchure right and the fingering wrong on the first set (E4 -> C5) then I get a smooth legato transition like this:

E4 -> F3 -> C5. This is because my left thumb is not pressing the register key quite quickly enough so I go down from E4 to F3, before then going up to C5. The interesting thing is that there is no silence between the notes, and no break in the vibrating air column. It just smoothly progresses through the three notes in perfect legato. So that's a really clear way to tell if it is the embouchure or the fingering that is the problem, when trying to explain to someone else.

Thanks so much for all of your help on this. I'm so pleased to be making progress.

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2019-11-14 19:30

Quote:

Can you get the E5 without the G4? If you can, just take off all your left hand, blowing the while, and then put it back as near as you can to where it was.

>> I'm not sure what you mean by that.>>

My thought was that if you can get a good E5, then doing the slur the other way gives you another frame of reference for your difficulty. It would then be possible to continue the oscillation between the two notes.

Creating a little cycle around a difficulty is often a good practice move.

Tony



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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-14 20:31

Hi Tony,

Thanks, yes I see what you mean. Bizarrely, I can now cycle freely legato between the two notes with perfect ease. Honestly - what would we do without friends and the internet?

Thanks!

Jen

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-11-15 12:43

You mentioned further back you can't slur 12ths down from upper to lower registers. You'll be hard pushed to find many players who can cleanly slur downwards from upper to lower register.

Slurring up is no problem at all, but you will generally have to tongue the lower note when slurring downwards across different registers as releasing the speaker key won't make the lower register note speak immediately. Slurring downwards in the same register is never an issue for anyone provided all the fingers are placed down smartly.

Back in the '80s while I worked at a shop, a customer came in complaining his clarinet is faulty because it won't slur downwards from the upper to lower register. I was in my teens and he completely dismissed my advice even though I was studying clarinet at the time, but both my boss (who plays clarinet) and a clarinet teacher were both present and they also told him the problem wasn't the clarinet, but the person on the north end of it.

The only instruments I can do a downward slur from upper to lower registers are flute and oboe (and cor anglais) by backing off the breath pressure on a held note (and releasing the 8ve key on oboe/cor). But I'm hard pushed to do that on clarinet to make it drop a 12th just by releasing the speaker key. I'm sure there are players that can do that no problem, but they've inevitably put a load of time and effort into it as it's going against the nature of the beast.

Chris.

Post Edited (2019-11-16 16:18)

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-11-15 18:36

>>You'll be hard pushed to find many players who can cleanly slur downwards from upper to lower register???

Sorry Chris, but I have to differ. Only the 12ths down are the most difficult and a "not-ideal embouchure" makes the slur downwards from upper to lower register a problem.
All intermediate to advanced double lip clarinet players can slur most of the non-12ths down and the best single lip players can. The 12ths are difficult because we are trying to 'convert' the overtone back to its root. The 12th is the strongest overtone in the clarinet sound and doesn't slur down with a poor embouchure, but other intervals are not restricted that way. Also, closing the register key early and some voicing skills helps on some of the 12ths.
I can slur down octaves and double octaves and other non-12 intervals easily and my students can, and I am not at the fine level of the players mentioned above.
Check this Tom Ridenour video at 1:11 - 1:30.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E03zHygaXhU

With more time I could find more proof on line. The Copland concerto has many in the opening.
Here is Richard Stoltzman, a double lip player, doing a fine job at 0:36, 1:16, 1:25, 1:34, 2:04, 2:37, 2:44, 3:43, 3:50 etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PaNDJgz4K4

Here is Ricardo's take on double lip;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZUOfN-wQEY

Learning double lip can solve many embouchure problems that then can be used with single lip. After learning double lip, slurring down is not difficult any more.



Post Edited (2019-11-16 19:47)

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2019-11-16 21:41

Ken is right. Slurring down intervals is a standard part of clarinet technique. No tonguing is necessary, and generally no embouchure change is necessary.

Personally, the downward slur of a 12th from B4 to E3 still gives me a little trouble: the E3 is delayed in speaking by a fraction of a second. It's audible. I'm wondering if instruments with the low E correction mechanism would permit this interval to slur more smoothly. (All the other 12ths etc. work fine with my standard clarinets.)

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-11-16 23:42

Don't blow me off Jen. Read carefully at what others are saying and I don't agree that the embouchure remains the same. The general position of the embouchure doesn't change but inside your mouth the tongue position and throat position isn't ever the same from the lowest note, E to the high C in the stratosphere. Players might not realize they are adjusting, but they are even in the tiniest movement. If you keep everything the same in the low notes to the highest notes intonation will be an issue, plus notes won't speak. Also your sound will suffer. I spent about a year or more playing violin music so I could play the high notes effortlessly. It worked.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




Post Edited (2019-11-16 23:48)

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-11-16 23:50

Unfortunately Bob, I think you need to post music to YouTube (or other streaming type site) and then post the link.





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



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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-11-16 23:51

A sample of continuous adjustments all over the horn.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-11-16 23:51
Attachment:  Flight_of_the_Bumblebee.mp3 (1547k)

Yes Paul, here it is! Good point. Hearing is often believing. Thanks Paul. The above post didn't have the attachment. I messed up! :)

A sample of continuous adjustments all over the horn. Also check out the amazing Frost and the incredible singer. If you don't adjust you can't play this. Even during circular breathing you are adjusting often without knowing. A piece like this is just fun to hear!

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/malena-ernman-martin-frost-flight-of-the-bumblebee_n_4979844


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




Post Edited (2019-11-17 00:13)

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-11-17 00:52

Impressive - but here is a better link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbQwQetKm2g

>>The general position of the embouchure doesn't change
I guess that is what I mean, the muscle group around the lip doesn't change but there is much that changes inside the mouth.

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-11-17 02:14

You bet there is a lot going on Ken! Good text! Cheers!


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-18 20:19

I see what you mean. Slurring down 12ths is tricky. Putting more mp in the mouth as Bob suggests does seem to help, but I still can't actually get an instant shift down.

I tried double-lipping but it's very hard to get my upper lip to reach far enough to fold under my top teeth.

I like that flight of the bumblebee video. That singer must have a lot of things going on on the inside to get so much control without moving her head or mouth on the outside.

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-18 21:31

Tom Ridenour's videos are good. I'm working my way through them.

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-19 23:44

I have worked through Tom Ridenour's videos and am trying the double lip embouchure now. It does improve the tone very much indeed, and makes the instrument much more resonant, and much louder. It feels much more natural than single-lip.

My legato break-crossing still works, though I have not yet managed to cross the 12ths legato going back down. I'm not sure if it will work with my sling, so I'm propping the bell on my knee. My wrist doesn't support the clarinet, because of a previous injury.

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-23 14:14

Hi,

I showed my new double-lip embouchure to my teacher and he says it sounds so much better that he thinks I should do it all the time from now on.

I have managed to set up my sling so that the clarinet is at the right angle for it to work, and I am getting on and adapting with all of my old practised pieces.

I just wondered if there might be a specific thread for people who are experimenting with a double-lip embouchure, so have a chat about what it's like and what people find when doing it? I would be interested to talk to others who are trying the same thing.

Thanks!

Jen

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-11-23 17:10

Jen,
Don't worry about "the 12ths legato going back down". You may never need it and it is difficult to do. Let me know if you do need it for a performance and I will let you know of a few secret tricks I know :=)

Why not start a double lip experimenter's link?

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 Re: Squeak on moving from open G up to high E
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-11-23 17:49

Hi Ken,

Thanks for that. :-)

I was just trying 12ths just now and they were going up and down disconcertingly easily. Not quite immediately, you know, but it was good. :-) I will write and ask for tips if I ever need to do it really properly. :-)

I'll start a new thread for double lip people. :-)

Thanks!

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