Great to see you again. Lots of improvement from both of you this week! Keep up the good work, and good luck with the practicing.
Start your practice routine with long tones as usual. Try to keep a consistent flow to the sound as you go between various dynamics. Take a bigger breath before you start playing,r remembering to breathe from the stomach. When playing at a softer volume, try not to tense up too much – keep your embouchure relaxed and air flow steady.
Your tongue position plays a big part in tone quality and tuning. Experiment moving it up and down as you play a long tone, and listen to how it can effect tuning especially at different volumes (loud vs quit, high vs low tongue).
Try memorizing the fingerings for B and C that we worked on in lesson. Remember that there are two different fingerings for each note (left hand pinky and right hand pinky fingerings). When approaching the middle B and C, make sure that all the finger holes are being covered as any air that escapes will cause you to hit that higher-pitched note.
Aim for as little air escaping from the sides of your mouth as possible. Keep the clarinet a bit more forward; you don’t want your air stream to be constricted, so keep your head straight and the clarinet at a 45 degree angle or so in front of you.
Look into purchasing the Klose method book I recommended, as it is very extensive and goes from covering the very basics all the way through to more advanced technique. As well, I suggest investing in a mouth piece patch and thumb rest for your clarinet. The rubber thumb rests are relatively inexpensive and will alleviate strain/callouses on the thumb that supports much of the clarinet weight. Bring in any material you would like to work on next week, and good luck with the practicing!
Your tone is coming along nicely, Dylan. Keep practicing long tones, and try to sustain the note for longer. Aim to have a consistent sound as you increase in dynamics, and try to match your starting and ending quiet volume. When you play at a louder volume, remember to control your air and to watch the position of your tongue. The tongue position is very important, both in controlling your sound/pitch and also for our tonguing exercises.
Remember to breathe from your stomach, and don’t tighten up your embouchure too much when you are playing in the upper register or at a quieter dynamic.
Continue practicing the tonguing exercise with a metronome (if you can), going through the various subdivisions (quarters, eights, triplets, sixteenths). Remember to aim for a very light tongue, and try not to smack the reed too hard. Also, try not tonguing the very tip of the reed, but instead right under it and very lightly/gently. Try the “T” vowel (light T) that we discussed to check on the tongue position.
Practice the C major scale and the arpeggios that I copied for you. Remember to change how you articulate it (play it once all tongued, once all legato, once tonguing every first of the three notes). Work on memorizing the high D fingering, as well as practice approaching it from other notes (C-D, B-D, A-D, etc.). The high D has a very open quality, and is very free blowing – work on controlling your air and embouchure. Try to keep the tone warm and the sound under control, and not too bright/thin. Don’t tense up when you are up in the higher register, and watch for tuning on the upper notes when going through the exercise.
Look into buying the saxophone method book “Technique of the Saxophone” that I copied that exercise from. Highly recommended! Look forward to next week, and happy practicing!