Here is the homework for this week.
- Here are a few links on correct clarinet embouchure: http://www.clarinet-now.com/poor-clarinet-embouchure.html, http://www.clarinet-now.com/clarinet-embouchure.html, https://www.tcnj.edu/~mckinney/clarinet_embouchure.htm
- Try to get comfortable holding and blowing into the clarinet. Remember that consistency is key, especially in the beginning! Try to spend a bit of time every day blowing a few notes on the clarinet, so you don’t have to reset/relearn the correct embouchure every time you pick up the instrument.
- Experiment with your embouchure, but always remember the basics; bottom lip tucked in, chin flat, top teeth anchored on the mouthpiece, and don’t take too much mouthpiece in your mouth! Watch out for puffy cheeks.
- Here is a good clarinet fingering chart: http://guybbrownmusic.weebly.com/uploads/2/6/2/1/26218452/_clarinet_fingering_chart.jpg
- Work on memorizing the notes we talked about (roughly G to Eb). Be able to associate the names of the notes with the correct fingerings. Go further with the fingering chart if you want to! Take groups of two or three notes, and practice them going up and down (eg. G, F#, F – F, F#, G) Try to avoid any “blips” in the sound, by moving your fingers on and off the keys as cleanly as possibly.
- Start your practice session with register slurs. Work your way up chromatically, starting with your lowest note! Use this exercise as a way of memorizing your note names, fingerings, and the order of notes on the clarinet.
- Keep working through the couple of pages in the Rubank book concerning the register change. Really focus on the parts that are challenging (eg. the jump from A to B). Make sure your fingers are as close as possible to the keys! You can generally leave your right or left pinkie on the side keys, which should ease the transition over the break a little bit.
- Continue working on C major. Again, focus on getting the A to the B as clean as possible. Take two notes (eg. A and B, B and C) and go back and forth between them until they are clean. Do the same thing with groups of three notes, then four notes, and so on.
- Work on your band music with a metronome! Try not to rush your eigth notes.
- Here are a couple of links that may help you: http://www.clarinet-now.com/clarinet-articulation.html, http://www.clarinet-now.com/crossing-the-break.html
- Use register slurs as a warm-up this week. Use this time to really focus on getting a nice, even sound in both registers, and to memorize the order of notes chromatically. Remember to use more air for the higher notes in the upper register (anything after our high G)
- Try reading the top part for the two Mozart duets! Start slow, and gradually try to bring them up to speed. Focus on the more difficult aspects of the pieces (eg. the sixteenth note passage in the first duet we played)
- Spend some more time looking at the difficult section of your new band piece (the one with all of the large leaps). Take each group of three notes one at a time, and only move on once everything is clean! My general rule of thumb is if you can’t get it five times in a row, it still needs work. Try not to fall behind or “drag” when playing this section with the metronome. Again, gradually speed this up only when you are ready.
- Continue playing through the pieces you have in rotation in your new book. Remember, you can think of these more as short etudes, and an exercise in sight reading, rather than something you need to perfect. The music you want to be “perfecting” is probably the longer-form, New Horizon pieces you have.
- Try doing some ear training on your own if you have any extra time at the end of your practice sessions. Play a note on the piano, and try singing it and playing it back on the saxophone afterwards.
- Continue to work up the tempo of your scales! Remember that a note in concert is two tones lower for us (eg. Concert Eb = C). When practicing your scales, take groups of five notes and play them up and down until they are even (eg. C, D, E F, G and back down, then D, E, F, G, A and back down, etc, etc.)
- Focus on adding dynamics to After You’ve Gone. Be more extreme when practicing dynamics at first, and then you can back off a bit.
- Work a bit more on the “Trio” section of the Mozart piece. Focus on getting all of the triplets nice and even, and correcting any articulation mistakes. Try playing the the entire piece (with repeats) without stopping, so you are prepared to do so on the audition.
- If you have free time at the end of your practice sessions, work on the pieces in the back of your band book for sight reading practice. Clap out or “sing” the rhythms before you play them.