Here is the homework for this week. Sorry I’m a little late getting it out!
- Work on the exercises we discussed in the Rubank book, centering around the higher register of the clarinet. Try to work on these towards the beginning of your practice sessions – when your embouchure will be less tired out and more firm. Focus on getting the right notes first, and then add the rhythms in when you feel comfortable with the notes. Remember, the main focus of these exercises is increasing your range.
- Keep working on C, G, F, and Bb major. Alternate with the scales; do no more than two a day! Try practicing full range of the instrument. Start on the ‘root’ of the scale (the first note), go all the way up to the highest note possible within the scale (even if its not the root), come down past the root to the lowest note possible on the clarinet, and finish with the root.
- Work out the kinks that are left in your band music; mainly, Lord of the Dance, and Syncopated Clock.
- Perhaps get some new, stronger reeds? Perhaps up a half-strength, so 3.
- Make sure to focus solely on your rock band music this week so you will be prepared for the upcoming recital! Spend at LEAST 10 minutes a day on each piece, ideally 15.
- Practice with a metronome – this will ensure you are playing the correct rhythms and that you will be able to stay in time when you are playing with the full band. If you need to start slower, that is okay – work your way up.
- When practicing High and Dry, try not to slow down when playing the 8th notes over the solo. The metronome will come in handy here. Try to clap out the rhythms if you are having a hard time remembering them, or listen to a recording of the song on YouTube.
- Here is a pretty good website that gives you some tips on proper clarinet embouchure and covers what we were talking about: http://www.clarinet-now.com/poor-clarinet-embouchure.html – Make sure to tuck in your bottom lip and to tighten up!
- Remember to watch your posture. Sit up straight so you will have optimal air support, and keep your chin high and in the air, as opposed to tucked in. This will help with sound and intonation.
- Work on your fingerings from Bb to low E. It is equally as important to memorize the note names as it is fingerings. You can try spending some time mentally practicing the fingerings in your head by looking at the fingering chart.
- Materials to pick up: Mouthpiece patches, a thumb rest, and the Rubank Elementary Method for Clarinet. I’m almost sure all of these can be found at Long & McQuade, but if not you will be able to find them on Amazon for sure. Make sure to get the thicker, black mouthpiece patches; not the clear ones.