Thanks for your work today. Today’s post is a little long because this was our last lesson together and I want to send you off well-equipped. I’d suggest copying this text somewhere for when you’re interested in picking up your clarinet at home.
Here are some shorter-term pieces of material that we talked about:

  • Chromatic scale from low E to middle A. Play with a metronome at a comfortable tempo (~60 bpm) and use the fingering chart if you need.
  • Work on sight-reading in the Galper Book. Choose an etude to play through every time you sit down to practice – try to listen for the melody and play musically, even though you’re reading.

Here are some things we looked at in class that could be helpful for your playing in the long-term:

The components of a practice session (each should take about equal amounts of time):

1. Tone warmup

  • With a tuner.
  • The register switch warmup is a good warmup to stick with. There are lots of other good ones in the Galper Book (usually at the top of the page, mostly in whole notes).
  • Listen deeply, aim for consistency. For best results, practice in front of a mirror, looking for the witch chin and no more embouchure tension than necessary.

2. Technique

  • with a metronome.
  • scales and/or arpeggios. The Galper Scale Book is a really good resource for this.
  • Or sight-reading: sit down and play through one etude from the Galper book.

3. Repertoire (music)

  • You can use material from school or try playing a song you’ve heard elsewhere by ear. Remember, you know all of the notes on the clarinet (chromatic scale) so that means that you are equipped to learn any melody!

Take Care!


#1. Flexibility Excercise. Practice this quietly, growing to an mp-mf in the middle of the phrase then diminuendo until the end of the phrase. Each group of three notes should take a full breath. Remember, tension in the embouchure is the enemy! Controlled looseness will open up your tone and help your flexibility.

#2. Continue F# minor scale, pg.63 of Voxman Book. Work up in speed, never losing sight of the goal of consistent technique.

#3. F# minor etude

  • metronome at 120, accented beat one. Don’t lose track of it as you play!
  • Practice it with the grace notes (but not the trills) this week.
  • Remember that you can hold the low C# key down and it will act as a G# key.
  • Play with more extreme dynamics (especially the pp towards the end of the piece), and don’t forget the written articulation.

#4. Danzon:

  • Don’t rush this; for best results, accuracy comes before speed. Practice with a metronome at 140 bpm, really being strict with the time. You have a tendency to add a beat in the staccato section, so practice with an accent on beat one and pay attention to make sure you don’t speed up.

#5. Memorize the melody of Blue Bossa (pg. 50 in the Real Book). Listening will help. Choose your favorite version:

Blue Bossa by Joe Henderson

Blue Bossa by Dexter Gordon

If you want, see if you can use your harmony chops to decipher the chord changes on the sheet music of Blue Bossa. Can you see or hear where the modulation happens?