ClarinetMike’s 101 Clarinet Tips: #6 Clarinet Section Help Toolkit
Band Contest is coming soon and your clarinet section needs help! What can you do?
ClarinetMike is here to help! Below is a “Toolkit” of ideas from my standard clarinet clinics and masterclasses.
Clarinet Section Help Toolkit
- Reed and Clarinet Check – Personally (or have the 1st chair) check the reed, ligature, and playing condition of the clarinet of each person in the section. Go right down the row and tell the kids the truth: A bad reed = a bad contest performance. As my band director used to say, “There are no excuses.”
- Posture – Make the kids sit up and not slouch. This will help on breathing and a million other things. Be sure they DON’T sit on the very edge of the chair – this could hurt someone’s back. Sit in the middle of the chair, etc. – use common sense here.
- Sound Projection – Read my article on sound projection HERE and follow the suggestions. Sound Projection makes a HUGE difference! Don’t miss on this one.
- Tonguing – Check out my recent post on the Basic Tonguing Exercise, “Betty.”
- Record It – Record them and let them immediately hear it. This may “wake them up.” A good recording and playback setup should be standard equipment in the rehearsal room.
- Rhy-No Practice – Another recent article, HERE. The reason this technique works is because it focuses on RHYTHM!! The rhythm is always the key – clap it and sing it over and over until they get it!
- More Air – If you don’t know what to say, then just say, “More Air.” It generally fixes things!
ClarinetMike says, “Plan carefully and go for it! For some inspiration, check out my take on John Wooden’s ideas.”