ClarinetMike’s 101 Clarinet Tips: #6 Clarinet Section Help Toolkit

ClarinetMike Clarinet Clinic

ClarinetMike’s Clarinet Section Help Toolkit

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.”

About ClarinetMike

American clarinetist MICHAEL DEAN performs and teaches internationally and across the USA to consistent praise such as "world-class clarinetist and pedagogue," "consummate performer," "inspirational," "outstanding teacher," "super," "brilliant performer," and "one of the best clinicians I have ever seen." His career is headlined by appearances at Carnegie Hall, ClarinetFest, NACWPI, Eastman School of Music, and Royal Northern College of Music with recent recitals and master classes in Canada, Italy, Spain, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas. In July, he will again return to Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at the international Orfeo Music Festival 2019. He is featured on 5 commercial CD's and on New Media, such as YouTube. He is currently preparing another new clarinet CD, Postcards from Silver Lake. Dr. Dean has given more than 500 clinics, master classes and performances at high schools, universities, conferences and other venues. For 11 years he was a clarinetist with the Paducah Symphony and he's also performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35. His articles appear in journals such as Southwestern Musician, WINDPLAYER, NACWPI Journal and The Bandmasters' Review. As "ClarinetMike," he writes for his widely-viewed ClarinetMike Blog, the Internet’s #1 clarinet blog read in 150 countries on 6 continents: After a successful 25 years of teaching clarinet at the university level, he relocated to his native Texas due to family concerns. He is a past president and former National Board officer of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI). Dr. Michael Dean studied clarinet performance at Texas Tech University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas at Arlington. His teachers include Robert Walzel, Phil Aaholm, Carol Jessup, Jess Youngblood, and Bob Ackerman. His web page,, features video of his teaching and performing as well as information on his CD's and other publications. He is a BG France Performing Artist.
This entry was posted in All, ClarinetMike's 101 Clarinet Tips, Performance & Pedagogy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to ClarinetMike’s 101 Clarinet Tips: #6 Clarinet Section Help Toolkit

  1. Pingback: ClarinetMike’s 101 Clarinet Tips: #1-10 | ClarinetMike Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s