ClarinetMike’s Texas All-State Preparation Tips: Soprano Clarinet Etudes 2014-15


ClarinetMike Clarinet Clinic

ClarinetMike says, “Practice!”

Below are my template notes on the three all-state etudes based on my previously published Preparation Guide and Template.

Texas All-State Soprano Clarinet Clinic:
2014-15 Etude Prep Template Notes

Dr. Michael Dean
“Building Great Clarinetists”
Clarinet Performing, Teaching and Consulting * 682-888-7639 *

Etude Book: David Hite, Artistic Studies, Book 1 – From the French School, Southern Music Company

IMPORTANT: Load ONLY accurate information by using Rhy-No Practice Technique with BOLD Dynamics.

Etude 1, Allegro vivace, Page: 65, Key: G Minor, Etude Title: 32 Etudes, 20, Play from Beginning to end.Tempo: Dotted Quarter Note = 50-60 – learn in 3 slowly, Errata: 17 through 31 should not be repeated.

  1. Overview: Fast etude – Arpeggios, tonguing, Larsen Trick, Hyper Meter, mm 17-20, mm1-12 same as mm65-76, stop and breathe
  2. Key(s) and Tempo(s). G minor & Dotted Quarter note = 50-60. Learn in 3, perform in 1 [Accuracy over speed!]
  3. Scale and Arpeggio Cheat Sheet: G minor scale and esp. arpeggio.                      Arpeggios: G- = G Bb D,  D(7) = D F# A (C),  F# Dim 7th = F# A C Eb,                       C- = C Eb G,  Bb(7) = Bb D F (Ab), Eb = Eb G Bb
  4. Technical Issues: Tonguing – Use BTE, “Betty” (Basic Tonguing Exercise); Notice ~constant 3 slur-3 staccato figure – Use Larsen Trick of “play 3 notes, STOP, play 6 notes, STOP, play 6 notes, STOP, play 6 notes, etc.” Staccato = Separated, not short. Learn staccato notes slow and long, perform them fast and short. Use some “Hyper Meter” when in 1
  5. Problem Passages. mm17-20 is difficult. On BEAT 1: do a one-note trill on downbeat as a triplet and then put grace notes on upbeat as 2 sixteenths. On one-note trill, use regular Bb fingering and go to C by adding top 2 trill keys.
  6. Sections, Phrases, and Musical Issues. mm1-12 same as mm65-76 (except faster) BOLD dynamics.
  7. Breath Marks. While learning in 3, breathe wherever needed – NO TENSION. When performing in 3 or 1, just STOP and Breathe. Plan breathing carefully.
  8. Other. Don’t play too fast! Always, Always, Always play with a beautiful tone!


Etude 2, Adagio non troppo, Page 34, Key: E minor, Etude Title: 40 Studies, No. 32, Play from Beginning to downbeat of m49.  Errata: m12 Last grouping of 32nds should begin with a C natural not a C#.

  1. Overview: Slow etude: Understand the 6 phrases, dynamics and musicianship!, ornaments, get tempo right: eight note = 88
  2. Key(s) and Tempo(s). E minor & Eight note = 88. Learn and perform in eighth notes – NOT in quarters (Adagio means SLOW!
  3. Scale and Arpeggio Cheat Sheet: E minor scale, but mostly linear.
  4. Technical Issues: Romantic Phrasing and dynamics!; legato tonguing in m2, m11, m32, m34, etc.
  5. Problem Passages. mm23-24, m32 and mm47-49 need lots of attention – rubato is appropriate. Do Agitato mm36-38 with an accelerando into the slower Et Largement mm39-41.
  6. Sections, Phrases, and Musical Issues. Ornaments! Grace notes on upbeats in m10, m23, and m42. Turn in m8 as 2 notes on downbeat & 3 on upbeat OR 1 on down & 4 on upbeat as preferred. Know the 6 phrases:
    Phrase 1 – Beginning thru m.9.
    Phrase 2 – m10 to mm17 beat 4
    Phrase 3 –  m17 beat 7 to first note of m25
    Phrase 4 – first note of m25 thru m32
    Phrase 5 – m33 to m41
    Phrase 6 – m42 to end (m49)
  7. Breath Marks. Relate breathing to Romantic Phrasing as much as possible. Opera breaths.
  8. Other. Careful with rubato in an audition – mostly use rubato only in spots mentioned above. Over-the-top dynamics!


Etude 3, Allegro furioso, Page 71, Etude Title: 32 Etudes, 26, Play from Beginning to end. Errata: m12 no repeat, plus MORE – See HERE.

  1. Overview: Fast etude -Arpeggios, tonguing, even 16ths, play with GREAT tone!
  2. Key(s) and Tempo(s). C minor & Quarter note = 100 or less. Learn in 8, perform in 4 [Accuracy over speed!]
  3. Scale and Arpeggio Cheat Sheet: C minor scale and esp. arpeggio.  Lots of Chromatic scale. All three fully diminished 7ths.                                                                       Arpeggios: C- = C Eb G,   G(7) = G B D (F),   F- = F Ab C,   Eb = Eb G Bb,                          E Dim 7th = E G Bb Db,  F Dim 7th = F Ab B D,   F# Dim 7th = F# A C Eb,               Bb7 = Bb D F Ab,  C = C E G
  4. Technical Issues: Tonguing – As above, Use BTE, “Betty” (Basic Tonguing Exercise); Notice lots of staccatos on first note of sixteenth pattern – DON’T Rush off it!!! – Keep Sixteenths even rhythmically. See above on Staccato.
  5. Problem Passages. Move grace note in m17 to last half of final note of m16 – i.e. change last note in m16 to a 32nd and make grace note also a 32nd after it. To be clear, 4th  beat of m16 is 3 sixteenths and then 2 thirtyseconds. In mm16-18 focus on lower notes.
  6. Sections, Phrases, and Musical Issues. BOLD dynamics.  BE STEADY as a rock rhythmically with GREAT TONE!!!
  7. Breath Marks.  Leave notes out as needed to breathe (beat 2 in m5, for example) and take a little extra time to breath (m9 etc.). Stay relaxed!
  8. Other. Don’t play too fast! Always, Always, Always play with a beautiful tone!

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.
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1 Response to ClarinetMike’s Texas All-State Preparation Tips: Soprano Clarinet Etudes 2014-15

  1. thanks for the information

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