[NOTE: Below is a slightly revised version of a previous blog post. This guide is from my Texas All-State Clarinet Clinic Lecture Notes. Look for more All-State help from ClarinetMike in coming weeks!]
ClarinetMike’s Texas All-State Clarinet Clinic: Preparation Guide
Dr. Michael Dean
“Building Great Clarinetists”
Clarinet Performing, Teaching and Consulting
BG France Performing Artist
firstname.lastname@example.org * 682-888-7639
clarinetmike.wordpress.com * clarinetmike.com
- Get quality equipment. My soprano clarinet set up: Buffet R13 clarinet, M13 Lyre or D’Addario Reserve XO mouthpiece, Vandoren V12 3.5 or D’Addario Reserve Classic 3.5 reeds, BG Revelation or Super Revelation ligature, metronome/tuner, silk swab, BG Pad Dryer, etc.
- Find a good private teacher who teaches good basics and musical style. Stay away from Rote-Only Teachers. [Also, don’t just copy a recording. Learn to count!]
- It’s Always about the MUSIC. So, work on ARTC Basics & ARTSY Musical Style (Phrasing, esp. Romantic style)
- Loading & Unloading (See Frank R. Wilson) Slow Careful Practice = Speedy, Confident Performance. The Tortoise and the Hare – Be a Turtle!
- Focus on what you control: Preparation & Effort. Success, John Wooden, etc.
- Genuine Excellence = Talent × Practice Time × Practice Quality.
- Power of Habit. Work on Basics (ARTC) & Scales, along with the All-State Music in a Practice Routine.
General Preparation Tips
- Practice on and perform with good reeds.
- Use a metronome and tuner.
- Record yourself – check out phone apps!
- Sound Projection & Dynamics.
- Plan and mark breathing carefully
- Understand music terms, notation, ornaments, etc.
- Create a cheat sheet. Write each etude’s scales and arpeggios in the upper corner.
- Clap and sing the music.
- Check out additional Practice Tips.
Etude Preparation Tips (Template)
- Overview on composer and musical style.
- Key(s) and Tempo(s).
- Scale and Arpeggio Cheat Sheet
- Technical Issues (articulation, rhythms, fingerings, etc.).
- Problem Passages.
- Sections, Phrases, and Musical Issues.
- Breath Marks.
- Suggested Listening