10 All-State Practice Tips!

ClarinetMike says, "Genuine Excellent = Talent x Practice Time x Practice Quality. These tips will improve your practice quality."

ClarinetMike says, “Genuine Excellence = Talent x Practice Time x Practice Quality.”

Here are 10 general practice tips for preparing the All-State audition etudes (or any music). More All-State help coming soon from ClarinetMike!

  1. Go Slow. Load correct information only! Go slow and learn the rhythm and notes correctly the first time and every time.
  2. MORE Go Slow. Work on the etude by counting in eighth notes, i.e. twice as slow, where one eighth note gets one beat, one quarter note gets two counts, etc.
  3. Ornaments First Time and Every Time! In preparing the etude, YOU MUST learn it the right way slowly every single time. DO NOT skip grace notes, trills, turns, etc. and think you will add those later. BAD IDEA! Your “muscle memory” will be messed up and you’ll be relearning those spots forever.
  4. Performance Tone. Learn etude with a “performance tone,” not a “practice tone.” In fact, never use a “practice tone.” [This idea comes from Note Grouping video below.] A bad tone always sounds bad!
  5. Note Grouping. Practice Note Grouping Concept for fast passages. It is described in this video HERE.
  6. DYNAMICS! Dynamics, dynamics, dynamics every step of the way! Learn dynamics as you learn the rhythm and notes. Adding dynamics later does NOT work very well. Check out my ADD BOLD DYNAMICS! post.
  7. Practice Routine. Work on basics and scales every day in an organized Practice Routine. Put special attention on tonguing every day – check out my “Betty” post. FYI, the professor who chose this year’s Texas all-state music specifically mentioned the importance of daily work on basics and scales in the state music clinic at TBA.
  8. Sight-Reading. Do a little sight-reading every day to keep your playing fresh.
  9. Metronome. The metronome is a valuable tool and should be used a lot, but wisely. Do not use it 100% of the time when you practice the etudes. Do not get “Metronome Addiction.” This is where a person can play an etude well only with a metronome. Common Sense is also a valuable tool.
  10. Practice Rhy-No. Check out Rhy-No Practice,  Feed The Rhy-NoThe Fast Way, and other practice techniques from this blog – Click Here.

 

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 Italy, Spain, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas. In July, he will return to Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at Orfeo Music Festival 2017. 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. He's performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35. He performed for 11 years with the Paducah Symphony. His articles appear in journals such as Southwestern Musician, WINDPLAYER, NACWPI Journal and The Bandmasters' Review. As "ClarinetMike," he writes for his widely-read ClarinetMike Blog, clarinetmike.wordpress.com-viewed in 150 countries on 6 continents. He was recently a tenured Associate Professor of Clarinet for 11 years at Southeast Missouri State University. He returned to his native Texas in 2012 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, Bob Ackerman, and Pam Youngblood. His web page, clarinetmike.com, 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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5 Responses to 10 All-State Practice Tips!

  1. Gary Belshaw says:

    Nice work, Dr. Dean! Well said. I especially love: “Load correct information only.” And sight-reading: OMG. Just before I left home for the last time, I returned three separate stacks of music, each over a foot tall, to the music directors from whom I had borrowed them. I “borrowed” them, one at a time, over the course of 7 years, and read virtually every page in every score, usually at least three times, but often many more times.

  2. Binaya Rath says:

    Thank you. I’m happy to get the link to you.

  3. Pingback: ClarinetMike’s Texas TMEA All-State Clarinet Clinic 2016-17: Soprano Clarinet Etude No. 1, “The Polonaise” | ClarinetMike Blog

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