“Championships are won in the off-season.”
The above is true in the music world as in the sports world. Summer is when our clarinet playing can make major strides and thus enable us to perform well in the fall at all-state competitions, recital hearings, chair placements, juries, and other auditions of various kinds. Below are 7 things a clarinetist could do to improve this summer.
- Take Clarinet Lessons. Make sure you have a good teacher who spends time improving your clarinet basics and teaching you how to practice. Rote-only clarinet teachers are bad clarinet teachers.
- Upgrade Embouchure. Check out my 5-C clarinet embouchure HERE and related embouchure tips HERE.
- Improve Tonguing. Spend quality time with your new best friend, Betty: CLICK HERE.
- Enhance Posture. Check out these posture links: Head Position, Don’t Lean Over, Don’t Look Down, and Unkink Your Hose.
- Get Better Reeds. Check out the new reeds from D’Addario and Vandoren: especially the D’Addario Reserve and Reserve Classic. Also, I strongly recommend checking out the ReedGeek. Mrs. ClarinetMike says I’m “volitionally ignorant” on mechanical things; however, I find the ReedGeek super easy to use and it really helps!!
- Learn New Practice Techniques. Try these out: Rhy-NO Practice, Feed The Rhy-No!, The Fast Way!, Note Grouping, and others.
- Play Duets. Get together with your buddies and have FUN playing chamber music – duets, trios, quartets, etc…. Go to the local music store and buy a duet book (ALL of us must support local music stores!). FYI, there’s a lot of free music on the Internet, such as HERE.