Below is an outline I use in preparing my annual ClarinetMike Texas All-State Clarinet Clinic. Be sure to check out my recent post, 10 All-State Practice Tips! Look for more All-State help from ClarinetMike in coming weeks!
- Get quality equipment. My soprano clarinet set up: Buffet R13 clarinet, Vandoren M13 Lyre or D’Addario Reserve XO mouthpiece, Vandoren V12 3.5 or D’Addario Reserve Classic 3.5 reeds, BG Super Revelation or Revelation ligature, metronome/tuner, silk swab, BG Pad Dryer, etc.
- Find a good private teacher who teaches solid basics and musical style. Stay away from Rote-Only Teachers and Bad YouTube Videos. [Don’t copy a recording. Learn to count!]
- It’s Always about the MUSIC. So, work on ARTC Basics & ARTSY Musical Style (Phrasing, especially Romantic Style)
- Loading & Unloading (See Frank R. Wilson) Slow Careful Practice = Speedy, Confident Performing. 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 and perform only on good reeds.
- Use a metronome and tuner.
- Record yourself – check out phone apps!
- BOLD Dynamics.
- Sound Projection
- Plan and mark breathing carefully.
- Understand music terms, notation, ornaments, etc.
- Create a cheat sheet. Write each etude’s scales and arpeggios at top of music.
- Clap and sing the music.
- Check out additional Practice Tips.
Etude Preparation Tips (Template)
- Composer and Musical Style
- Tempo and Key
- Sections and Phrases
- Special Issues (repeated figure, etc.)
- Musical Issues
- Technical Issues (articulation, rhythms, fingerings, etc.)
- Problem Passages
- Scale and Arpeggio Cheat Sheet
- Breath Marks
- Suggested Listening
- See Internet links above.
- Listen to style on youtube.com.
- Check out documents, videos, etc. on www.clarinetmike.com and www.clarinetmike.wordpress.com.
- See TMEA Performance Guides.
[NOTE: The above is a slightly revised version of a previous blog post.]