7 MORE Powerful Little Secrets From ClarinetMike!

Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

Back in September, I posted my ClarinetMike’s 5 Powerful Little Secrets! – CLICK HERE. Below is a follow up with some additional little tricks. ClarinetMike says, “Remember the words of John Wooden, ‘Little Things Make Big Things Happen.’”

7 MORE Powerful Little Secrets From ClarinetMike! by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

  1. Black Swab and Case. At the rehearsal and gig, it is best if your swab, case cover, wheeled tote, etc. are black. This will keep from drawing unwanted attention to yourself when you swab. And, it increases the chances of you keeping your case and other items with you on stage, pit orchestra, etc. I always want all my stuff with me, if possible! (FYI, I carry an extra swab or 2 in wild colors for less formal occasions!)
  2. Little Screwdriver. I always keep a little screwdriver in my clarinet case as a small screw will sometimes work itself out a little when playing the clarinet. I’ve got a couple of screws on my 1976 Buffet R13 Bb clarinet that work themselves out all the time! You can get a set of small screwdrivers at “Tool World” at a local home improvement store or in a sewing kit set at a Mega Mart.
  3. Number Measures at Left Margin. Instead of numbering every single measure, I find it more useful to just number down the left side of the music at each line in the margin.
  4. Small Watch. I don’t wear a watch as I don’t like the constriction on my wrist.  So, I have a little black watch (black as above) I carry around. It is a little digital watch that clearly shows the time and such. I have taken off the wristband part and can position it on my music stand or near my clarinet peg. This allows me to easily keep tabs on the time and, importantly, be less obvious about checking the time during lessons or at a gig.
  5. Two Clarinet Pegs. I always carry 2 portable clarinet stands with me at all times. This way I can have one on stage and one backstage at a concert. Also, I have one ready, if one breaks. However, if I play a heavy-duty orchestra gig, I bring my heavy steel-based stand. There are many portable clarinet stands to choose from. I like the simple plastic stands that are light and fit easily in my case cover.
  6. Plastic Mouthpiece Cap. A metal cap may be more secure, but if it falls off at the rehearsal or gig, it could make a loud and embarrassing racket, “BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG……………..BANG!!!!”
  7. Do Not Get Cork Grease on Swab. I do not use my clarinet swab to wipe water out the sockets. This will get cork grease on the swab. And thus you will be putting cork grease down your clarinet when you swab. I use a paper towel or handkerchief to remove the water from the socket. – NOTE: Eventually, I will be writing a series of “I DO NOT RECOMMEND” posts on questionable clarinet teaching and performing practices.

About ClarinetMike

American Clarinetist Michael Dean “ClarinetMike” performs and teaches internationally and across the USA to consistent praise and acclaim 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.” Dr. Michael Dean’s career is headlined by appearances at Carnegie Hall, ClarinetFest, NACWPI, Royal Northern College of Music, and Eastman School of Music, with recent recitals and master classes in Italy, Canada, Spain, Michigan, Ohio, Kansas, Iowa, Louisiana, and Texas. He is currently planning an international recital and master class tour of Israel for spring 2023. He is on the faculty of the international Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence. Michael Dean performed with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra for 11 years and has also performed with the Dallas Chamber Wind Ensemble, Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Abilene Opera, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35 with saxophonist Todd Oxford. As a clarinet performing and recording artist, he has commissioned, premiered, edited, toured with, and recorded new and lesser-known clarinet works. He is featured on 6 commercial CDs, including the soon-to-be-released Postcards from Silver Lake CD. He is also prominent on New Media, such as YouTube and Facebook. He has given more than 800 master classes, clinics and performances at universities, colleges, conservatories, festivals, conferences, and high schools. His ClarinetMike Blog and ClarinetMike QuickTips are widely read on the internet and social media and viewed in more than 150 countries on 6 continents. His articles also appear in professional journals such as Southwestern Musician, WINDPLAYER, The Bandmasters’ Review, and NACWPI Journal. He is a past president and former National Board Officer of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI). A committed teacher and noted pedagogue, Dr. Dean’s students enjoy successful careers as professional performers, educators, and administrators and are consistently accepted into prestigious university music schools. They consistently win awards and distinctions at competitions and festivals including solo & ensemble, all-region, all-state, and various concerto and other competitions. After a successful 20+ years of teaching the clarinet and music at the university level, he relocated to his native Texas due to family concerns. He is currently an active clarinet and woodwind performer, teacher, clinician, and consultant based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Michael Dean studied clarinet performance at Texas Tech University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Colorado at Boulder, and University of Texas at Arlington. His teachers include Robert Walzel, Philip Aaholm, Carol Jessup, and Jesse Youngblood. He is a BG France Performing Artist and his professional website is clarinetmike.com. Mike and his family live in Hurst, Texas. His family’s Golden Retriever, Nimbus, is a relative of Andy.
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2 Responses to 7 MORE Powerful Little Secrets From ClarinetMike!

  1. Pingback: Favorite blog posts, December 2017 | Bret Pimentel, woodwinds

  2. Pingback: The Best Clarinet Fingerings for F# and Eb | ClarinetMike Blog

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