The All-State Preparation Outline below is loaded with information from my ClarinetMike All-State Clarinet Clinics (click here). Included in the outline is a template I use in preparing my annual Complete Clinic Notes on the all-state etudes. Look for more All-State help from ClarinetMike coming soon!
Step 1: Preliminary Concerns
- Get quality equipment. My Bb soprano clarinet set up: Buffet R13 clarinet , Vandoren M13 Lyre mouthpiece, Vandoren V12 3.5 or D’Addario Reserve Classic 3.5 reeds, BG Super Revelation ligature, metronome/tuner, GEM swab, ReedGeek, etc.
- Find a good private teacher who teaches solid basics and expressive musical style. Stay away from Rote-Only Teachers and YouTube Videos. [Don’t just copy a recording. Learn to count! *Rote-only playing will not get you past a good university audition.]
Step 2: Core Concepts
- 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.
Step 3: 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.
Step 4: Etude Preparation Template
- Composer and 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
Step 5: Further Study