7 Ways to Improve Your Clarinet Playing This Summer!

ClarinetMike says, “Clarinet Lessons are Fun! Find a Good Teacher and Take Clarinet Lessons!”

7 Ways to Improve Your Clarinet Playing This Summer!
by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

  1. 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.
  2. Upgrade Embouchure. Check out my 5-C clarinet embouchure here and related embouchure tips here.
  3. Improve Tonguing. Spend quality time with your new best friend, Betty: click here.
  4. Enhance Posture.  Check out these posture links:  Head PositionDon’t Lean OverDon’t Look Down, and Unkink Your Hose.
  5. Get Better Reeds. I strongly recommend checking out the ReedGeek – I find the ReedGeek easy to use and it really helps! Also, make sure your reed strength matches your mouthpiece. For example, if you are playing on a 2.5 reed on a more “closed” mouthpiece such as a Vandoren M13 Lyre (what I play on), you simply cannot play well or at all in the high register without biting the mouthpiece hard since the reed is not strong enough. [Biting is BAD, folks!] FYI, on my Bb clarinet, I play Vandoren v12 and D’Addario 3.5 reeds on a Vandoren M13 Lyre mouthpiece using 5-C Clarinet Embouchure (LISTEN here and here.)
  6. Learn New Practice Techniques. Try these out: Rhy-No PracticeFeed The Rhy-No!The Fast Way!Note Grouping, and others.
  7. 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!). Of course, there’s a lot of free music on the Internet.

BONUS: Go To Summer Band Camp or Clarinet Camp. For example, here in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas there are some excellent ones, such as UTA Concert Band Camp, TCU Band Camp, TCU Clarinet Workshop, and others.

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 Canada, Italy, Spain, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas. In July, he will again return to Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at the international Orfeo Music Festival 2019. 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. Dr. Dean has given more than 500 clinics, master classes and performances at high schools, universities, conferences and other venues. For 11 years he was a clarinetist with the Paducah Symphony and he's also performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35. His articles appear in journals such as Southwestern Musician, WINDPLAYER, NACWPI Journal and The Bandmasters' Review. As "ClarinetMike," he writes for his widely-viewed ClarinetMike Blog, the Internet’s #1 clarinet blog read in 150 countries on 6 continents: clarinetmike.wordpress.com. After a successful 25 years of teaching clarinet at the university level, he relocated to his native Texas 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, and Bob Ackerman. 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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1 Response to 7 Ways to Improve Your Clarinet Playing This Summer!

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Clarinet Things To Do On Summer Break! | ClarinetMike Blog

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