5 Ways to Improve Clarinet Tone Fast!

Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

ClarinetMike says, “More Air is the granddaddy of all clarinet tone quick fixes. Here’s five more.”

5 Ways to Improve Clarinet Tone Fast!
by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

1. Show Me Your Reed. Inspect the reed of each and every student. Don’t let students play on reeds that are very old (too soft) or badly chipped. However, sometimes a slightly chipped reed will play fine, so don’t throw it away without testing it!

2. Sit Up Tall. Noted clarinetist Julian Bliss said something similar at a clinic I attended at TMEA a few years ago.

3. Don’t Pinch The Sides of the Reed. Be sure to keep the lower lip flat against the reed so as not to crimp the corners of the reed.  Once past the reed, the lips can seal to keep air from leaking out. Remember, clarinet sound is produced by the vibration of the reed. The more the reed vibrates, the more sound is produced.

4. Project Your Sound. Think about it, talk about it, work on it, and DO IT! Check out my article on sound projection here.

5. Voice Eee’s.  Use “Eee” syllables when playing in different registers on the clarinet. Go here to check out the syllables.

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 2022. He is on the faculty of the international Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence. Michael Dean performs as principal clarinetist with the Dallas Chamber Wind Ensemble and Duo 35 with saxophonist Todd Oxford. He performed with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra for 11 years and has also performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Abilene Opera, Southeast Chamber Players, and Red Mesa Trio. 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 600 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 new Golden Retriever, Nimbus, is a relative of Andy.
This entry was posted in All, ClarinetMike's 101 Clarinet Tips, ClarinetMike's Clarinet Teacher Tips, Performance & Pedagogy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 5 Ways to Improve Clarinet Tone Fast!

  1. thomas frasca says:

    Always good to hear from you CM. Great advice to bring to my clarinet each and every time I play. Many Thx. Much Appreciated .

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