Category Archives: ClarinetMike’s 101 Clarinet Tips

Don’t Look Down!

I’ve noticed that many young clarinetists, especially beginners, at times have a tendency to look down their clarinets while playing. Looking down the clarinet while playing can create bad habits and problems:  embouchure, head position, posture, etc. can be impacted. … Continue reading

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7 Ways to Improve Your Clarinet Playing This Summer!

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

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ClarinetMike’s Clarinet Teacher Tips: Right Hand Down?

Right Hand Down? It is a well-known band director trick to have clarinetists cover the holes of the lower section to help improve pitch in the throat tones. Is this really a good idea? I think the best answer is “Maybe.” … Continue reading

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ClarinetMike’s Clarinet Teacher Tips: Habits!

When I was a kid, I played little league baseball. While fielding a position, my coaches taught me to keep my right thumb between my first two fingers when the pitcher started to make his pitch. This way, if a ball … Continue reading

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ClarinetMike’s Clarinet Teacher Tips: Ligature and Reed Placement

I’m currently reading Pat Williams’ recent book, Coach Wooden’s Greatest Secret: The Power of  Little Things Done Well. The point of the book is that small stuff has a dramatic effect on the success of any given endeavor. Or, as Coach John … Continue reading

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ClarinetMike’s 101 Clarinet Tips: #33 Reflection – What did I learn today?

Since this is the end of December, I thought it might be good to consider the final bulleted item from my recent post, ClarinetMike’s Performing Checklist: Reflection. What did I learn today? It can be very helpful to do some reflection after a … Continue reading

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ClarinetMike’s 101 Clarinet Tips: #32 STOP and PRACTICE!

ClarinetMike’s 101 Clarinet Tips: #32 STOP and PRACTICE! “When I finish W, X, Y, and Z, I’ll go practice.” Forget it, just go practice NOW. At least, go practice for a half hour, and then work on W. As a … Continue reading

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