How to Play Bass Clarinet

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If you can play a B flat clarinet, you can easily switch to a bass clarinet. If you want to learn to play the bass clarinet and have no previous experience with a musical instrument, you can also easily learn to play it. These tips can help you get started.

  • Assemble the clarinet properly. Put the body pieces together. Slide the neckpiece into place. Add the mouthpiece. Put the reed on the mouthpiece and tighten the ligature to hold it in place.

  • Put the neck strap around your neck. Hook it on to the back of the bass clarinet. Tighten the neck strap so the bass clarinet comes to your lips as a B flat clarinet would.

  • Hold the bass clarinet between your legs. Put your right thumb in the thumb rest to steady the clarinet.

  • Settle the fingers of your right hand over the keys on the lower portion of the body of the bass clarinet. Your right pinky finger should be free to access the various lower keys.

  • Place the thumb of your left hand on the hole in the back of the bass clarinet. Settle the index, middle and ring fingers of your left hand on the keys on the top half of the bass clarinet. Once again, the pinky of your left hand accesses special keys in the mid-section of the bass clarinet as you play it.

  • Pull the clarinet back to your mouth. Take a full breath and blow air into the bass clarinet. If this is your first attempt to make a sound, it may take some air. You can soon figure out how much air it takes to produce a good-quality note.

  • Review the finger placement and their corresponding notes. Find a piece of simple music and practice playing it. As you become more proficient, play more advanced pieces of music on your bass clarinet.

Tips & Warnings

  • Taking lessons are the best way to learn how to play any musical instrument.

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