How to Begin to Play the Clarinet

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How to Begin to Play the Clarinet. The clarinet plays a role similar to that of the violins in an orchestra. It was also used in Jazz music from the early 1900s up until the Big Band Era. Great satisfaction in the music experience resides in playing the clarinet. Follow these few steps to learn to play the Clarinet.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 New Clarinet Reeds
  • Chamois Cloth With Weight
  • Clarinet Cases
  • Clarinet Cork Grease
  • Clarinet Reed Cases
  • Clarinet Reed Trimmers
  • Clarinet Stands
  • Clarinets
  • Music Stands
  • Belwin Band Builder For Clarinet Bb
  • Sheet Music
  • Straight-backed Chair
  • Clarinet Marmalade CD
  • Place the flat part of your moistened reed on the flat side of the clarinet's mouthpiece.

  • Adjust the thin end of the reed so that it does not project above the top of the mouthpiece.

  • Secure the reed to the mouthpiece using the ligature.

  • Roll your lower lip slightly over your lower teeth.

  • Place 1/2 inch of the reed into your mouth, and rest it on your lower lip. Your teeth should touch the top of the mouthpiece.

  • Close and seal the corners of your lips.

  • Make sure both feet are flat on the floor, you have erect posture and the clarinet is at about a 45-degree angle to you.

  • Now try an easy beginning note, which is the second line or open G. You don't need fingers to produce this first sound.

  • Blow a steady stream of air through the mouthpiece, gradually applying pressure against the reed until the reed begins to vibrate and generate this first sound on the clarinet.

  • Produce a steady stream of air when blowing.

  • Maintain the sound for 5 seconds or longer. Keep your cheeks flat. This is important for establishing a good clarinet tone and solid "embouchure."

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase a drop cloth with a string and metal weight attached to a small chamois. This is drawn through the instrument to keep it dry.
  • Use the best reeds for performances and buy a good reed container. Invest in a reed trimmer, which will extend the life of a reed.
  • Talented clarinet students often switch to double-reed instruments such as the oboe, English horn and the bassoon. These have much in common with the clarinet.
  • The fingers of a clarinetist are inserted into seven open holes, and a youth's fingers and pads must be long and large enough to cover these tone holes.
  • The long, tubular structure and the keys are easily damaged if the clarinet is knocked over when balanced vertically on the flared bell. To avoid this, purchase a clarinet floor-stand with conical doweling rods.
  • Use care to avoid bending the bridge keys located at the central connection point.

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