2015-11-06 Clarinet: Do you squeak, or experience note delays?

Clarinet: Do you squeak, or experience note delays? Sent Friday, November 6, 2015 View as plaintext

Clarinet Mentors
For clarinetists who want to perform more easily and beautifully
In This Issue                  
November 6, 2015                      
  • A Note From Michelle Anderson - Halloween, and lots of fun music in my life
  • Free Training  -  Do you squeak during challenging finger passages? - Often this can be fixed with a different finger or hand position. Check out this video.
  • Michelle Recommends - Silverstein Cyro 4 Ligature - I like this new one even better than the previous version
  • Clarinet List VIP Opportunity - be the first to hear about updates on my next clarinet lessons course
  • Clarinet Is Easy - Complete how-to lessons for beginners and self-taught intermediate players
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A Note from Michelle Anderson
Hello  !
Welcome to the Clarinet Mentors newsletter. I enjoy sharing my best clarinet pointers with clarinetists all over the world, and I appreciate that you are part of the Clarinet Mentors Community!
This has been an especially full fall for me. I like to send you my clarinet newsletter about every 3 weeks, but October flew by without one. Today's newsletter has a really useful overview of how you should hold your hands and fingers to avoid squeaking and play with faster, more fluid technic. If you are a new player, these are great habits to learn. If you are a more experienced player, it is worth checking how you are doing in these areas, because most of us drift away from the best habits from time to time.
In October, I performed in Rigoletto with the Vancouver Opera, I went across Canada with the Turning Point Ensemble (which was super fun), and enjoyed participating in the Halloween concert with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra was encouraged to dress up. I wore a musical pun. This is for all of you musical-nerd-geeks out there. Can you figure it out? (hint: Mussorgsky). (Answer at the bottom of the newsletter.) Here is a photo, along with fabulous clarinetist David Lemelin of the VSO.
Thanks to all of you for you comments, emails and good wishes. I am glad you are in the Clarinet Mentors Community!
Free Training: Squeaking? Notes Delayed? - Here are some technics to create more fluid finger technic and reduce squeaking.
Lately I have worked with a few clarinetists who find there are strange gaps in the music as they try and move between two notes. There is a delay in a note speaking (as though it is stuck in the clarinet), even though they are blowing with a solid airstream. They may even squeak when working on a challenging section of their music. Although there are a few causes of squeaking (including biting or a soft reed), it can often be caused by fingers or hands moving too much, or being in the wrong position.
I have published videos before related to this issue, but not one that gives you a complete overview of the shape of hands and fingers you should have as a complete player. I hope you find this to be a valuable resource. Beginners who start off with good hand position have the lucky position of missing out on many of the squeaks, hard sounds and frustrations that the rest of us went through! All of you more advanced players can always benefit from double-checking how you are currently holding hands and fingers, and look for ways to improve these things.
You can click on the photo below, or find the video by clicking here.
Michelle Recommends: New Silverstein Cyro 4 ligature
About a year ago, I recommended the Silverstein ligature as one of my favourite clarinet ligatures. I loved the resonance it produced, and I've seen several of my students use them with good results. Like any other piece of clarinet gear, the ligature, mouthpiece, reed, clarinet and your embouchure, all work together to produce your sound. It is worth experimenting with ligatures to discover what works well on your instrument. There are many that I like, and you can find more details of some of my recommendations on this video from August of 2014 here: https://youtu.be/6pqv38D-wuI.
I recently bought a Silverstein ligature for my bass clarinet, and I love the results. I was amazed at how much more resonance it added to my sound. My colleagues noticed and commented upon this. This was a newer model, the Cyro 4, which wasn't around when I last surveyed ligatures. When my friends at Silverstein sent me the latest version for my Bb clarinet, I was delighted to discover that it sounds even better than my previous one. They have also designed it to stick on the mouthpiece better. If I had one criticism of the older model, it was that sometimes it would spring off of the mouthpiece. I solved this by putting a mouthpiece patch where the screw fit, but the new model has no need of this as it sits very securely on the mouthpiece.
It is at the higher end of ligature prices, but I feel it is worth it for such a good quality product. I notice that they have also now an introductory model at a lower price. I haven't had a chance to play test that model, but I imagine it is also worth trying.
I always like to recommend things that I know have worked well for myself, and my students. If you want to see a full range of ligature recommendations, check out the video link above.
Clarinet List VIP Opportunity
I am working hard on what has been over two yeas of planning, recording, writing etc. to create a clarinet course for you that uses ALL of my favourite clarinet pointers and combines them with a very organized set of lesson plans to help you master them. 
This course will be designed for players with an intermediate level of clarinet skills. (If you are newer to the instrument, or basically self-taught, the Clarinet Is Easy course, below, is a great starting point to prepare you for this upcoming course.)
There are still lots of video edits to do, and worksheets to finalize, and the huge task of loading it all up to a website where you can access all of the great lessons. I am not announcing the exact release date yet, but I am hoping for the next month or two (well aware that I have been saying that for 6 months now...). It is currently about 80% recorded, and the rest should be recorded soon if all goes well. I have been fortunate to get some great feedback from a few beta testers within the clarinet community, and the course continues to improve in preparation for making it available to everyone,
When this is complete, I will be ready to celebrate! I want to invite you to the celebrations. I will be hosting a series of special events, including some live online trainings that will allow members of the Clarinet Mentors community to have some live mini lessons, and ask me your clarinet questions. I'll also be sharing some great sample lessons from the course with you. If you are interested in taking part in any of these events, the best way to get the advance notice is to sign up for my VIP Clarinet List. It only takes a minute, and then I will know that you are interested in some great new training (and during my celebration week, it is all at no charge to you) to help you play clarinet more easily. I have a quick (less than one minute) video with directions on how you can sign up. VIP Clarinet members will receive special discounts and exclusive offers, so please sign up now by clicking here!
Halloween Pun - "Knight On Bald Mountain" (although it is hard to see the mountain unless my arms are outstretched to reveal the snowy peaks) (See intro from me if this makes no sense to you...)
Clarinet Is Easy - Your Step-by-Step Beginner Course - Now Available! (Also enjoyed by many intermediate level players)
How To Solve Your Common Clarinet Frustrations and Play Clarinet More Easily
I firmly believe that if anyone has the "recipe" for how to play clarinet, things are really relatively easy to do. Most of our frustrations come from inadvertently learning bad habits along the way. With that in mind, I have created for you a 10-lesson comprehensive course for beginners (and self-taught intermediate players) that gives you the tools to truly learn the clarinet easily, while avoiding all of the most common frustrations that can plague us. I believe that these lessons can save you hours of grief by giving you the best practise systems that have worked for thousands of clarinetists. The lessons have great content, and are presented in a video format so that you can watch them again and again. If you would like to play with more ease and have a clear understanding of the fundamentals of clarinet playing, you can get more information on the Clarinet Is Easy course here (including some free preview videos):
Click here for the free preview videos to Clarinet Is Easy
If you are curious about this, you can try these lessons with a 100% 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee. (That means that you can try a full 5 lessons before you decide if you have received great value from the course.) If it is not the right style for you, you get your tuition refunded, no problem. I invite you to try it now! Many students have received amazing results so far from this course (and you can read their comments on the order page).
About Michelle Anderson
Michelle Anderson, the founder of Clarinet Mentors,  is a professional clarinetist and teacher who currently lives in Vancouver BC. Her professional career spans over 30 years and she currently plays regularly with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the West Coast Chamber Music series. She has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Touring Orchestra and many other groups. Michelle currently specializes in teaching adults to play clarinet more easily and quickly through online resources, and conducts the Vancouver Clarinet Choir. Michelle is a Backun Musical Services Artist and plays on Backun clarinets and mouthpieces.
Thanks for reading this biweekly newsletter. If you think a friend would enjoy this, please feel free to forward it. If they want to enrol in the Clarinet Mentors Community, they can go to www.learnclarinetnow.com.
Helping you to find success on your instrument with proven, easy-to-follow systems that are designed to help you sound good, and feel better about your playing.

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