A new angle on clarinet tone...this may be a quick fix for you!

Sent Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Clarinet Mentors
For clarinetists who want to perform more easily and beautifully
In This Issue                                           December 26, 2012 
  • A Note From Michelle Anderson -  Happy Holidays
  • Clarinet Tips and Free Training - A method for finding the ideal angle to hold your clarinet and your head
  • Michelle Recommends - Clarinet Is Easy - 10 lesson course for beginning players
A Note from Michelle Anderson

A big welcome to all of you who are reading the Clarinet Mentors newsletter for the first time. If this is your first newsletter, I hope that you find great content to help you play the clarinet more easily. These newsletters are sent to the Clarinet Mentors community every two weeks, usually on Wednesdays, and I do my best to ensure that there is valuable information in each issue.

I wish all of you Happy Holidays. I am currently on the road celebrating with family in Oregon, Manitoba and Minnesota. Today's newsletter is an "express version" but does contain a great little tone-tidbit for you.

I am happy to be on holidays after a whirlwind of December concerts, and the drama of an ice storm that brought down a tree on our phone and internet lines.  It is tricky to keep up with computer stuff under these circumstances. Luckily, all is well now, and when I left, my home was "reconnected" to the outside world again.

I have really enjoyed the communications from all of you, from all over the world. Many of you have recently signed up for the Clarinet Is Easy course, and it is fun to hear how you are enjoying it. If any of you have clairnet questions, please feel free to send me an email.

Thanks for being a part of my community!



Clarinet Tips

I notice that many people play the clarinet with their clarinet held at an angle that interferes with the tone quality that they would like to have. Most people are not even aware that the angle that the clarinet makes with their mouth and head has a huge impact on the tone quality that they produce. The most common bad habit related to this is that clarinetists will inadvertently "look down" with their head while playing clarinet. This can be very subtle, and many people are unaware of doing it. We often do this at first because we are curious about what our fingers are doing, and it quickly becomes a habit. Looking down will impede your air flow, and also interfere with air speed.

Today's training video is fairly short, and shows you how you can find the ideal angle for the type of tone that you would like to produce on your instrument. You may find that changing this one aspect of clarinet playing will drastically improve your tone, and will help with your intonation in the high register.

Please enjoy the video below, and I'm curious to know if it helps any of you out there. You can make comments on the YouTube page after you watch it.

Free Training 
Free Training Video >   https://youtu.be/zFJR_M8kHlg
Link to the Youtube video which shows you how to find the optimum angle for your clarinet
Click on the image above to view this video. I have more videos currently in production. If there are topics that you would like help with, please send me some suggestions.
Michelle Recommends

Usually I like to recommend a good piece of music, or clarinet gadget in this section of the newsletter. In today's mini-newsletter, I am happy to recommend my own new course which was finally made available to everyone on Dec. 17th. This course has some of my best teachings for beginning to intermediate level students, and is truly designed to help you to play the clarinet more easily. Clarinet Is Easy is designed to be a 10-week lesson course for total beginners, but the learning concepts are also designed for intermediate level players who have been mostly self-taught. The written music that accompanies it starts off at the easiest level, but the "clarinet concepts" are quite sophisticated throughout. I would say that the written materials are equivalent to what you would normally find in a first-year clarinet book. The "clarinet concepts" (basics of tone, air support, articulation, fingering, posture etc) are equivalent to what a good player would typically learn in their first couple of years. The advantage to you, is that you can now the learn the best habits that will truly speed up your progress on the instrument.

I have seen many self-taught players encounter frustrations in their playing that are really the result of simply not knowing the "recipe" for how to do it better. This usually manifests as trouble with high notes, frustrations with tonguing and challenges with fingerings. Most of these things are MUCH easier if you know the correct way to do it. The advantage of video lessons is that you can see and hear how to work on these things at home (and you can watch the lessons as often as you like).

After a week of being available, I have had some great feedback from people. On the website, I offer a special bonus to everyone who registers before Dec. 26th. Since many of you may be hearing about this course for the first time in this newsletter, I am extending that bonus until Dec. 28th for all of the Clarinet Mentors community members. The bonus will be a live webinar in late January where I will answer all of your clarinet questions live on an internet broadcast. I may even have some of you work on a mini-lesson with me as part of the webcast. I know that some of my best learnings came from watching my teachers working with other students. The webinar will be broadcast live, and a recorded replay will be available to everyone who cannot attend live. If you would like to find out more about this course, please visit:


I am excited to be offering this course to you, and I hope you take a look at it if you want to make clarinet playing more easy for you!

About Michelle Anderson
Michelle Anderson is a professional clarinetist and teacher who currently lives in Vancouver BC. She has been a professional performer for 30 years and 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, and conducts the Vancouver Clarinet Choir.
Michelle Anderson, Clarinet
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