A big welcome to all of you who are reading the Clarinet Mentors newsletter for the first time. My hope for you is that you find great value in the pointers and videos from these bi-weekly newsletters. I know that these tools can help you to play more easily, and I love it when other people enjoy playing my favourite instrument.
I just finished a run of La Boheme with the Vancouver Opera. It is a show that we have performed a few times before, but the music is always a treat to play. Puccini has a way of using tone colours beautifully in his orchestrations. It allows clarinet players to sometimes sound like a harp, and sometimes a horn, and other times a soprano. It is fun as a player to experiment with different tone colours, and discover how many different sounds we can make.
Happy Halloween everyone! I was trying to come up with some scary clarinet themes for this newsletter. There is some scary music out there, like March of the Funeral Marionette (which is printed in some great clarinet trio and quartet versions). There are simply some scary things to play (for most of us, anything fast and high). Out of curiosity, I googled "scary clarinet" and found a six second YouTube video made by a couple of kids called "Man Scared by Clarinet". It is silly, but it made me laugh. You can have a quick laugh too at https://youtu.be/MkbPi1goyDk.
My thoughts are with all of the Clarinet Mentors community members who find themselves in the path of Storm Sandy! I hope that you are all safe, and that life as normal resumes quickly for you. At least clarinets don't require electricity to enjoy!
One of the most common requests I get from all of you is to provide more tools to improve tone quality. It is something that we can all work on. There are many good tools to help us improve our tone. Most of them specifically target embouchure and/or air flow.
Today's Free Training for you is a practise technic that I use to improve tone quality and air support. I generally use it most with my more advanced students, but it is one that can work well with clarinetists of all levels.
This one is a difficult one to explain in writing, so I'm going to ask you to watch the video when you can, and try it out at home. You should hear an improvement in both smoothness and resonance when you try it out.
The "Whisper Technic" for improving Tone and Air Support
Today's training video gives you a valuable tool to improve your tone, and to play more smoothly. I call it the "whisper technique". The 12 minute video shows you how to do the whisper technic in the first half of the video. I illustrate how you might use it by playing an excerpt from the Adagio by Albinoni. If you would like to download the pdf version of that excerpt to better follow along, you can find it at: https://www.clarinetmentors.com/resources/AlbinoniAdagio.pdf
|Today's Free Training for you is a practise technic that I use to improve tone quality and air support.|
Free Training Video: [ https://youtu.be/X9nd2wLMBOA ]
I have more videos currently in production. If there are topics that you would like help with, please send me some suggestions. If you are on Facebook, you can post your comments at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarinet-Mentors/237380966382664
As the Clarinet Mentors community grows, I have been really enjoying the contact I have had with many of you. Once of my next projects is to host a Clarinet Mentors teleseminar. A teleseminar is basically an online, interactive, presentation where you can listen in on your telephone, or through your computer. You will be able to ask questions, type in comments and watch slide shows or videos. It seems like a great way for me to interact with a bunch of you at once, and for you to meet some of the other Clarinet Mentors members.
My plan is to offer a few of these in the upcoming months, each one with a slightly different focus. My extensive, 10-lesson beginner clarinet video and workbook package is nearing completion, and it will be available for purchase in mid-November. This course is designed for less experienced players, and covers most of the core basics to sounding good on clarinet (as well as how to read music, and to play the notes that would usually be found in a beginning clarinet manual). My first teleseminar, now tentatively scheduled for November 18th at 3:30 PST, will be dedicated to clarinetists at this level. (This time is an updated time from my last newsletter.) Of course, all levels of players are welcome to take part, and I will look at all questions that come in. My focus will be to give you great information on the most important fundamentals of clarinet playing. We will be able to go into much more detail than we can during the short videos that are part of these newsletters.
I invite you to mark this on your calendar, and join me. I'll send out the registration information for this free session in a couple of weeks. I'm excited to try this out with all of you! If you live in a time zone where you cannot attend live, I will arrange for a replay to be available for a couple of days after the event. I hope to "see" you all there!
Virtual Sheet Music
This on-line sheet music site has a huge variety of printed music available. The cost is reasonable, and you can download parts instantly. The best value by far, is to purchase a one year membership for $37.75. You can download anything (clarinet, piano, violin music etc) on the site for one year. I originally found them because I was looking for a version of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto. There are some big standard pieces, like the Weber Concertos, the Debussy Premiere Rhapsodie and some Mozart. There are also many easier arrangements of popular classical pieces. Click the link below to explore their site.
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.
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As a member of Michelle's Clarinet Mentors community, you will receive invitations to special live online trainings, the Clarinet Mentors newsletter which has video lessons as well as recommendations on helpful clarinet gear. There is no charge to join, and you can un-signup very easily if it is not a good fit. If you haven't signed up for the community before, you are missing the regular Clarinet Mentors trainings!