Sunday, March 20, 2016

How to Focus on Your Tone on the Clarinet

Achieving a focused tone on the clarinet requires proper breath support and a solid playing technique. There are several exercises an aspiring clarinetist can play to improve her tone quality and flexibility. By building the muscles in the embouchure the clarinetist can learn to improve the timbre and consistency of the tone. The embouchure muscles can be felt by clenching the muscles in your face and squeezing your lips together. Learning to identify these muscles is part of the process of developing proper clarinet tone.

Step 1 Breathe in from the diaphragm. To do this effectively, pull air into your stomach and feel the sides of your body expand. Your stomach should become physically larger and you should feel air taken in to the lower portion of your torso.

Step 2 Use a steady and consistent stream of air to keep a consistent and steady vibration of the clarinet reed. Play a major scale, holding each note for eight beats at the softest dynamic level you can play and still achieve a good tone. This will help to build the muscles in your embouchure and improve your tone.

Step 3 Place your tongue in the appropriate position before playing any pitch. Say the letter "K" and place your tongue in that position while playing. This will focus your air and provide you with a fast, rather than slow, stream of air.

Step 4 Open your teeth slightly and put your chin in a downward position. Your upper teeth will rest slightly on the mouthpiece. Your upper and lower lip will form a seal around the mouthpiece.

Step 5 Blow through the clarinet, keeping your position intact, and focus on creating a fast stream to develop your clarinet tone.