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Ideal angle of the neck & mouthpiece for beginners

By | bass clarinet, education, Food for thought, mouthpiece, Newbies, Performance problems | No Comments
Got a good question from a viewer that I wanted to share: I'm wondering your approach to instrument position? I teach middle school band and have students who switch to bass clarinet. Do you have the bell closer to your body, with the clarinet almost at a 45 degree angle away from the body, instrument almost straight up and down or the bell slightly farther away from the feet with the instrument almost at a 30 degree angle away from...
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Life lessons, courtesy of the clarinet.

By | bass clarinet, clarinet, education, life skills | No Comments

Life seems so overwhelming when you’re trying to master something as complex and difficult as a musical instrument. Most people never master something this intricate (think about it! only a minuscule number of people would consider themselves an accomplished musician to any degree). But sometimes we forget that we are making demands on ourselves that many people never make. We assume that other people aren’t having the challenges we’re having. That this comes naturally to some people, but not to…

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What register to play in when improvising?

By | bass clarinet, Food for thought, Improvisation, Music | No Comments

Got a good question from someone today: What other instruments are the ideal instruments to accompany bass clarinet? Should a double bass and bass clarinet stay out of the way of each other? Would a cello be better? Does it matter what the other instruments are or can they clash because they are in the same octave space? If you play with a piano, would you try and play in different octaves, or close together for example? Generally when two…

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Two reeds for different registers? Nope, something’s wrong…

By | bass clarinet, gear, Newbies, Performance problems, reeds | No Comments

An email came in that I wanted to share: Hi Michael, I would appreciate your telling me if I/The Bass Clarinet have a problem to sort out, or whether I can live with it as reasonably common for a doubler. I play clarinet and soprano sax in a group, with occasional doubling on bass clarinet (selmer bundy low Eb, selmer bundy MP) . 1/ I find that when I want to stay a lot below 3 finger C (and especially…

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