The ZOEN Blog has a great article up on using resonance fingerings for clarinet.
One of the most problematic aspects of clarinet playing is achieving an even, fluid timbre across the instrument’s range, through all dynamics and articulations. Barring extreme altissimo, the most unforgiving notes on the instrument are the throat tones – F, F#, G, Ab, A, and Bb. They tend to be weak, stuffy, out of tune, hard to project, and unpredictable from player to player.
I ALWAYS play my throat tone Bb with the “resonance fingering.” It’s something I think I started doing in college while using a “crappy” Buffet clarinet they had (by “crappy” I mean it played the throat tones out of tune and stuffy).
This is why….
Honestly, I don’t know that anyone else has done this on Clarinet……you rock man….or smooth jazz strut….or whatever….
Very cool video of how wood clarinets are made.
Ok, I hijacked the title from Bret Primentel’s blog entry about it. (read his summary on Davd’s article. It’s good)
David Erato decided he wanted to get better on clarinet. So, he set up a regimen to do just that.
“The idea as a “doubler” is to make whatever instrument is in your hand not feel like a foreign object. One should really study the instrument as if it is the only instrument you play. Practice the same method books, etudes, solos, as a clarinetist in a symphony once did. Jump through the same hoops and walk the same path traditional clarinetists do. “
I did something similar about 8 years ago with Oboe……
This solo is based on a Blues (in “D”), a basic form very important for the musical development of any jazz musician and, moreover, is for intermediate players thus approachable by the majority of those interested.
Some considerations about this solo are listed below:
- Note how each chorus begins with a melodic line that lasts four bars and it’s repeated the next four bars. This is a typical approach to the blues. Some would play the same line for the whole extension of the chorus (generally twelve bars).
- The way he approaches the second chorus resembles a lot the style of the saxophonist Johnny Hodges.
- The “glissato” as a main clarinet feature (thanks to its acoustic characteristics) and a technique sometimes overused by a whole generation of clarinettists of the past or with styles influenced by Dixieland, New Orleans, 40s swing, etc. Lots of “contemporary” clarinet-players tend to avoid this overuse trying to have a wiser use of it.
- Besides a minimum use of ghost-notes, there is a very little use of certain kind of dissonances indeed (altered fifth or ninth, etc.) except for some chromatic passages at the end of the solo or for the 5th and 6th bar of the second chorus where we encounter a sharp-fourth caused by the repetition of a pattern which comes form the beginning of the chorus and is set in “D” major.
- Note the complete absence of the so-called Blues Scale. We encounter a minor third (blue note) at the end of the solo caused by a small pattern where there is the repetition of an ascending half-tone.
NB: The score is meant to be for “Bb” instruments