Behold, the Selmer Centered Tone Bb clarinet

I play the clarinet, and the saxophone, and the guitar, and anything else I can get my hands on and have motivation to learn (ahem, cough cough Double HORN cough).
I was practicing yesterday, warming up with some scales, long tones, Brahms Sonata No. 1 for clarinet and Stravinsky Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo (I just went through Movements 1 and 2 yesterday). Part of the trick with learning clarinet is to get the fingers to seal the tone holes (if you come from a saxophone background like I do) and another trick is to squeeze your abdominal muscles tightly as you blow. This “stabilizes” your airflow and makes you less likely to lose sound when moving from one fingering to another. This is very helpful on saxophone and any other wind instrument as well. For brass instruments, it’s the difference between hitting a higher note blindly or moving between high notes, and cracking between notes or not starting a note cleanly.
Air support is where it’s at, and squeezing your abs tight will help with this a great deal. It doesn’t mean to blow the note loudly, it just keeps it consistant. If you lip notes around and do jazzy “scoops” to your notes or “bending” between notes (glissando by gradually lifting a finger so the pitch rises smoothly up to the next note), this air support is the key. It keeps your tone moving even when your fingers aren’t sure of what they are doing, it keeps sounds coming out of the instrument. Finger articulation (precise movement of fingerings) is very important still, but the air support can help tremendously also.

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