Welcome to chapter four! You are still with me, so woohoo, you haven't given up on me yet! So, by now, you have played your very first note on the full instrument. How does it feel? Ready to play a few more? By the end of this chapter you should be able to play at least Hot Cross Buns if not Mary Had a Little Lamb.
So, we have our first note, the open G. By now you should be able to get a nice sound on the note and be able to hold the note for five seconds. Now we move on. Play your open G, get a nice clear sound on it, then take your left thumb, without stopping the air from the G, and place it on the thumb hole, firmly enough so it covers it. I stress that you don't stop the air when you play this next note, and don't use the tongue to sound it. There is a method behind my madness. What I am trying to establish here is the good habit that a change in note does not mean a change in the air stream. This is vitally important because once the habit of changing the air stream is indoctrinated in the student, it takes the rest of their clarinet playing days to rectify the situation if that happens at all. Also, I do not want to introduce the concept of articulation to a later chapter, and I wish for articulation to be a natural progression out of a solid long tone. Also, a beginner clarinet student may be tempted to huff each new note as they haven't grasped what tonguing is, and that is another nasty bad habit.
Anyway, let's alternate between the G and the F, please refer to the YouTube link at the bottom of this page. Pretty cool huh? Now let's add the left forefinger. You are playing an E. So now play G, F, E, F, G. Now add another finger for D, then C. You now know five notes of the clarinet! Soon, we will have you playing tunes in no time. Please refer to the video for real life example.
Please join me for the next chapter when I introduce the idea of articulation and we will have you playing Mary had a little lamb and Hot Cross Buns in no time...
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