So, you have decided to play the clarinet? Whether because it has been by choice, a burning desire, or whether grandma had a spare clarinet lying around, once you have the clarinet in your hands, it is completely up to you what you want to do with it. Sure, you can do the bare minimum of practice, if any at all, just to please Mum, you may just want to be good enough to play in the school band, maybe continue into high school, play jazz, form your own chamber music group, the possibilities are endless, and the purpose of this book is not to force you into learning classical music to a professional standard and attend the best music school money can buy.
Clarinet playing, well, playing of music in general, comes a lot easier if you like what you are doing. If you want to play the latest pop tunes to a CD backing, you go for it! One of the reasons I never went pro was I wanted the freedom to choose what and when I wanted to play, and not be forced into an orchestral situation where you play exactly the same symphonies every year, the same operas, one week playing with the Beejees, and then playing a work by a contemporary composer who is more into making a statement than composing anything an audience is wanting to listen to.
I express myself musically through free concerts at local churches. I pick the repertoire and when I want to play, and I make sure both I and the audience have a pretty good time.
It is so up to you what you want to do. My job is going to be that of making sure you have the basic building blocks of how to play the clarinet so that playing comes easily and you can get down to the business of having hours and hours of fun doing what you want to do.
So first, we are going to focus on the most basic aspect of playing the clarinet - getting a sound out of the thing.
Please join me for the next chapter!!