Julie DeRoche Masterclass

(November 14, 2001)
DePaul University School of Music
McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band Clarinet Section

  • Breathing
    • Have instrument ready before you play in order to get nice full breath.
    • Relax stomach.
    • Keep neck down very relaxed in breath.
    • Picture breathing to the back of your ribcage.
    • Practice breathing through nose to discover the feeling of a nice relaxed breath.
    • We breathe through our mouth to bring in more air in less time, but the feeling must still be the same.
    • Inhale so much air that it wants to automatically come out of the lungs.
    • Breath like you're taking in all the oxygen out of the room
  • Tonguing
    • Use "Tee" for tonguing.
    • Let the tongue let go of the reed
    • Put tongue on the reed and then release it
    • To practice, bite down on sides of tongue. Quarter notes "Tee, Tee, Tee, Tee"
    • Tongue lightly towards the tip of the reed
    • Tongue is always making the same motion regardless of articulation
  • Embouchure
    • Make sure you have plenty of mouthpiece. If you play too close to the tip, there is not enough reed vibrating to a make a good sound.
    • Open mouth the width of one finger
    • Check instrument angle (not so far in)
    • Tongue placement. Think "Shhhhhhh"
  • Intonation
    • Most pitch problems will take care of themselves with proper embouchure, tongue placement and breath support.
  • How the clarinet works
    • Form the embouchure around the mouthpiece
    • Tongue directs the air
    • Blow against the reed.
    • Reed vibrates against the mouthpiece
    • Air column vibrates through the tube (clarinet)
    • Changing fingerings changes the length of the tube (clarinet)