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The clarinet has 24 keys.  The biggest danger involved in putting the clarinet together is with a key between the upper and lower joints that looks like a fish tail.  If it hits the key on the opposite side, damage will occur.  Repair can be costly.  All students are shown the two keys and are taught how to put it together carefully.

Air on a Pinwheel

To start, imagine blowing air on a pinwheel, whisper "too" and keep the air going.  Bite on the top of the mouthpiece with the cushy part of your lip on the bottom.  Make sure it doesn't wiggle in your mouth.  If you are not biting down the sound will be very nasal and wobbly sounding.  Squeaking is caused by either too much mouthpiece in the mouth or over blowing the notes.  


Make sure you are biting the top of the mouth piece, sitting up on the edge of the chair, feet flat on the floor, head in a normal resting position, and bring the instrument to you.  The clarinet sounds best at a 35-45 degree angle.  Elbows should be relaxed and slightly away from your body.

Cleaning Care
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Need Box of #2 reeds & Reedguard for 4 reeds, SWAB
Send swab from top to bottom EVERY time you use your clarinet

DON'T get the cheap $2.99 yellow fluffy cotton swab - it doesn't go through the mouthpiece.
To get the white stuff off the mouthpiece from long time use
Put a little cork grease on the mp and the wipe it off with a non abrasive cloth. 

Best Mouthpieces
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A quality mouthpiece can make a huge difference after someone has been playing for 3 months with consistent practice.  It makes it easier to play and sounds better.
5RV lyre 
Van Doren B45

Behn - affordable student mouthpiece 

Low & High Notes
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Then tip thumb to use the register key after playing the low notes - to get the high notes

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Play these low notes

After trying these notes you can get the notes B and C much easie

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Clarinet Websites

Clarinet  DSO Kids is the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's site.  It's mission is to provide attractive, child-friendly resources that introduce symphonic music, the orchestra and its instruments, and to encourage both adults and young people to explore the symphony orchestra.

Clarinet Reeds  Having a good reed instead of a bad one makes clarinet playing enjoyable rather than a chore.  Unfortunately, commercially made reeds are inconsistent; some play well others don't. 

Clarinet Acoustics Introduction to clarinet acoustics  Try the introduction of How do woodwind instruments work? For unfamiliar terms, try the Basics list on the navigation bar.

Listen to Clarinetists 

Jimmy Dorsey 1904-1957

Benny Goodman 1909 1986
Artie Shaw 1910-2004
Woody Herman 1913-1987
Jimmy Guiffr
e 1921-2008
Pete Fountain 1930-2016

Julian Bliss - British clarinetist - Don't Be Stompin' That Way rehearsal 

Anthony Thompson - Chaminade graduate - He makes incredible modern sounds on the clarinet in this Advice from a Caterpillar Video

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