Turbocharge Your Practice: A High Performance Practice Routine for the Aspiring Clarinetist

by Paula Corley


Start your warm-up with a full sound always.


Practice 3 different volumes: soft, medium, loud (S-M-L)


C scale with open G:

Increase the airspeed (very slightly) on open G just before you shift. A slight airspeed increase on notes prior to a register shift (change) will help create a uniform sound throughout the full range of the clarinet.

You may tongue the open G to start. However, work until you can slur everything. Slurring all will teach you to release the register key quickly. 


Upper Register Development 

As you ascend above high C, the response of the clarinet may feel different.  Use the same voicing – “EE” – to make sure all of the notes are focused.  Once you are secure, you can experiment voicing the notes with vowel sounds – “A, E, I, O, U” to find your best tuning.  For some players, using a different vowel sounds on decrescendos may also improve tuning and security.


Tonguing Burst Practice – A “Must Do” Every Day!

Work to make each group 

1) clear 

2) even

3) matched in quality


Upper Register Bursts – Master the previous Upper Register Exercises before trying these.

Don’t worry about playing short! Play clear, even, and controlled bursts. Keep your tongue as close to the reed as possible if you have squeaking or response problems. Moving the tongue too much can cause problems.  


“Must Do” Scale Practice

Until you can perform scales confidently, the all-region etudes will continue to be difficult and time-consuming to learn.  Scales are your foundation. There is no way around them, so get busy!


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