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Hey
I'm still in High School and I've recently gotten out of shape over the summer on clarinet. I was wondering if anyone would send me some advice in how to improve my tone and strengthen my embouchure. Any specific exercises or warm ups would be greatly appreciated. Thank you :D
 

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Playing is the only way to get your chops in shape.
Long tones....blech.

Do 5-10 minutes of scales/arpeggios to get things warmed up. Play them slowly so that you can hear how EVERY note sounds. This is where you should be shaping your tone.
Don't be afraid to experiment with your sound. Take in more mouthpiece, open your throat, pull down more chin, change the horn angle..... Find where your clarinet sounds the best.

Move on to 15-30 minutes of focused technical playing. If you don't have the Klose Complete Method for Clarinet...Get it. It will kick your butt, and you'll love every minute of it. There are lots of method/etude books out there that are almost as good. Just be sure they're a little more advanced than what you can play now.

Play a couple of short "just for fun" pieces, and finish up with long tones.
The long tones are like cool down stretches. Again, use your ears. Your face is tired, and you'll need to concentrate on keeping the tone focused.

Every other practice session add another 5-10 minutes to the "Focused Playing", while using the long tones to cool down.

In order to get better your going to have to wear out a whooole lotta reeds.
 

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In order to get better your going to have to wear out a whooole lotta reeds.
You can say that again!


I also completely agree with what bandmommy is saying about working on tone in scales and arpeggios. It is easy to think "Ok, I'll do long tones which help my tone" "and now I'll do scales which help my fingers"

EVERYTHING you play is a "tone exercise." I've recently come to realize that all long tones do is help you gain muscles to CONTROL the tone - YOU have to make use of the long tones to improve your tone.

Whatever you're playing - long tones, scales, technique exercises, etudes, solos - always be paying attention to your tone and achieve for the best tone possible.
 

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IMO strong breath pressure is a fundamental for good tone.
I believe being out of practice, and general body unfitness can compromise that.
 

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To quickly strengthen the muscles around the mouth smile-whistle-smile-whistle 50 times. Do it 3 or 4 times a day resting in between.

If you are sitting watching a tv show or riding in a car somewhere, hold a small soda straw tightly in the lips as long as you can.

All of these can improve the muscle tone inbetween times you are actually able to practice the clarinet.


John
 
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