It’s easy to learn how to play the clarinet. However, there’s a right and a wrong way to do this. When you’ve never played the musical instrument before, you should resist the temptation to just go ahead and figure it out, a cappella style.
The really bad thing about taking this route is that you have now made it difficult to learn how to play the clarinet textbook style. The clarinet is a wonderful instrument that can emit the purest of tones. It can rival the violin in sweetness. At the same time, the clarinet is also capable of making sounds that can compete with the ambulance or the home alarm system.
It all depends on how you breathe into it, how your fingers are positioned across the instrument, and how proper your posture is. The children’s song, All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth can give you the first lesson to learn how to play the clarinet in the right manner. Accordingly, you need to position the tip of the clarinet mouthpiece right smack behind your two front teeth.
Therefore, missing your two teeth in that area can prove to be some problem. Obviously, you’ll have to find a way to improvise when you’re lacking in that department. Still, the clarinet needs a solid position along with your dental faculty with which the instrument can anchor itself in other to play beautiful melodies. Your gum may or not be up to the task.
The second important lesson to learn how to play the clarinet is assembling the instrument properly. Musicians don’t always carry the clarinet as a whole. They can have the instrument lying inside a cushioned leather as if it were some kind of royalty sleeping on a velvet shell casing or an A-list celebrity on the red carpet.
You might say that the clarinet seems to lead a spoiled kind of existence, but that’s the high price you have to pay for keeping a precious asset in tiptop condition. Especially when you’re a serious musician, you will want to care for your clarinet like a sharp shooter does to his or her top gun. Even this instrument is usually broken down into major components for storage and easy transport purposes.
For its part, the clarinet has six major parts. If you’re really serious to learn how to play the clarinet, you will want to learn these individual parts intimately. This is because, in order to produce notes and harmony, you will be manipulating each part just like a puppet master does his or her puppets.
The major portions of the clarinet are the mouthpiece, ligature, three different joints, and the bell. The three joints are the barrel, upper, and lower portions. And now, to easily distinguish among these parts, the mouthpiece is just like a sports referee’s whistle. The bell, on the other hand, which happens to be the bottom portion of the clarinet, is the one that resembles a funnel–although it is an inverted one.
With regards to the three joints, think of them like the portion sticks that form part of the Swiffer retractable rod and you can never go wrong. They will never fit each other unless they are connected in the right order. But sometimes, the upper and lower portions of the clarinet can be a little tight at their cork ends, so you need to put a light film of cork grease on them.
You just can never learn how to play the clarinet until you put all the pieces together and properly at that. A key thing to remember is not to force things through if the parts don’t fit at all. Also, the upper joint is the smaller counterpart of the lower joint, which is the biggest rod of your clarinet.
To make all sorts of notes such as F or E, you have to put your thumb and index finger of the left hand in the proper holes. Meanwhile, the right hand’s thumb should be pointed right below the thumb rest. As for the four fingers of this hand, they should find themselves snugly on the rest of the holes of the clarinet.
But the two biggest secrets to learn how to play the clarinet have not yet been revealed. You can control the wind through the holes, but the real notes are made by the vibration of the reed which sits right at the back of mouthpiece. By biting the mouthpiece gently with your two front teeth and blowing on the tube to let the air in, the reed ends up vibrating.
Finally, practice tapping lightly at the reed with the tip of your tongue in order to make the T sound. And there you go–you just made the F, E and T sounds through this short course to learn how to play the clarinet. Congratulations!