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dd1 just started learning clarinet - some words of encouragement needed please!

(8 Posts)
Miaou Thu 25-Sep-08 16:47:18

She is 11, been chosen to learn clarinet (only two instruments available), so although not under pressure per se she is expected to work hard at it.

She has only had one lesson so far, on Tuesday, and doesn't have another lesson for two weeks as the teacher is away. But now she has got home she can't get a note out of it, only squeaks! I can't help her because I played oboe and the embruchoure (sp?)is so different I don't want to teach her bad techniques. (However I can get notes out of it fine so I guess it's down to her technique rather than dodgy reed or anything).

I'm telling her about when I started oboe and could hardly get a sound out of it for weeks but I'm not sure she believes me. Please tell me encouraging tales of your dc's squawking away to start with - she's such a perfectionist she's finding it hard to deal with not getting it right at the moment!

newpup Thu 25-Sep-08 17:49:06

I learnt to play the clarinet at school aged nine and DD1 (nine) has been playing for 2 years now. So, I know the squeak phase well! wink

Just ensure she has the mouthpiece in correctly (ask her teacher to check). Also make sure that the reed is flush to the tip of the mouthpiece.

Sure she will soon be playing 'oh when the saints' with best of them!

NormaSnorks Thu 25-Sep-08 17:54:14

I played the clarinet to Grade 8/ until I went to Uni.
Has she got the thinnest/softest reeds - if they are very hard this will make it harder to get the notes. Alternatively, I used to suck the top of my reed for a few minutes before playing to make it softer/ warmer.

It may also just be a case of relaxing a bit.

If you google clarinet embouchure you'll find lots of good advice/ pictures etc.

HTH - and don't worry - squeaking is VERY normal!

Miaou Thu 25-Sep-08 17:54:34

Thanks newpup. Did it take her a while to get the hang of playing notes rather than squeaking? Dd is having trouble getting any notes out of it at all atm.

NormaSnorks Thu 25-Sep-08 17:56:48

Is she trying the lower notes - more holes covered? (Much easier than higher ones when you start...)

Miaou Thu 25-Sep-08 18:23:23

Nope, she's doing C,D and E!

(grr, I did type another message but it's disappeared hmm)

Miaou Thu 25-Sep-08 18:26:32

(I've now remembered what I typed - sort of)

Thanks norma - we have soft reeds and have been sucking wink

I think you are right about the relaxing though.

I have had a look on t'internet but just got confused tbh - will have another look later on - pictures might be good!

mrz Sat 27-Sep-08 18:48:53

I recall clarinet sounding like a wounded seal when my daughter first started lessons it does get better

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