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Are you looking for a basic guide to playing the clarinet?

Posted by John 18/06/2020 0 Comment(s)

Are you looking for a basic guide to playing the clarinet? 

If you’re reading this, it won’t be a mystery to you why so many people would love to learn to play the clarinet. The clarinet, after all, is a fascinating instrument, being a key member of the woodwind family along with the saxophone, flute, recorder and oboe. It’s also an easy instrument to handle and play, and isn’t too expensive to buy or maintain, either. 

It should be no surprise, then, that the clarinet is often the first woodwind instrument that a young musician or would-be band member learns. 

But if you’re seeking a good basic guide to playing the clarinet, there are a few pearls of wisdom I can share with you first, drawing upon my 65 years of playing experience. 

It was in 1956 when, as a 17-year-old recruit in the Royal Air Force (RAF), I decided that I would like to play the clarinet and be in the station band. So I bought a book and tried to teach myself. The book, unfortunately, turned out to be a total load of tosh, although it has somehow managed to remain in print. 

35 years passed until I discovered the correct way to play the clarinet, and when I finally mastered the clarinet, I was astonished to find that it was actually incredibly easy to play. As it happened, there was one very simple, but also very important fact about playing the clarinet that all “Tutor Books” got completely wrong. 

That fact lies in the word “blowing”. That’s right – despite every standard method applying to all wind instruments using the word “blow”, there is only ONE wind instrument that the player blows to create the sound, and that is the Scottish bagpipes. 

The bagpipe player blows through a pipe to fill the bag that he holds under his arm. Once the bag is full, he punches the bag to start all the pipes sounding and then proceeds to simply blow to refill the bag until he wants to stop playing. 

By contrast, every other orchestral wind instrument – from the humble recorder to the tuba – is “breathed” rather than “blown”. A vital detail! 


So, what difference do our own books make? 

I have shared all of the information above with you, because it’s important to look to the right sources of advice when you are attempting to learn how to play a woodwind instrument like the clarinet. 

We are different from the many other online stores that you might turn to when in need of a basic guide to playing the clarinet. We don’t just sell the same books that everyone else does –because we’ve been victims of bad methods ourselves. We understand how not to teach wind instrument playing.  See “Playing the Clarinet is Easy!” value pack, which includes – as well as “Playing the Clarinet is Easy!” – the “Clarinettist’s Technique Doctor” and the “Professional Clarinet Fingering Chart”, all sold together at a great price. 

Don’t fall prey to “dumbed down” or just plain old inaccurate advice that won’t help you to get the most out of your clarinet playing. Dr Downing Music offers you clear, honest and jargon-free clarinet books and charts that are as good for professionals as they are for novices. 

And don’t forget that if there’s anything else you’re uncertain or confuses you, you’re welcome to get in touch with us directly, so that we can further help you to play the clarinet to the best of your ability.