• Buying Your First A Clarinet

    There comes a point in many clarinetists’ lives when your trusty B-flat isn’t enough anymore. Maybe you’re tired of transposing in orchestra (cool it with the A clarinet, Tchaikovsky!). Maybe you want to play the Mozart Concerto in the original key signature. Or maybe you’ve decided to continue your musical studies into college and beyond. Whatever the reason, owning an A clarinet is a requisite for any serious clarinetist. Many of the greatest masterworks of orchestral, chamber, and solo literature are written for the A clarinet. Professional clarinetists are expected to own and play on both B-flat and A clarinets for auditions, recitals, and performances. But when should you purchase an A…

  • 20 Unaccompanied Clarinet Works from the 20th Century

    For an instrument with such an illustrious history, the clarinet is relatively new to the unaccompanied scene. Excluding the Stadler Caprices and Donizetti Studie, there are virtually no works for solo clarinet until the 20th century. Here are 20 standard works for solo clarinet from the 20th century, arranged alphabetically. I have chosen these pieces for their historical significance and importance within the clarinet repertoire. By no means is this intended to serve as a comprehensive list of unaccompanied clarinet repertoire from the 20th century. These are milestone works of clarinet literature, and there are countless other masterpieces written for solo clarinet. Malcolm Arnold – Fantasy for Clarinet, Op. 87 (1966)…

  • Clarinet Pick Up Lines

    Happy Valentine’s Day!  Here are some clari-nerdy pick up lines guaranteed to garner the love of that special someone! Are you the Kell 17 Staccato Studies? Because you’ve got me tongue-tied! Are you the first movement of the Copland concerto? Because you take my breath away! Are you the Nielsen concerto? Because you make my heart beat faster! Are you Benny Goodman? Because you make me want to sing, sing, sing! Are you a Stravinsky polyrhythm? Because you’re hard to follow! Are you a Brahms sonata? Because I can’t get enough of you! Are you the Mendelssohn Scherzo? Because I always make a fool of myself around you! Are you…

  • 33 Random Thoughts I Have While Practicing

    Is it just me, or does your mind tend to wander more often than it should when you’re practicing? I’ve actually stumbled upon some pretty great blog ideas while practicing, but other thoughts…not so much. Here are 33 random thoughts I’ve had while practicing: Can you wear teeth whitening strips while practicing, or will they move around? I wonder how bad it is to drink coffee during my practice session… I really should stop crossing my feet when I’m practicing. I wonder how many reeds I’ve ever played. Have police ever used reeds to collect DNA evidence? They should make an ancestry.com – but for clarinets. Are there any historical…