Jettel Boot Camp
By now, dedicated readers of Jenny Clarinet should know about my love for scales. I could practice them all day, every day without ever getting bored, and my scale book of choice was Baermann…until I discovered the Jettel scale exercises!
Don’t get me wrong – there will always be a special place in my heart for Baermann, but the Jettel scales offer a wider variety of patterns (including both melodic and harmonic minors) and are devilishly difficult. I’ve worked on a few isolated scale patterns and exercises, but it’s much more fun when we all
suffer work through the Jettel together!
I’ve created the Jettel Boot Camp for September 2019, although if you’re reading this in the future, you can still download and use the 30-day practice plan any time you like!
Here are the calendar and guidelines:
All you need to participate in the Jettel Boot Camp is Rudolf Jettel’s Clarinet School, Volume 2. I recommend also having a metronome, pencil, and lots of patience as you complete the boot camp. If you would like to connect with other clarinetists from around the world who are participating in the Jettel Boot Camp, check out my Facebook page for more information.
Although this may look like quite a lot to practice each day, it’s only about 20-45 minutes. Like any boot camp, some days are more difficult and may take longer. I have chosen not to give recommended tempi for each section, as the tempo will vary according to ability levels and prior scale experience. The goal of practicing scales is learning them smoothly and cleanly first and foremost, and only then increasing the tempo to improve technique.
There are no wrong ways to practice scales (except to not practice them at all), and I hope my Jettel Boot Camp challenges you and inspires you this month!
Robert G. Monie
The Jettel scale book is great for presenting pattern variations that take players out of comfort zones they may have gotten used to from Klose, Rose, Cavallini, Baermann, and other standard study books. But one potentially formidable obstacle to playing Jettel is the prevalence of high altissimo passages that may require much testing to determine the best fingering to use to get them to speak easily, connect well, tune as accurately as possible, and facilitate some sort of speed. Choices of altissimo fingerings have to be made throughout, but there are at least 17 pages that present direct fingering challenges (pages 15, 17, 18, 26, 27. 39, 42, 43, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 59).
It would be helpful if you share the fingerings that you find the most stable and agile, even if they will not necessarily work as well on everyone’s clarinet.
Thank you for your comment, Robert. I recommend consulting a variety of fingering charts (I like the Ridenour) and experiment to see what fingerings work best on your clarinet and setup. Good luck!