• Throat Tone Tips for Clarinetists

    Do your throat tones tend to sound fuzzy, muffled, pinched, nasal, or less than ideal? If so, you’re not alone! The clarinet is not a perfect instrument (shocking, I know!), and some notes need a little extra help to sound beautiful. Let’s talk about throat tones. Why do clarinet throat tones sound so different than lower or higher notes? Simply put, it’s the length of the tube. When you blow air into the mouthpiece, that air doesn’t have a lot of time/length of tube to develop if you’re playing an open G. Compare that to playing low E, where the air must travel the entire length of the clarinet to…

  • My Winter Clarinet Essentials

    Winter weather can wreak havoc on clarinets (and reeds) if you’re not careful, so here are a few of my winter essentials for clarinetists: protective case cover – Make sure your clarinet case is warm and well-insulated with a padded case cover. (You can even wrap a scarf or towel around the case inside for an added layer of protection.) humidifiers – These are important to have in both your clarinet and reed case to maintain a consistent humidity level. There are many different humidifiers available, and a few of my favorites are Oasis, Dampit (I use the violin one), Boveda, and sponges cut to fit inside a toothbrush holder.…

  • Music for clarinet and toy piano

    Longtime readers of Jenny Clarinet know that I have a fascination with lesser-known instruments (this blog post I wrote a few years ago even led to me learning how to play the theremin!). Even though I had heard of the toy piano, it wasn’t until I attended a Yann Tiersen concert in Paris a few years ago and heard Tiersen perform on the toy piano that I began to wonder if any music had ever been written for clarinet and toy piano. Spoiler alert: yes it has! (but as you might imagine, it’s not a long list) Here are some pieces I’ve stumbled upon which feature clarinet and toy piano:…

  • The Art of the Mock Audition

    New year, new auditions on the horizon! Even though 2022 just started, audition season is in full swing as musicians prepare for conservatory, university, orchestra, and other auditions. An essential component of any successful audition is the mock audition, which will help you build physical endurance and mental resilience to prepare for the real deal. Here’s everything you need to know: What is a mock audition? Auditioning is an art form, just like music. Just like you practice to prepare the required music and excerpts in hopes of playing your best, you should also practice taking auditions to develop the mental fortitude necessary to play well despite (completely normal) audition…