Dr Downing's famous Doctor Books

How to teach the Clarinet correctly.

by Peter Moore

Played properly, the clarinet is the easiest of all the wind instruments to play.

Are you finding, however, that despite your best efforts, your students have all sorts of problems?

Squeaking and squealing? Crossing the "break"? Difficulty playing the clarion register higher than G?

No doubt, unless you had a gifted teacher, you were yourself taught from a standard tutor book and have managed to get beyond all these problems.

But - can you teach your students how to overcome them?

If you are a gifted musician yourself, it can be very frustating understanding exactly why your students have problems. Is it perhaps simply that they are not talented?

Or could it be that you have managed to succeed despite the frankly apalling methods of instruction in most elementary primers on the market?

"Playing the Clarinet is Easy!" is not a fanciful title. I am NOT a gifted musician, merely an enthusiastic average performer who has been taught to play better, and also how to teach the clarinet, by my students. By analysing what I actually do and then, by trying to replicate my students' difficulties, I have been able to understand the teaching of the instrument. In more than 60 years of playing, including over 37 years full time teaching, I have honed my method. It's in this book.

There are several major elementary faults in the standard way of clarinet teaching.

1. The fingering method published in all tutor books from the mid 1930's is dumbed down - derived from the Recorder, a very simple fipple flute. It then requires the student re-learning the correct fingering later - NEVER a good way to learn.

2. The method of teaching students to "blow" is totally wrong. Do you really blow the clarinet? Think about it.

3. As the clarinet is a single reed instrument, merely trying to blow like a recorder is doomed to failure.

Why not teach your pupils the correct way to make a sound from the first note? If you do it correctly, all notes from bottom E to altissimo G, will be readily available without changing your embouchure, without biting, without any tricks, merely by changing fingers.

4. Why teach the clarinet initially in the chalumeau register? Especially if your students have already been playing the recorder? As they are already familiar with the treble clef, would it not make more sense to teach them in the clarion register? Especially if you apply point 3 above.

Playing the Clarinet is Easy! shows you exactly how to make the correct clarinet sound, without biting and without blowing - simply breathing - exactly as the professional players do.

Together with our "troubleshooter", the Clarinet Technique Doctor, which is included with "Playing the Clarinet is Easy!" you will soon be teaching smoothly over the full rnge of the clarinet.

We never teach "dumbed-down" or simplified methods. You learn to teach students to "drive" the clarinet before they learn to play music - like learning to drive a car before you go on the freeways.

Just as you learned to speak as a toddler, before you started to learn to read, so "Playing the Clarinet is Easy!" teaches a natural way to play. Click the book to learn more.


Clarinet Technique DoctorIf your students have already been playing clarinet for a while but are having problems, then you will find the Clarinettist's Technique Doctor invaluable.

This little book is easily popped in your pocket for when you are at rehearsal and get problems - it reminds you of all the things that you should be doing.

Far more important, however, it reminds you of all the things that you should NOT be doing. It's your "trouble-shooter". Click on the picture to learn more. You can buy the book itself for less than the price of a box of reeds.

You get a copy free with "Easy!" For your own students, our generous teachers' discounts will enable you to ensure that they always have advice at their fingertips even if you are not present.

Dr Downing's Professional Clarinet Fingering Chart

The standard method of fingering the clarinet shown on all the free internet charts and in all standard "primers" or tutor books is wrong.

Why? Because their fingering is dumbed down to "make it easy for beginners"! Unfortunately it creates major problems in changing rgisters - the infamous "break" - changing from middle line B flat to third space C. In our method, there is no such thing as a"break".

You also get the Professional Clarinet Fingering chart FREE with "Playing the Clarinet is Easy!" and with a teachers' discount if you wish to supply it to your students.


Playing the Clarinet is Easy!

Buy "Easy!" today because it will revolutionise your teaching!


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