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Covid practicing

A year into Covid I can honestly say that my clarinet chops are feeling quite ok as I have been faithfully practicing 5 days per week.
To make things easier on my wallet (without gigs to fund supplies) I purchased 5 Legere European Cut (3.50) to save on my usual Vandoren V12's.
The Legeres work for my practicing needs.
With time to think/analyze/ponder about my playing I have revisited some of my past method books: Kell Staccato studies plus two kinda odd-ball ones that I have found invaluable:
The Kell book is for obvious reasons.

The Chesky book is from my sax-learning days and is delightfully odd. The intervals (aside from the 4th/5th) get a bit "out there" and are a challenge to play technically at moderate/brisk tempos but more so staying in tune. (I find this more useful than standard maj/min triadic patterns in most clarinet methods.)

The Taffenal book was borrowed from my flute-learning days.
I especially like to use pgs: 2-9. I use these exercises to speed up my fingers (all slurred). I do all of the exercises in more than one octave (an example: on pg 2; the first four staves are done in two octaves while staves 5-6 are done in 3 octaves).
In doing these exercises in octaves I have work different parts of my technique; right hand, left hand, break, the upper break, etc.

All of the above is an attempt to emerge from the Covid break "in a better place" clarinet-wise.

Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
I hadn't touched anything until I got a call to do some recording. I played just enough to get my bearings, but not so much I physically could not play. The recording sessions were fine on the recording side but brutal on my hands. I should mention this was on upright bass not a WW. The engineer was also a woodwind player and he was glad he wasn't playing as he hadn't touched anything in a long time either.

I survived the session with mostly single takes and no blisters, but incredibly sore hands. 10 days out now and my hands feel fine. I have some callouses but they are starting to peel. I too am glad they didn't call me to do WW tracks.


Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Did recordings for a number of ensembles, man hearing recordings of yourself can be brutal. Can't wait to get back at it when the band gets together again. Suzy (wife) and I practiced against some recordings for a half hour last night. Felt good.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
As mentioned elsewhere, I retired from singing and playing many years ago because of health problems. I kinda miss practicing. Except for the soul-crushingness that is Rascher's 24 Intermezzi. Example attached. These ones don't have double-sharps in the key signature, so they're the easier ones.

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