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Help Playing the Rose Étude #1 (from 32 Rose Etudes) for High School Audition

Hi there, I am playing the first Rose Étude from 32 Rose Etudes for my high school band audition (I play bass clarinet). I can play most of it decently, but I struggle with playing the thirty-second notes. Even though it's just a scale (sort of), my fingers always screw it up some how. I'm referring to this part here: http://imgur.com/cNFp1EF. If anyone could give me some advice or tips on how to play that part, I would really appreciate it.

Also, I just wanted to confirm that I'm playing the turns (gruppettos) properly. For the first one (Starting on the F at the top of the staff), I play F-G-F-E-F, but I'm not sure if that's right. The second one sounds completely wrong, but I'm not sure. Starting at the B, I go B-C-B-A-B. Am I playing the turns correctly?


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
For the 32nd notes a helpful technique can be to set your metronome at twice the tempo and practice the run in groups of four notes at a time ending on the first note of the following group. When you can play each group of four smoothly and in tempo, then put them together into groups of eight, again ending on the first note of the group that follows---still feeling the "subdivision" set up by the metronome going twice the tempo. When that is successful, join the groups of eight together and you have it.

In the first turn, the turn itself is G-F-E-F which comes after the F. In the second, the turn itself is C-B-A-B which follows the B. I think this is what you were trying to say, but I wasn't sure. Good luck with your audition.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
My favorite trick on learning a pattern of notes that are the same length is:

* Play the first note long as you'd like. Don't do it in time or anything. Think about how you're going to finger the next note.
* Play the second note as fast as possible. Again, we're not worried about doing it in time.
* Repeat for the entire sequence of notes: long, short, long, short, etc.
* Reverse the order: short, long, short, long, etc.
* Put it all together. In other words, try to play just that section in time.

This trick works amazingly well and can be used on any instrument, including stringed instruments. This also makes you play around with alternate fingerings so you can decide which ones you can hit easily when you go as fast as possible.

I'd also suggest you try to memorize the piece. It's a lot harder to read and think, "32nd note B, 32nd note C ..." than it is to actually play it. Also, if you do the pattern right -- even slowly and work up to speed -- you're going to get that little burst of muscle memory. In other words, no need to think about doing it. Just do it.
Don't forget that there is a rit written just before that bit. It doesn't start at full speed and continues to slow down throughout.

You are playing the turns right.
For learning passages like these, I tend to take the approach of playing quarter tempo, then half tempo then full tempo.
First, I set a metronome up at a much slower tempo than normal. If I were playing a piece at 60bpm, I would set it for 30-40.
Second, I would take this passage for 32nd notes and play them as 8th notes at 30bpm, then 16th notes at 30bpm and finally 32nd notes at 30bpm with as little pause as possible between them.
Then increase the metronome to 32 and repeat, then 34 and repeat, etc.

Also, listen to recordings. I think it will help with things like phrasing and the timing of the turns. These are pretty common among clarinetists.
Good luck!!
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