Clarinet Now Blog

The Clarinet Now Blog keeps you up-to-date with postings and news. Practicing, clarinet fundamentals, famous clarinet players and other odds and ends fuel Clarinet-Now's energy...

Go to Amazon/Bumblebee Loops to get your copy of Bumblebee Loops here. 

Customizable Monogram Clarinet Face Mask

Customize this Clarinet Face Mask by adding your initial. Protect yourself and others and get a laugh showing your love of music. Follow the link to easily add your initial.

Baermann clarinet scales

Baermann clarinet scales - Langenus, Snavely and Dowani versions

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Poor Clarinet Embouchure

Descriptions of the poor clarinet embouchure and a troubleshooting guide to fixing them.

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Live Clarinet Lessons

Live Clarinet Lessons offered by author Christopher Jones.

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Clarinet Exercises

With these Clarinet Exercises improve your hand position and speed

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Clarinet Leadership

See the Clarinet Leadership Scale to figure out where you are in the world of clarinet, where you are going and how to get there.

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Van Cott Music carries "Bumblebee Loops"

Happy to see my book "Bumblebee Loops" listed in the Van Cott Clarinet Music Studies and Exercises. There are a bunch of books here so you have to scroll down pretty far to see it. However, this is the write-up on the page...

C2604: Bumblebee Loops for Violin, Flute or Clarinet by Christopher D. Jones. 2017, PB, 74 pages. The purpose of this book is to provide guidance and exercises to assist in the performance of Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov. It can also help with playing in general of course. The subtitle of the book is "A Practice Guide to Performing a Lightning Fast Flight of the Bumble Bee." It includes suggestions on what edition to perform and an outline of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's life.

Alright, so while you are ordering your Baermann scales book or your Opperman "Velocity Studies," make sure you add "Bumblebee Loops" to the cart. Best. CJ

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West Point Band performs Macy's Fireworks soundtrack with Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson will sing "God Bless America" with the West Point Band and Glee Club this 4th of July 2018 on the Macy's Fireworks show at 8PM EST on NBC. The show starts with a bunch of popular talent, but at the end from 935pm to 10pm the fireworks will explode to the soundtrack of the Band, Glee Club, and Clarkson. Tune in, set DVRs, and enjoy this patriotic spectacular. As a West Point Band Clarinetist, this will be my last big, giant event. I play with the band through September 2018 and then retire. #MACYSFIREWORKS #WESTPOINTBAND #KELLYCLARKSON

Happy Fathers Day!!!

I wouldn't be where I am if it was not for the support of my Dad! Thanks Dad!

See this video produced at West Point entitled "My Old Man."

Biting the mouthpiece?

hi, my name is caitlin and ive been playing the clarinet for quite some time. i recently got a new clarinet mouthpiece because i realized that my old one

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Clarinet Job Apply Now!!!

I've had a great career totaling 26-years with the @WestPointBand. Make sure you apply for this once in a lifetime opportunity!!!

Bumblebee Loops

Bumblebee Loops A Practice Guide to Performing a Lightning Fast "Flight of the Bumblebee" on Clarinet, Flute, and Violin.

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Bumblebee Loops Book is now available on Amazon Kindle!

Bumblebee Loops is now available on Amazon Kindle for a reduced price of $2.99. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can get it free. Watch out though, getting it free still means you have to execute hours of practice to improve. Enjoy!

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Bumblebee Loops Book is now available on Amazon Kindle!

Bumblebee Loops is now available on Amazon Kindle for a reduced price of $2.99. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can get it free. Watch out though, getting it free still means you have to execute hours of practice to improve. Enjoy!

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Kalmen Opperman - A Legacy of Excellence Book

A must read for any clarinetist, this newly published book on my teacher, Kalmen Opperman, was wonderfully done by Denise Gainey.

Opperman was a master teacher. A teacher whom you never graduated. Again, if I learned 1% of his knowledge, I feel fortunate. This book compiles his teaching philosophies from many of his prominent students.

He was a clarinetist in the West Point Band 54 years before I joined. He and I had a special bond because of that connection. This book includes a number of photos of him from that time in the Army as well as an article I wrote.

The sub-title to this book is "Passing on the Flame." I highly recommend!

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Mele Kalikimaka for Clarinet Quartet

Merry Christmas to all! Here is our clarinet quartet broadcast from last year. Enjoy!

Bumblebee Loops Music Book available on Amazon

Bumblebee Loops: A Practice Guide to Performing a Lightning Fast 'Flight of the Bumblebee' is a guide to improve your speed and musicality on the solo The Flight of the Bumblebee, but goes deeper to help you work out and improve the sound and artistry of any musical passage. This music book is meant for violin, flute, or clarinet but useful to any musician.

Chris Jones serves up tips and hundreds of bite-sized musical excerpts to help you:

•Identify messy and uneven intervallic and rhythmical flaws

•Increase your focus and practice discipline

•Execute smooth, clean, fast, elegant technique that blossoms musicality

•Apply these tools to any tough musical passage

By the end of Bumblebee Loops, you'll understand the importance of focus, persistence, and take the right steps toward becoming a total musician. #BumblebeeLoops #bbloops

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West Point Band Bicentennial Concert at Lincoln Center 29 OCT NYCity

Come see the West Point Band perform our Gala Bicentennial Concert at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center this Sunday 29 OCT at 7:30 p.m. The tickets are free and the hall is filling up fast. If you are not in the NYCity area, watch the band's livestream on the our Facebook page. Click the link below the video to get tickets.

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Vandoren String Klassic Ligature

I play double-lip and in the course of developing that embouchure I found that a string ligature gave me the most sound per effort (breath pressure) of

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Improve your clarinet air support

Details about proper clarinet air support. Breathing exercises...

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clarinet articulation

Clarinet articulation tips and descriptions. Definitions of legato and staccato.

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Clarinet shoes

Clarinet Shoes - choose designs custom handmade Italian dress shoes from Italy OR fancy canvas sneakers made in the USA.

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Clarinet Scales

Free Printable Clarinet Scales PDF. Why practice scales? Musicality or scale strategy? Getting FREE POINTS on your All-State Audition with scales. Scale links and the Major Scale Plan.

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Clarinet Embouchure

Correct clarinet embouchure descriptions and ideas.

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Albert clarinet scales

Learn how to best use the J.B. Albert clarinet scales method book.

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Macy's Fireworks Show 4 JUL with West Point Band

The West Point Band and Glee Club performed the 2017 July 4th Macy's Fireworks Show on NBC. This is a must watch!!!

West Point Band turns 200 Years Old

You have to check out this interactive historical account of the oldest USArmy Band, the @WestPointBand. Today, 8 JUN 1817 was the constitution of the unit. It is an honor to serve with such fine Soldier/Musicians of this historical unit.

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More Clarinet Quartets

I was just given a tip about a nice collection of clarinet quartet music composed and arranged by Karl Schmidt.

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Father's Day Coming Soon

Don't forget your "Daddy" mug!!!

Clarinet Job Paying $61,355-70,415 Annual Salary Info Here

Looking for a full-time #clarinet job? Check out this West Point Band vacancy with applications due 26 JUN 2017. Go practice!!!

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Make your own All-State Clarinet Magnet

Customize your accomplishment for making All-State on clarinet with this magnet.

West Point on the March Concert JAN 2017

Had a great time playing this concert yesterday at Ike Hall, West Point, New York. Enjoy!

giraffe clarinet bumblebee

This Baby Giraffe Clarinet Bumblebee video gives a lightning performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee

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Practice Chart

The Practice Chart helps you log your practice minutes and hours. Print these charts for free and use as an improvement tool on clarinet or any instrument.

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Merry Christmas to All!!!

The West Point Clarinet Quartet plays live radio at Q92 in Poughkeepsie, New York.

TUNE LIST:Sleigh Ride

Santa Mania

Mele Kailikimaka

Merry Christmas to All!!! West Point Clarinet Quartet plays live radio at Q92 in Poughkeepsie, NY.

20% off Clarinet Shoes CYBRWEEKSALE

Cyberweek 2016 get 20% off these Clarinet Shoes by entering CYBRWEEKSALE

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West Point Band performs at the 2016 Macy's Parade

Three Things You Can Do to Keep U.S. Military Bands funded

Do you want access to your U.S. Military Bands? Do you want them for Concerts, National Tours, Street Parades (like the Inauguration or Fourth of July), etc…? Here are three things you can do to support the efforts of Military Bands. Say or write this (or more)…

I’m against Rep. Martha McSally’s added amendment to the proposed Department of Defense budget for 2017 (H.R. 5293) that would severely restrict funding for military band performances. Your Name.

1. Contact your Senator. Call, email, and/or write a hard copy letter. Here the contact information for the all of the U.S. Senators in all 50 States.

2. Sign the petition that needs 72,875 signatures by 19 JUL 2016.

3. Sign the petition to continue military bands funding. Need 3,746 to reach 15,000.

Military Bands connect our freedom fighting forces/heroes and veterans with the American Public. Thank you for your support.

Vandoren Blog Published Clarinet-Now's "Clarinet Parent's Guide"

The Vandoren Blog recently published an updated version of "Clarinet Parent's Guide - 12-Steps to Improve Your Young Clarinetist's Musical Experience. First seen here on this webpage, it is great to see the Vandoren Blog take it to further audiences.

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Make it fun!

Bribe them and say If you play this measure correct, i will do a cartwheel for you! It makes them really want to do it right so that they can see you do

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Appalachian Spring performed by the West Point Band

The following video was a Facebook Live event. The West Point Band performed at Marywood University in Scranton, PA on Sunday 17 APR 2016. This is a live view of the concert from one video source. It was a really fun concert to perform. I'll lay out the tunes and times below.

2:40 Awayday, by Adam Gorb

11:43 Duty, Honor, Country (this have a video accompaniment that you cannot see on this video

17:22 The Official West Point March

23:13 Ruffles Call from Afar, by Yo Goto, the percussion soloist is Staff Sgt. David Bergman

34:20 Appalachian Spring, by Aaron Copland

51:50 Armed Forces Medley

58:13 Festival Overture on the Star Spangled Banner

1:06:40 Stars and Stripes Forever

West Point Band Clarinet Vacancy and Audition Material

Well, I'm slated to retire from the West Point Band in the summer of 2017. This ad is to fill my position. Tell all your friends in the clarinet audition circuit!!!

Click on the link. Audition materials are due on 10 MAY 2016. See excerpt material on the PDF as well. Good Luck!!! Chris

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Private Clarinet Teacher

How to find a Private Clarinet Teacher? Who to ask? Where to look?

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LA Youth Orchestra performs Super Bowl Halftime

Congrats to the LA Youth Orchestra for your opportunity to perform with Coldplay on the 50th Super Bowl halftime show. I can't wait to see/hear it. Read more here...

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2015 New Mexico Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts

Congrats to my mentor and conducting teacher, Dr. William Clark, for receiving the 2015 New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. Thanks for showing me positive leadership from the podium!!!

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Trio to National Emblem

While I play clarinet in the West Point Band and have Drum Majored the band many years, I've had only a few chances to conduct the group which I do in this video (Army Drum Majors use the mace to move the band around and officers conduct honors music).

Here the West Point Band performs the trio E. E. Bagley's National Emblem March. Usually, in military ceremonies, anytime the colors move to and from position, it is done with the trio of National Emblem.

Learn how to start the sound properly

Hello. I was just reading the portion of your blog (which I love, by the way) about the difference between professional and amateur articulation. You

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Zazzy Clarinet Keychain - #3Dprint

Cool #3Dprinted Clarinet Keychain here via @zazzyjewelry. This design is only available until the 2nd of January. Order while you can!

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What does your Clarinet Teacher cook on Thanksgiving Eve?

1995ish, I had a clarinet lesson with Kalmen Opperman in NYCity on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I was single and had no family visiting me in New York that year.

That afternoon, my lesson was the usual 3 p.m. time slot. I rang the bell, Louis, his wife, buzzed me in, and they let me in the door of his apartment/clarinet studio/clarinet workshop. I went straight to the lesson room to get my insturment together.

Oddly enough, Kal was not in there. He and Louis were back in the kitchen and I could smell the aroma of something cooking. Now, being a true Southern boy, the Thanksgiving heritage of my Mom (and currently my wife and girls) was to start cooking the night before Thanksgiving. I figured this is what was going on back there.

I put my clarinet together and blew a few notes and sat there. Kal never even really liked anyone blowing a few notes, much less warming up or trying reeds. So, I waited.

Eventually, Kal and Louis called for me. “Hey Chris, can you come in here?” So, I did. I walked into the kitchen to find a big pot of something boiling. Kal and Louis had a ladle and were pouring the “soup” into something very small and intricate.

Matter of fact, they were little plastic boxes. I went, “What are you making?” “Cork grease,” said Kal. “What, you are making cork grease on the eve of Thanksgiving?” I looked at the kitchen table to find a bucket of all sorts of jars of creams and oils, Oil of Olay, Vasoline Petroleum Jelly, etc…

I had to ask, “What are you making it with? The typical Kalmen Opperman answer was, “It’s a secret formula, can’t tell you. It’ll help preserve your corks.” Once the little cork grease plastic boxes cooled off, he and Louis put the little plastic lids on top, scratched in a K.O. on the box, and gave one to me.

I believe I still have my little box of Kal’s cork grease somewhere. I’d have to do some digging to find it though.

I know the lesson that followed was probably very monumental as all of Kal’s lessons were. But, this Southern boy will never forget visiting a clarinet guru on the eve of Thanksgiving whilst cooking Cork Grease.

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