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Clarinet Notes, Issue #001 -- Embouchure, Famous and Shoes
November 10, 2008

Clarinet Enthusiasts,

Well, I’m accomplishing two items this month that are long overdue. Clarinet Notes, this newsletter, is launching with this email; and, I finally posted clarinet embouchure photos.

About Clarinet Notes, I get questions often via my contact page from They are usually fundamental questions about clarinet playing. These will lead my topics. Plus, my recent postings on will keep you up on the newest information I have for you.

Clarinet Embouchure

Clarinet Embouchure is one tough subject and a great way to start the Clarinet Notes newsletter. I posted some instructional photos on the Clarinet Embouchure page as well as some on the Poor Clarinet Embouchure page. If there is one lesson to learn from the clarinet embouchure pages, that is keep that chin flat.

No matter what your level of clarinet playing, you should read and re-read as much about clarinet embouchure as you can. Or, discuss it with your clarinet teacher and continue to study the proper embouchure. Why do I tell you this? I’ve gone through several embouchure changes myself over the years. As a teacher, embouchure is a major focus of the studies of my students. Embouchure is a matter of discipline in itself. You have to practice the proper embouchure to get the best sound, and then carry that over while you are practicing more and more difficult music.

Often, while becoming more accomplished with finger technique, more complicated rhythms and interesting literature, the embouchure gets lost in the mix. Watch yourself in a mirror. Go get your Clarinet Now! and look at your embouchure formation on the mouthpiece and reed. Then go to the Clarinet Embouchure and Poor Clarinet Embouchure pages to compare.

Famous Clarinet Players

I’ve added numerous videos on the Famous Clarinet Players page. Check out the videos of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Sabine Meyer and Julian Bliss, Richard Stoltzman, Martin Fröst, Karl Leister, Eddie Daniels, Paquito D’Rivera, Buddy DeFranco, Don Byron, Pete Fountain and Andy Statman.

These are impressive clarinetists and I hope you consider yourself lucky to have these folks right at your fingertips. I’ve also included links to the music they are performing.

The longest video is an interview/performance of Don Byron. It is 59 minutes in length; however, I highlighted with time stamps certain questions, subjects and the performance sections. Let the entire video load-in and then skip to the sections that interest you. He speaks about his family’s influence, lists some world clarinetists that have influenced him, his composing style and his interest of different cultural and musical styles the clarinet is capable to perform.

Also, check out the Orchestral Principal Clarinetists section. I was fortunate enough to visit the New York Philharmonic’s archives and found an all-time list of the Philharmonic's principal clarinets. Also check out the link with Stanley Drucker, current NY Philharmonic Principal Clarinetist, playing the Weber Concertino.

Please understand that I know there are plenty of other great clarinetists. I will continue to review clarinet videos online and update this page often. I’d love to know what your favorite clarinet videos, recordings and clarinet players you experience online.


Occasionally, I get off topic while creating So, one of those time recently was the development of Cart before Horse syndrome: If you have not visited this page, it gives you a good explanation of why practicing clarinet fundamentals FIRST will help improve your clarinet achievements.

Free Online Clarinet Lessons: This page is still churning out basic clarinet information. If you have a particular topic you’d like me the cover, or try to cover, send me a note via the Contact page.

Happy Practicing to you all! Remember, someone, somewhere is always practicing more than you. One key to keeping up with these folks is to love practicing. Find the music you love, find the performers you wish to model, find the teachers you want to study from and go out and listen to live and recorded clarinet music.

Sincerely, Chris Jones

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