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. 

Clarinet Scales

Clarinet Major Scales Pg 1

Free Printable Clarinet Scales PDF. Getting FREE POINTS on your All-State Audition with scales. Scale links and the Major Scale Plan.

Continue reading "Clarinet Scales"

Day 194 of #100DaysOfPractice

One of the general rules of blogs is to publish your progress. As you can tell here, my last bloglet was Day #114. So, I have added 80 days to my collection. Being regular on the clarinet has been a joy and the results are true in the strength of my embouchure and the dexterity of the fingers. Regular practice, regular practice, regular practice is the key to improvement!

Bumblebee Loops

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

Continue reading "Bumblebee Loops"

Day 114 of #100DaysOfPractice

If you were wondering if I made it, Yes, I made it to 100 and beyond for consecutive days of practice (as of this note it is day 114). It is great to feel in better shape. Follow more on @twitter under @ClarinetNow and see to the right of this webpage.

Continue reading "Day 114 of #100DaysOfPractice"

Clarinet Case Tag

Customize your very own Clarinet Case Tag just in case it gets lost.


Just before the New Year I saw a tweet by Hilary Hahn, world-renowned violinist, announcing season 6 of #100DaysOfPractice. I thought, I must try this. I am a retired military clarinetist and while now clarinet is not my full-time job, it is still my passion. The challenge of getting that clarinet together is a big considering my family, dogs, chickens, a full-time job, and all sorts of other things to do.

So, this is what I’m doing. 15-minutes minimum of practice per day for 100 days.

What am I practicing? Four articulations on sixteenths from #BumblebeeLoops (see book on this website) from Quarter note equals 76 up to 144. The articulations are: 1). Slur two, tongue two. 2). Tongue one, slur two, tongue one. 3). Articulate all. 4). Slur all. I’m already 23-days into this challenge, so this is not a New Year’s Eve wish, and the results are already proving success. My sound is more focused. My endurance is better. My tongue is lighter and cleaner and moving with my fingers. And, my fingers are cleaning up again.

Even 15-minutes of practice is not easy. On a long travel day to and from work training, I took my mouthpiece, barrel, reed and ligature and a metronome and did 40-minutes of articulation exercises (needless to say I was traveling alone). At 11:45pm another night I drove down the road and practiced in my car because I couldn’t get it done during the day (and didn’t want to disturb my family). If you are interested, follow my #100DaysOfPractice on @ClarinetNow on Twitter. See link below or the sidebar to the right here on I also retweet the magnificent Hilary Hahn offering her tidbits of practice. Now, go home and practice!

Continue reading "#100DaysOfPractice"

Clarinet Reed Adjustment


Clarinet reed adjustment can happen without a reed knife. Learn how to maximize the placement of the reed on your clarinet mouthpiece.

Continue reading "Clarinet Reed Adjustment"

Happy Thanksgiving! What does a Master Clarinet Teacher Cook?

I had the luxury of studying with Mr. Kalmen Opperman for 10-years. Much of is the teaching of Mr. Opperman and how I’ve practiced using his methods. I’m not even close to his expectations on clarinet. Not even scratched the surface.

However, I’d like to share one funny story of how much of a Clarinet Guru he was and how much he was dedicated to the clarinet. Probably Thanksgiving of 1995, I was single and had no family visiting me in New York and I scheduled a clarinet lesson with Mr. Opperman on the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving Day.

That afternoon, I’m sure my lesson was at 3 p.m. as I usually had with him. 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 clarinet 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 is to start cooking the night before Thanksgiving. I figured this is what is 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? Typical Kalmen Opperman answer, “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 cooking Cork Grease.

beginner clarinet

10 Beginner Clarinet (Through High School) Goals for Young Students – Also High School Band.

Continue reading "beginner clarinet"

Baermann clarinet scales

Baermann clarinet scales - Langenus, Snavely and Dowani versions

Continue reading "Baermann clarinet scales"

Albert clarinet scales

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

Continue reading "Albert clarinet scales"

Back to School Custom 3-Ring Clarinet Binder

15% off now with code FIFTEENYEARS Add your custom initial monogram to the front and back of this 3-ring binder and additionally add your name to the spine.

Customizable Monogram Clarinet Products

Customize any of the following products to your Monogram initial. Find Music bags, iphone cases, water bottles, pillows, backpacks for your music and clarinet case, laptop case, wristlet, clock, or 3-ring binder. Email me via the contact page on Clarinet-Now if you want something customized for you.

Poor Clarinet Embouchure


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

Continue reading "Poor Clarinet Embouchure"

Live Clarinet Lessons


Live Clarinet Lessons offered by author Christopher Jones.

Continue reading "Live Clarinet Lessons"

Clarinet Exercises

With these Clarinet Exercises improve your hand position and speed

Continue reading "Clarinet Exercises "

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.

Continue reading "Clarinet Leadership"

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

Continue reading "Van Cott Music carries "Bumblebee Loops""

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

Continue reading "Biting the mouthpiece?"

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 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!

Continue reading "Bumblebee Loops Book is now available on Amazon Kindle!"

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!

Continue reading "Bumblebee Loops Book is now available on Amazon Kindle!"

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!

Continue reading "Kalmen Opperman - A Legacy of Excellence Book"

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

Continue reading "Bumblebee Loops Music Book available on Amazon"

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.

Continue reading "West Point Band Bicentennial Concert at Lincoln Center 29 OCT NYCity"

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

Continue reading "Vandoren String Klassic Ligature"

Improve your clarinet air support


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

Continue reading "Improve your clarinet air support"

clarinet articulation

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

Continue reading "clarinet articulation"

Clarinet shoes

AliveShoes with Box

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

Continue reading "Clarinet shoes"

Clarinet Embouchure


Correct clarinet embouchure descriptions, ideas and photos.

Continue reading "Clarinet Embouchure"

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.

Continue reading "West Point Band turns 200 Years Old"

More Clarinet Quartets

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

Continue reading "More Clarinet Quartets"

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!!!

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

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

Continue reading "giraffe clarinet bumblebee"

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.

Continue reading "Practice Chart"

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

Continue reading "20% off Clarinet Shoes CYBRWEEKSALE"

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.

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

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

Continue reading "Make it fun!"

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

Clarinet Luggage Tag
Clarinet Case Tag
easy to customize

by clarinetnow

Follow Clarinet-Now on Facebook.