Sound/Tone Quality

by Roy Lee
(South Pasadena)

I've been playing clarinet for about 5 years and
I needed help making my clarinet tone quality into one like a semi-professional one like my section leader.


Hello Roy,

Thanks for the question. One of the best things you can do is listen, listen, listen to great clarinetists. Now-a-days, access to great clarinet recordings are the easiest in the history of the world, or the history of clarinet, which-ever one came first.

One way to get a good grasp on what the clarinet can do in the hands of masters is to visit the Famous Clarinet Players.

Another good way to develop a great since of tone is to practice long tones. Try this, play a low C (first ledger line c below the staff). Play a long double whole note for eight counts. Try to make a focused sound without any waves in the sound. Do not try to crescendo or decrescendo through the note this time. Try to really blow the air through the clarinet; all the way to the bell.

Then, try this chromatically either going up or down the scale on the clarinet. Make it a really full tone, but do not overblow and make the sound spread. If you have a tuner, you can try to hold the note in tune for as long as you can.

Really focusing on the ‘sound’ of your clarinet will help you with sound. Look up clarinet long tones on the internet and I believe you will find numerous ways to practice.

Also, getting Private Clarinet Lessons will help you a bunch. Do not discount the importance of a professional ear to help you improve to that ‘semi-professional’ or ‘professional’ sound you are looking for on clarinet.

Best of luck to you!


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