Student from the Québec province

Hello, and how are you!

I have written to you before and got an excellent answer from you.

I have an excellent teacher since the Feb 2010.
One lesson an hour a week and I practice regularly.

I have lots of difficulties crossing the BRIDGE even with my teacher's advices. Passing from A to B, demand serious practice.

I often get no sound from A to B in the B, maybe, because of the embouchure, or the fingers are not positioned properly.

It works half the time. When doing the scales, most of the time I get no sound when passing from A to B.

Thanks for your advice.

I started the clarinet in Sep 2007 (10 months) with a young teacher who did not have a good teaching technic. I practice alone for one year without any advices.

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Practicing Crossing the Break correctly takes time both on the part of keeping a stable chin, having proper air support, a good clarinet embouchure and moving all of the fingers at the same time.

You will find a complete page and exercise on Crossing the Break by clicking here.

Note this is for low G to across the break D, not A to B as you asked. It sounds like your embouchure is not completely formed and you probably have to "firm-up."

Going from low G to D at first has you moving only one finger (the thumb). This way, you can concentrate on looking at the embouchure in the mirror.

1. If the D comes out just fine, you probably just have a finger problem from A to B. That is a piece of technique you can overcome very easily. Getting all of the fingers down at exactly the same time will help cure the "break" in sound.

2. If you play the low G, press the register key down for D, and crunch down your lips and chin to get the D out, your embouchure is not firm enough for crossing the break.

Again, what your body is telling you is this... "I have to bite more to cross the break." So, you need an embouchure strong enough to be in that register. The best option is for you to have that strong an embouchure in the lower range as well. This way, you can cross the break and not have "the break," but a smooth, awesome transition from low to high and vice versa.

That is your goal, making the clarinet seem easy. It takes hard work to learn this and plenty of practice, but it is all worth it.

Good luck studying with your new teacher. Please forward him/her this note and perhaps you can go over this Crossing the Break exercise together.

Another good page to read is the Poor Clarinet Embouchure page. It covers fourteen different types of poor clarinet embouchure. You can read it and look in the mirror to compare and contrast what you are doing.

Best of luck to you and keep practicing. If this answer works for you (or not), please remember to rate it.


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