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Clarinet Lessons: Circular Breathing

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Hello everybody.
Thank you very much for checking out
all the other lessons in ArtistWorks.
So for this one, we're going to be talking
a little bit about circular breathing.
Now we need to be thinking about
this in basically two parts.
Circular breathing basically
means that for us to be able to
be playing, and continue to blow through
the instrument while taking a breath.
So, the two-person mechanism to start
it going is, I would suggest we need
a little glass with water, and a little
straw, just to get used to two parts.
The first part is for us to get used
to blowing air through our cheeks.
So, basically, we have to get used to
filling out our cheeks with air and
just blowing with it, just that.
So, basically,
we're squeezing the air with our cheeks.
We get a little bit of air there,
that's it.
That's it.So we're getting
used to straining it out.
[SOUND] [LAUGH] It's a little bit intense.
[SOUND] Okay.
So it looks a little bit too much because
I guess I put too much water in here, and
with the resistant of
the reed on the mouthpiece,
you have to get a little bit stronger,
so I have been practicing for a while.
So, that's unusually, but that's,
basically, what you have to get used to.
And then, as we get more and
more used to doing that,
then we have to get into a pattern
where we can be doing it relaxed, and
enough that, when we're taking up air and
we're thinking that we're getting
basically two or three quarters then we
have to, for sure, tank up on our cheeks.
And, therefore, before we get too empty,
then we get to be blowing the air with our
cheeks, and while taking a little breath.
So it's like [SOUND]
something like that.
Okay so it's.
[NOISE] So, this is one of the little
exercises that is good to do.
And then,
how does it translate to the clarinet?
Basically the same thing,
we have to do, it's good to use it
always in the low range,
open G is great just to get used to it.
[SOUND] Then we fill up,
we used to pulling it over there the air.
So we get used to doing that, and
then we take enough of a deep breath,
and then we do that, first.
[SOUND] I'm exaggerating the thing so
you can hear the what, when I'm squeezing.
I mean, the point is to do it smoothly,
but I just wanted you
to hear the difference, where I'm
blowing regular and then squeeze.
Eventually, we'll get to try to do
it as smoothly as possible, but.
Then as we get a little bit more
comfortable with that part, then, again,
we get going with trying to take enough
air, and then we do it continuously.
[SOUND] I don't use it that often, so
I'm not the word's greatest at it, and
so I basically use it mainly
in if we have some pattern.
Like you were playing
something with a lot of trill.
So then you can not hear it.
So it's different.
Obviously, as you get better
you can get the difference
between the low note will
be a little bit smoother.
But it's usually better to
do it on passing notes.
So if you're going
So it works like, for example,
the end of this position of mozart right?
If you're running out of
air you can do it there.
passages like that.
You see where it's a little bit more
diffused, and it's more elusive.
You don't want to go too low and
have a little bump.
I mean, as you get better it will be
much easier for you to do it, and
people who do it all the time, get,
it's a skill like anything else.
The more you do it the better
you can try and do it.
Now, the only thing I would like to
encourage you to do is to make sure
you're doing it as a way to, basically
there should be frosting on the cake.
We should be definitely continue doing
our long tern exercises that are in
the fundamentals, and
try to do it one notch at at time.
If you're having trouble with
keeping the air going, just do it,
start from the mouth of the chromatic one,
like at one hundred and
make sure that each day that you
can bring it down, bring it down.
And like two numbers.
Then hopefully,
as you then as you get more comfortable,
you will be expanding the control of
getting the air out through the instrument
while being able to take a deeper breath.
And, therefore of course,
that will help in your capacity for
doing this circular breathing.
But, also more importantly is, to make
sure that you're doing it as an emergency,
and not just to be able to play something
continuously, just for the fun of it.
Because, while it may be impressive for
us clarinet players,
we have to remember that
the clarinet is an instrument,
indeed most of us should try
to imitate the human voice.
And, therefore, when the human voice is
the subliminal version of talking,
of expressing ourselves.
And if you think of the greatest
examples of the 20th century,
the Pavarotti,, Placido Doming,
Cecilia Bartoli, Rene Fleming, and
all these great,
all these great incredible singers, they,
I have to tell you that I don't notice any
of them do circular breathing [LAUGH].
You see what I mean.
So, it is something that for
us to be singing through the instrument
we have always be aware
of how we're phrasing, so
that then we know exactly
where the strong points are.
And there's always a place where
we may be able to breathe.
Now, I understand that there are times,
in the brams quintet, the beginning the,
the first two lines one wants to
play as long as possible, etc.
But, you know, the violinists, they have
to change their bow, and if you're telling
a story, you always have to breathe,
and there's commas and calls, etc.
So then there is a way of you
being able to understand the shape
of the story, and, therefore,
that is extremely important for us to
keep in consideration when we are making
our technical choices on the clarinet.
Thank you very much,
and please check out
the rest of the lessons.
And please don't be too
shy to send more videos.
Take care.
Thank you.