Friday 17 September 2021

Photo of the day - 17: Enjoying classical clarinet

In recent times the clarinet playing has revolved a lot around the pieces I play with my local concert band. Those tunes tend to be a mixture of theme music from films and TV (ET, Raiders of the Lost Arc, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek etc.), medleys from musicals and pop stars (Jesus Christ Superstar, Abba, Michael Jackson) and then a few bits of classical and folk songs. 

But what I enjoy playing, and what is on the syllabus for my grades tends to be a mixture of classical and jazz music. I must say I do enjoy the classical side of things as it makes me feel like I am getting the proper building blocks for clarinet and music in general. Also, all the renowned method books for clarinet are by classical composers, it seems. So for me, it's important to have that base even when doing all the modern, stuff. One musician I admire is Miles Davis. Although his music is very much synonymous with jazz, the great trumpeter was actually classically trained. He cut his teeth at the Julliard School, a conservatory in New York and played classical music. The jazz stuff was more of a side hustle for a while.

So I guess, if that's what he did, I should do the same! Aside from all that, I like classical music anyway, so am always happy to play it. One of my go-to books have been the Lefevre sonatas for clarinet. Then today, I finally got the Demnitz book, which is much needed as I am getting to the dizzy heights of doing turns, trills, mordants and grace notes and I realise I am rubbish at them. So hopefully, Demnitz will give me a helping hand while I get to grips with the dominant 7th in G major! 

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