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Topics - delb0y

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All about Clarinets / All of Me - Melody Only, Just Once Through
« on: May 05, 2022, 09:35:32 AM »
I have a new plan... I keep trying and failing to learn how to improvise, so I am developing a new plan. Step # 1 is to really learn the melody and changes of a tune, before worrying about 'owt else. We'll see how it goes.

This Step # 1 on All of Me. I was actually quite pleased with my tone here, for a change.



All about Clarinets / Clarinet Angle and Vandoren 88 MPCs
« on: April 30, 2022, 05:44:27 AM »
To get the nicest tone out of my current set-up (Noblet Artist & Hite Premiere) I have to have the clarinet way up, rather like the pictures you see of the old New Orleans players, not quite horizontal, but getting there. This gives me a nice open sound and as I drop the clarinet I hear a noticeable change in tone, not for the better.

However, that angle is tiring on the arms, and needs a lot of space. I was wondering if a Vandoren 88 mpc, with the altered shape would enable me to get that same tone, but at a lesser angle? Or is that not the point of the 88 series?


This is an experiment in trying to stick to a couple of simple rhythmic phrases throughout a 12 bar blues (allowing myself a bit of freedom right at the end) with the idea being that it might make the improvisation easier by taking out a bit of thinking. Not sure it worked, but here we have the basic blues itself, followed by the improvisation where I tried to (roughly) adhere to the predefined rhythms.



All about Clarinets / Simple Bb Blues - Acoustic Guitar & Clarinet
« on: February 04, 2022, 12:08:27 AM »
The fingerpicked guitar and clarinet is a combination I'd like to explore more in future. Here, I went back to a #2 reed which was a pleasure after the hard work of recent months with a # 3. I have to ask myself why I persist with the harder reed?



All about Clarinets / Bring It On Home To My House - v2 (Major Pentatonic)
« on: November 24, 2021, 03:56:29 AM »
Following on from last month's video, here we have the same thing again at a slower tempo and a little more in context, but this time I'm using the major pentatonic - I think this scale fits the chords better, but ideally I'd like to be able to mix the two scales. But that involves thinking...



The boys in the band (I hasten to add I play guitar, not clarinet) are increasing the pressure for me to include the clarinet at some point. An idea that terrifies me, and would no doubt terrify our audience if they got wind of the idea. Nevertheless, I thought I'd have a bash at a song that we've done in the past and see if I could hold onto the chords and do something passable. The reality is I'm only using the A minor pentatonic and the odd Db (for the diminished chord) so it turned out easier than I thought. Need a little more rhythmic interest and fluency I feel. But would love the group's thoughts.



All about Clarinets / Countless Blues (Lester Young) at 75%
« on: November 01, 2021, 07:19:45 AM »
It's the first of the month which means I do a monthly review of where I am. I'm 17 months in now... wow, I still can't believe I've kept this up. This month I've tried something new, but something that all the jazz teachers recommend -transcribing. Not writing down, but learning and memorising a jazz solo, to help (start) to get the feel of the music and phrasing and so on. This is Lester Young's clarinet solo off "Countless Blues". I can only play it at 75% for now- but I shall keep chipping away at those percentages! I've loved the entire process of listening and working out the phrases and timing. It has meant I've neglected other areas of studies, but I think it'll be worth it in the long run.



All about Clarinets / Exercise 54 - October 21
« on: October 05, 2021, 01:01:40 PM »
This month's piece - my 16th month of playing - is an exercise from a James Rae book that I liked so much I worked it up into a mini-arrangement complete with an attempt at a harmony line and a short improv.



All about Clarinets / Summertime - Sept 21
« on: September 09, 2021, 08:40:24 AM »
I'm trying to record something each month as a measure of progress. I'm now at the 15 month stage. So here we have a low register / simple improv around Summertime.



All about Clarinets / Careless Love - Acoustic Guitar and Clarinet
« on: August 15, 2021, 09:04:19 AM »
This afternoon's little session:


The clarinet is still sounding a little "honky" to me and there are a few notes where I think I need to adjust my embouchure to get the intonation right, but it's edging forward. Slowly.


All about Clarinets / Clarion Reqister Quacking
« on: August 05, 2021, 08:49:10 AM »
Hi One and All

I've now been playing 14 months and I think it's going ok. I reasonably happy with progress. That said, the last few months I've been focussing on the clarion register because I'm not happy with my tone there. But what's the secret? I always sound strained and force and "quacky". The link is a brief improv over Minor Swing but I think it demonstrates my frustrations. I'd like a nice round jazzy tone, instead I've got this. I mean, I'm not unhappy - I couldn't have done this a few months back - but all my long notes and scales and so on don't seem to be making much difference.



All about Clarinets / Blue Monk
« on: June 14, 2021, 01:38:43 PM »
I'm working my way through John O'Neill's jazz clarinet book. Early days, but this arrangement of Blue Monk was nice and laid back and simple, although it goes back and forth across the break a bit, and the phrasing at the end of the chorus threw me a little.

I'm now into the second year of my playing :-)

Played on the Noblet Artist, with the Hite Premiere mpc and a Vandoren #2,5.



All about Clarinets / "The Women Get You Every Time"
« on: May 22, 2021, 12:21:24 AM »
It's getting close to a year on this journey. The destination has always been to get to a point where I can accompany myself on recordings of blues, and - later, much later - swing songs. At this point, in practical and tone terms, I can get by with the blues scale in the lower register. This exercise was about learning a new pair of blues scales - in this case A (concert G). It's very simple and restricted, and was meant to be just a demo for a proper video, but I was happy enough with the demo, that I never bothered with the video!

It's an original blues, finger-picked on an old Martin, with the Noblet Artist playing the fills.


All about Clarinets / Another Blues...
« on: May 05, 2021, 09:35:16 AM »
This is a simple blues in Bb - so C on the clarinet - to practice and, hopefully help memorise, a couple of turnaround licks. I used the B12 here, rather than the Noblet simply because it was out and on the stand. It's just over 11 months since i started this journey and this outlines the territory that I'm aiming for, although I feel like I'm looking at the travel brochure before even booking my trip, let alone commencing the travel, or even arriving in the same country, let alone that territory...



All about Clarinets / Two Major and Minor Blues Licks
« on: March 24, 2021, 12:33:40 AM »
I thought it was about time I posted a video of some playing for comment / observations / tips etc

I'm a whisker under 10 months in on this journey. Amongst many other things, I'm working through a wonderful (non clarinet) book called The Blues Scale by Dan Greenblatt. It's slow going, not because it's difficult, but because I find it hard to memorise the licks in the book. Anyway, these are four licks I came up with being played over one of Dan's backing tracks.

Clarinet is a Noblet Artist 45 with a (loose!) Hite Premier mouthpiece and a Vandoren 2.5 reed.



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