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How to Play the Bass Clarinet

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hello my name is Alcides Rodriguez and I

play bass clarinet in the Atlanta

Symphony I am very delighted you have

chosen to play the bass clarinet it is a

fun instrument to play and it has a

beautiful and rich tone you can enjoy

playing it either in the band or in the

orchestra I hope this video helps you

develop your skills to play the best

learning so you can have as much fun as

I do playing this instrument some of you

are probably very familiar with the


maybe you started on playing clarinet or

marriage we're still playing planning's

so before I show you how to put the best

Clannad together I want to go over a few

of the differences between the bass

planet and the clarinet this way you

know you can avoid mechanical problems

with it instrument later on first of all

the basic learning has this long rods in

the lower joint they are very long also

on this area and the keys are very long

these rods are very soft and they Bend

easily so the first thing you have to be

careful with is make sure that you

always grab the client by the keys

instead of by the rod okay that way

you'll be holding it

pressing the air the pads down the patch

this is not necessarily the best

solution but the pads are tough and also

very easy to replace a band key is not

that easy to replace another

indifference is that there is a bridge

key on every join of the baseline name

if you notice the Bell has a key that is

supposed to assemble into the Lord joint

and then the upper joint has to bridge

keys that are supposed to assemble into

the lower joint depending on the model

the basic language were playing you

might have only one bridge key on the

upper joint the neck also has a key that

is supposed to assemble into the upper

joint so now that we know the

differences between the baseline and

declining let's put the baseline and

together the first thing you need to do

is get into read weight before you start

practicing so I'm gonna get my readout

of the read case and there are two ways

to get you read way you can either put

it on your mouth like this and hold that

in your mouth while you put your planet

together or you can use a small

container with water and put the rain in

it is the read will soak in as you put

the liner together if your instrument if

new you might find out that some of the

corks in the joint might be a little bit

swollen or dry making it very hard to

put them together

so when needed use a little bit of cork

grease put it on the cork and then rub

around with your finger this will make

it a lot easier it will make the joint

slide easily together we are going to

start from the bottom upwards the first

two pieces we are going to put together

are the bell and the lower joint

make sure that you press this key down

on the Bell to raise this lever up and

make sure that you are not pressing any

of this tongue keys because that will

bring this raise this lever up so you

don't want to grind those keys together

so gently twist the bell in keeping

those two keys away and then one step

the Bell is in swing it in it's

important that the Bell is always

aligned with this top keys and the

client ID I at this point let's put the

peg on usually the tag goes into the

Bell put it on like this setting it up

and then rest your instrument on the

floor you can choose to put the peg on

later on once you put the whole

instrument together it doesn't matter

you can do it now or later

you can also rest if you are standing up

you can rest the instrument on your case

while you put it the upper joint on as

your instrument rest on the floor it is

ok to hold it in between your legs as

you pick up the upper joint communique

to properly

the upper join into the lower joint very

important you are aware of this to

bridge kiss right hit this one and this

one you will have to press the a key

down this key right here to bring this

bridge key up and then press the D key

down this one right here to bring this

bridge key down that way you will avoid

grinding this key against this case

right here okay now we are going to

gently twist and keeping those kids

separate and when the opportunites all

the way in then just swing it in okay

now these two bridge keys this one here

and this one here sure shoot aligned

correctly now for some reason in some

basic planets this is not possible so

you will find out that sometimes the

front key will align correctly but then

the back is slightly off that's okay I

would recommend that you try aligning

the one in the front and leaving the the

one in the back slightly off but you can

also experiment maybe aligning the one

in the back and even the one front

slightly off just experiment and stick

with a position that is better for you

now let's rest the instrument on the

case or on a baseline next and whatever

you have available it's very important

that when you rest the instrument on the

case make sure that the keys are always

facing up at this make sure they always

face up

I have seen people putting the bass line

in the case aside this and that is not

very good because when you do that the

kids can easily get them so make sure


these are always facing out now we are

going to put the mouth is on the neck

take them up it's cap off the mouthpiece

and the ligature off to them and then

let's twist the mop ease into the neck

like this make sure that as you face the

neck the flat part of the map is this

part here with a hole it's facing the

ground or towards you it needs to be

facing down okay now we are going to go

ahead and put the red on so at this

point take the red out of the water

container and place it on the flat part

of your monkeys I find it very easy to

hole the mouthpiece and the neck

together because the neck actually works

as a handle is more comfortable to the

process it's really uncomfortable to try

to put the lid on as you hold just a

mouthpiece so always do it like this

always try to hold the neck with a mop

is on so now let's hold them up it's on

the back of your mouthpiece like that

and just use this thumb to hold it in

place like that now pick up the ligature

from your case and now we're going to

slide it onto the mouthpiece as you do

this be careful not to damage the tip of

the reed nor the tip of the mouthpiece

so we're very careful as you do that

slide it in

then align to read make sure that the

read is very Center in the mouthpiece

make sure that it's not too far to the

left or too far to the right the top of

the read or the tip should be aligned

with the tip of the mouthpiece okay so

now you can slide your ligature down

until you can be below these lines on

your mouthpiece some of the mouthpiece

have these lines here which is like mark

for the ligature some offices don't have

this mark so if your mouth doesn't have

this mark you can also guide yourself by

putting the ligatures under this U shape

on the reed just make sure you are below

that that's also a good mark so once the

ligature and the reed are in place then

gently tighten the screws on the

ligature not too hard just until they

stop there is a wide variety of

ligatures in the market some of them

have screws actually most of them have

screws some of them have one screws or

two screws like this one some of them

have the screws in the bottom no matter

what you always should make sure that

your screws are on the right side now

let's put the neck on the clinic so pick

up your planner from your case or your


rested on the floor and we're going to

gently twist the neck end now again be

aware of these two keys here they try

not to get them too close use twisting

away from

each other and then swing it in like

that this rod right here should align

with the center of this key right here

another important point I want to

address is holding the baseline in make

sure you always hold it by the lower

joint always never by the upper joint

nor the neck if you hold this on the

upper joint you are running the risk of

having the lower joint coming off and

going strain to the floor this accident

can cause serious damages to your

instrument and sometimes permanent

damages okay so now we are ready to play

good posture will allow you to use your

air more efficiently in playing your

instruments more comfortably to play the

baseline it you should sit on a tall

chair always sit at the end of the chair

or at the edge of the chair and make

sure your back is straight to play the

baseline you are going to have to tell

you upper body forward a little bit your

side ease and your feet should be flat

on the ground in order for you to be

comfortable in this position of leaning

forward I will recommend to have one

foot in the front and one towards the

back that way you can balance your body

it doesn't matter what food is from

Froning which one is in the back in fact

you can actually switch later on if you

get tired you switch one to the back

this way so that's no problem

breathing is also

very important and the base cleaner is a

big instrument and it requires a lot of

air so make sure you always take a full

breath inhaling through your mouth

always inhale into your mouth your neck

and shoulders should be relaxed almost

remember us when we were holding our

arms down just like that and your

shoulders shouldn't move when you

breathe but the area around your waist

this area down here should expand when

you breathe so it's going to look when

you breathe it's gonna look like this

notice that I'm expanding this area when

I breathe when you inhale do it gently

and completely now when we do it with it

with a mouthpiece in our mouth it is

important that you are going to inhale

only to your corners and it's also okay

to take your lower lip of the reel but

it's important that you always keep you

operate it on the market so basically

you should do a like this

okay always keeping your upper teeth on

the Malpass hand position is very

important your fingers should be curved

almost as if you are holding a softball

if you let your arms hang down and

relaxed like this and then slowly lift

them up and then you'll see that your

fingers are curved naturally see like

this and also your wrists are straight

that's the correct position you need to

have or that's a right position where

your fingers need to be when you play

the bass line aim now let's pick up the

bass line net and I'm going to show you

how to hold it to hold the base line is

place your right hand thumb under the

thumb rest right here

then place the left hand thumb on the

thumb key then for the front keys each

one of these fingers is going to be in

charge of an individual key like that

so three keys here and three keys here

then the pinkies are going to be in

charge of touching these keys here in

these keys right here you don't have to

touch more all at once but just one at a

time okay now I want to point out that

the left hand thumb should be placed at

a diagonal almost like pointing at two

o'clock on the clock and when you touch

the register key

you should just roll your thumb on to it


you should use only this area of your

tongue this very corner of your tongue

to touch the register key so don't lift

your tongue like this to to touch razor

key just roll it like that you might

find that you'll you probably need a

neck strap when you do this I don't use

a neck strap but if you need some extra

support go ahead and use one I really

recommend it now that you know how to

hold the baseline it you are ready to

play emperor is a very important part of

playing bass clean it and creating a

good sound to practice that we're going

to use two of the mouthpiece and the

neck to form the baseline amateur row

you lower lip over your teeth ladies

okay make sure that it's just firm

actually is not tense or tight just firm

and your chain this area here needs to

be flat so point it towards the floor

I did do corners should be in so bring

their corners in like this and at that

point let's place the reed and map is on

you lower lid like this maybe half an

inch in size uma then you're going to

place a rest you operate it on the


I did

it's very important that when placing

the upper teeth on your mark is the

angle where when I use should be

something like this basically the the

lower lip should be a little bit lower

than you operate it that way we create

this angle we are looking for if the

teeth and the lower lip are are parallel

like this you will be creating a

straight angle we don't want that we

wanted to have it like this so that's

why the lower lip should be a little bit

lower and also that will also allow the

read more space to vibrate okay so now

with all that in place chain down

corners in teeth on the mouthpiece then

we're going to tight the mouth around

the mouthpiece hi this tongue position

also very important your tongue should

be shaped like an arch inside your mouth

when you work on your ember sure an easy

way to get your tongue to an art

position will be saying II when you say

II ladies II your tone is automatically

in an arch position so that's another

important aspect of your Emperor I

highly recommend that you practice your

ambusher in front of a mirror so that

way you can monitor everything you are

doing you can make sure that your chin

is flat make sure that your corners are

in make sure that your feet are in the

right position on the monkeys do it in

front of a big mirror if you can get a

small mirror small size mirror that you

can place on your stand it doesn't

matter what size you use as long as you

can really see what you are doing with

ambusher now I'm going to show you how

to play the first sounds on the baseline

head once your mouth is in radar

assemble form the embrasure around the

mouthpiece take a deep full breath

through the corner of your mouth and

then close your mouth and slightly touch

the reed with a typical tone as you do

that then blow air into the instrument

or into the mouthpiece as you say tea

like this

if I do it without them up is this when

I look something like this now practice

this several times until you feel

comfortable with it once you feel

comfortable to this one

play a long tone and then play a few

repeated sounds by saying tea tea tea

tea something like this what I just did

is what we call tonguing