Returning after 20 years/advice for resetting the machine.

Hello, This is Stan, I am 46 year old, have not played clarinet for close to 20 years. Clarinet was my major in an Academy of Music in Katowice in Poland. I joined the Symphony Orchestra in my town back in 2003. My teacher was Mr. Robert Coleman St. Louis Symphony Orchestra player-retired moved to Florida as a result am unable to find him. Great teacher,he was. I would Greatly apreciate to hear from you. I am asking for clarinet Methods for regaining finger technique after not playing the Clarinet for so long. PLEASE, Sincerely, S
Hi S:
This is a very interesting question, and one which I have had the pleasure and difficulty of dealing with.
Getting used to playing the clarinet after a long period of time is almost self-defining.
You must first reset your embouchure to make sure that you have retained it and can set it once again. The familiarity of the mouth, the reed and the mouthpiece is very intimate and can take a lot of time before you feel and know that it is back. I am very serious about this and want you to be as well, for it is the embouchure that forgets the most and has the most to remember.
For this I would recommend very simple studies mostly in the lower registers of the clarinet, including long tones, sustained tones and very slow scales….but not for long at each session, perhaps 15 minutes or so.
Stacatto is not necessary at this point, but of course proper beginnings of notes is quite important so as to not get into bad habits.
When this becomes comfortable, I would suggest that you continue with same type of work, but include the middle register of the instrument , finding some nice legato studies, probably those simple Schumann melodies from Album for the Young, paying attention to intonation and beautiful legato. Still remain away from the realm of quick playing and tonguing which will not do too well until your are back, so-to-speak.
I would leave all rapid playing for later and make sure that you are very comfortable with your mouth and with your instrument.
These are the most important steps.
You will know when you have arrived at the correct reatarting place. I did.
At that point you can play anything that you did prior to quitting.
Try to remember how your teacher taught you these simple elements.
Write again and I will be happy to respond.
sincerely, sf


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