Yodeling Revelry on Clarinet

Yodeling ultra-high notes, using only voicing and embouchure rather than fingerings, is a great way to develop flexibility and integrity.

The goal is to use as little lip and jaw pressure as possible, focusing on the "yodeling" feeling in the back of the tongue, soft palette and throat.

Doing this exercise will encourage you to take in more mouthpiece, a good thing. After doing these exercises regularly for awhile, I now play all the time with the feeling and possibility of being able to pop out a double high c at any time.

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2 comments for “Yodeling Revelry on Clarinet

  1. Tim
    November 25, 2009 at

    David,

    How much does this exercise depend upon reed and mouthpiece choice? I like my M30 for the most part, but I have always been a bit frustrated with stability (or lack thereof) in the altissimo register. My altissimo E in particular often wants to break up a partial to the A– especially in arpeggiated runs. I am convinced that most frustration in playing boils down to one HUGE variable– the player– but I would welcome any thoughts you have on exercises for embouchure and/or mouthpiece/reed characteristics. I have even engaged in silly exercises like reading the Mozart Concerto up an octave, (not well, mind you) just to make myself play up there. This helps, but…

    • November 25, 2009 at

      Tim- You are right, it's probably not the mouthpiece.

      Try the following exercise. Take way more mouthpiece than you are used to. Find a reed that works with taking more mouthpiece.

      Get two overtones above each of clarion D, Eb, E, F, Gb, G, Ab, A, Bb without changing fingerings beyond the first note. It helps to tongue the high notes to coax them out. Then try w/o tonguing. It will take some shifting around of jaw and \”smiling\” of embouchure, but try not to do too much. The main \”control\” mechanism should be the mid to high back part of the tongue and the soft-palette. If you don't know how to feel your soft-palette in action, let's say you try to feel \”sneezy\”. A sneezy feeling is the soft palette raising.

      Let me know how it goes. It's odd to give instruction w/o someone being there, so I don't know if my descriptions are helpful.

      Best,
      David

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