Jeanjean 2 Finally!!

It's been quite awhile since I posted a Paul Jeanjean etude to share my progress on the "Jeanjean Project". Today I said "the heck with it", turned on my Flip video camera and started playing. This is the second take, straight through.

Winter and work and equipment angst, plus the fact that this is one of the trickier etudes, prevented a more timely posting. Yet I didn't want to put this one on the back burner. I wanted to slice, dice and reassemble the whole thing from the bottom up. During the process of learning the etude, I worked on circular breathing, general quality of breathing, voicing, finger choices and general hand integrity, along with lots of slow and rhythmic practice. A lot of super-conscious finger/hand/arm/neck practice went into this. The healthy tension to play quickly remains in my fingers and only slightly in my hands. (Sorry for the bad video position. It's hard to tell until I see the result.)

For those interested, I am playing my Selmer Privilège, with a Backun MoBa barrel (they are a sweet match!) and a Behn Vintage D mouthpiece, with a Légère Signature 3.75 reed, slightly sanded at the tip for balance and response.

I play the entire etude at one tempo (more or less), since the first part is the same rhythmic and harmonic structure as the second. (I only recently realized how the first two bars of the first part are merely ornamented by 32nds in the second.)

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4 comments for “Jeanjean 2 Finally!!

  1. December 8, 2009 at

    Good points, Arne. Of course, the player must be happy with the sound, to then play musically.

  2. December 8, 2009 at

    Nice job, David!

    The equipment all sounds good—even the Legere reed (which I do not seem to find useful for myself as of yet).

    • December 8, 2009 at

      Thanks Arne. I think the setup sounds great. If I had decent acoustics in my little closet sized room, it would sound even better.

      I went back to my old Lelandais and my R13s for a few weeks in orchestra, to find stability after changing so many things. But yesterday I recorded myself playing various equipment, and re-realized how good the Selmers and Behn mp sound. I'll have to try a test recording sometime in the hall to be sure. Perhaps distance doesn't help the Selmers and Behn. Ah, the elusive holy grail of tone.

      How are you faring in your explorations of more \”springboard\” in the reed?

      • Arne Running
        December 8, 2009 at


        The clarinet angle situation is actually proving to be a "solution" of substance for me. It's also enabled me to better re-evaluate equipment.

        My opinion is that the "holy grail of tone" should take second place to musical functioning. Only clarinet players notice the subtleties of tonal differences. Everyone else notices whether or not there is MUSIC coming out the bell.

        Still getting a lot out of your posts. Keep it up…..


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