Wulf's Webden

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Getting Up to Speed


Tonight was the final training band session for this half-term. With our regular conductor away, one of our more experienced clarinetists took on conducting duties and we ran through quite a few pieces in the pad, often at a slightly faster pace than I remember doing them in the fast. That’s a good thing though: it is a recognised practise technique to up the tempo and see if you can still hold on.

Generally, I was pleasantly surprised to find out how much I could keep up. I shouldn’t, however, pretend that I completely nailed it. One piece in particular (a mix of various Mozart tunes) had a passage I found notably challenging. It is just a series of low Bb notes – quavers in 4/4 with every third one missing. Notewise, that note is fairly safe. However, articulating at that speed and repeating the pattern over several bars is some more challenging. An octave up, it might be easier but, down at the bottom end, you have to move a lot of air quickly through relatively ‘flabby’ lips.

Something to work on and a passage that was much easier to play on bass guitar.

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