3 Ways to Improve Your Altissimo Register!

Clarinet on a background of a musical score

The altissimo register presents some unique challenges when playing the clarinet! Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks to play well in this range!

  1. When playing, think of your air being “cold” and fast. Maintain a continuous flow of air as well. Remember to use your air support and think of your core when breathing deeply.
  2. Your embouchure should have even pressure on both the mouthpiece and the reed. Adjust as needed to maintain this even pressure when playing and do not try to force the sound to come out.
  3. Use audiation to hear the notes prior to playing them. This will help you to memorize how they feel and sound, both on and off of the instrument. Another way to help build intonation stabilization is to practice with a drone.

Some additional exercises we have found particularly helpful include:

  • Norman Heim, The Development of the Altissimo Register for Clarinet
  • Yehuda Gilan Exercises

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Co-directed by us, professional clarinetists Ixi Chen and Dr. Tiffany Valvo, the Digital Clarinet Academy has become the most trusted place to take your clarinet skills to the next level with world-class digital content and virtual training. Welcome to our virtual home!