6 Quick Tips for Starting on Bass Clarinet

A hand demonstrating fingerings on the bass clarinet

Feeling a little intimidated about starting on bass clarinet? Here are a few things to keep in mind with this instrument!

  1. Although it is in the same family of instruments, the bass clarinet is something completely different from the B-flat clarinet. As a result, you will need to approach things differently and have patience as there will be new challenges in learning this instrument!
  2. When breathing, remember to use your diaphragm! Breathing into your core will help provide the support needed to play the bass clarinet, so try to avoid only breathing into your chest and shoulders.
  3. When you’re playing the bass clarinet, make sure to maintain a relaxed, upright posture while playing. This means bringing the clarinet to you and making adjustments in its height so it works for you. Don’t try to manipulate yourself to fit the instrument–it should fit you! 
  4. When practicing, use a mirror to check-in on your posture and positioning. This will allow you to make real time adjustments to best support your playing! You can also record your practice sessions to see and hear how you are sounding. 
  5. Be aware of your embouchure! If you have too much of the mouthpiece in your mouth, your sound may be squeaky or unfocused. Too little? You won’t be able to have as full of a sound. Experiment with what sounds and feels best for you personally!
  6. Practice slowly and be patient with your progress!

Looking for more bass clarinet goodness? Check out The Bass Clarinet Master Course here.

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Hello there! I'm Ixi Chen, founder of the Digital Clarinet Academy. I am delighted that DCA 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 your virtual clarinet home!