While the clarinet pedagogy is full of some excellent works that build the player's fundamentals and skills, they pretty much all, barring Tom's book, are subject to one major limitation: they are subject to memorization,

And in this memorization the player can afford to be less situationally aware as they "muscle memory" through predictable arpeggios sunk into their fingers over years of play like the familiar route to a local grocery store. This can lead to diminishing returns from practice over time.

But with Tom's exercises you simply don't know what the next note or series of notes is going to be, based on the ones that came before it: a great thing. The player is forced to slow down and give 110% sf their concentration to the music at hand. It is the exercise equivalent of running with ankle weights that allows pretty much all other material, with its basis in melody, repetition of theme and key signature to seem easier once this high level of concentration is applied to the stuff outside the confines of this fine work.

Arbee {verified purchase)


As many people know, Tom has a terrific etude book out (he did not ask me to plug it and I am not compensated) called The Most Advanced Clarinet Book. The name is not an exaggeration. ln the best way I can describe it, and I mean this in the best way, Tom's etudes have a near perfect level of randomness in notes, rhythms and accidentals that make the ability to memorize content extremely difficult such that the player must CONCENTRATE and make zero assumptions about the notes coming up.

Some time spent in this book makes the melodic and repetitious nature of works designed to be more pleasing to the ear than advance the techniques his work strives to do...easier.


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