Lotus Talk


One of my clarinet goals for this past year was to play at least one Trinity Grade 4 piece. This is Lotus Talk by Colin Evans, with a backing track from the Boosey & Hawkes publication ‘Grade by Grade Clarinet, grade 4’.

I would welcome any tips as to how to improve.


I can’t offer any advice because I’m only a beginner but it sounded good!


Thank you so much for posting, @Joy!

I think it’s great you’re working with the backing track. And your timing is spot on. Developing your ears is such an important skill, both for tuning and rhythm, and I’m hearing good things.

Here’s a question I’d hate to ask, but what kind of equipment (clarinet, mouthpiece, reed) are you using? I hate to ask, because equipment is not the most important thing. And I certainly don’t want to tell anybody that they need to make a huge investment that may (or may not) improve their sound by a lot (or a little). But having the right amount of resistance, allowing the player to use proper breath support, is important for getting all those overtones and creating a richer sound.

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Thank you for replying. I agree I need to use a harder reed. I am playing on a (new) Buffet E12F with a Vocalise G mouthpiece and for the past 3 months have been using a Legere Signature 2 reed. However I was aware that I was slightly flat on the piece I recorded and I know it didn’t have the full sound I want. Today I tried a new Legere Signature 2.25 and I was in tune and had a better sound - I’ll try to record the same piece with the new reed to compare.


Good luck Joy, and have fun

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How long have you been playing the Clarinet?

I’m not a Clarinet player and only took a few lessons on it in college. Not sure if it’s the microphone you’re using or something else but it sounds like you could use some more air support. Use deep warm lung air and push the air from the bottom up.

Other than that you’re doing well.

I’ve been learning for 2 1/2 years (I was given a clarinet for my 60th birthday! I could already play piano and guitar so at least didn’t have to learn to read music.) The microphone is just the one built into my ipad. I’m sure you’re right about air support - that seems to be key to clarinet - and I hope as I continue to practise long tones it will gradually improve.

I’ll just offer a few things. First, let me say your tone is good and it is very much in tune, along with the good timing, as mentioned.
Perhaps your problem going over the break can be solved by practicing A to B by putting all the right hand fingers down first on the A, and well as the 2nd & 3rd left hand fingers. Slur-- slow at first, then speed up. Also the other notes-- Bb to C, etc. mix them up. I noticed your left hand fingers are usually farther from the holes than mine would be. Maybe practice a while with them right over the holes, even touching the rings(?).
Equipment? Everyone is different, so I’ll just tell you mine. Vandoren 5RV mouthpiece and Vandoren 2.5 reeds. Many pros will say these are rather soft, but they’ve worked for me in pro groups since 1973. I recently bought a Legere plastic reed (2.0 strength) for practicing and saving on reed money, but I would never use it at rehearsals or concerts. Keep up the good work.

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