Inexpensive High Range Duets
You may be wondering why I would be suggesting a clarinet duet book for high range practicing rather than a trumpet duet book. The fact is the best high range duet book I have seen is the old Bud Brisbois trumpet duet book “Trumpets Today” and is currently out of print. But, because of the wonders of the internet, it is available to you free of charge at http://webpages.charter.net/bvessey/ . In addition to the music, the host of this site has included recordings of each duet so that you have someone to play the parts with. That’s about the best deal I can find for you and check it out before the site is taken down. Now back to the clarinet duets.
Features of the Book
- 17 Duets by Klose
- 12 Duets by Magnani
- 7 Duets in Canon Form by Saro
- Nine Duets by Berr
- 24 Duets by Gliere, Hohmann, Pleyel, Spohr, Volckmar, and others
- 7 Duets by Moxart
Total pages 72
Advantages of using a clarinet duet book
The upper register of the clarinet, written in this book is ideal for trumpet students wanting to extend their high range for each duet is written in a very melodic fashion and to be able to actually see the notes above the staff will help develop confidence in the player. Too many times we are encouraged to play our middle register notes up an octave, but unless you can actually see these notes on the page, little is done to develop confidence in playing the written notes. You need to see the note as it is actually printed. Although the duets do not exceed a high C until duet #14, reaching these upper notes are more difficult than if they were written for a trumpet. Because of the ease with which a clarinet can maneuver from one note to another, some of the intervals will be challenging for a trumpet. Because of this advantage, the clarinet writing is a great way to test your ability when moving from one note to the next. I find the difference in writing style to be refreshing and challenging. It tends to polish our musicality and technique.
From duet #14 to the end of the book, you will be asked to play notes from high C to G above high C. These duets are generally written about a third higher than we are accustomed to seeing, which is perfect for the more advanced student requiring more of a challenge in high range playing.
Disadvantages of using a clarinet duet book
Due to the fact that the clarinet’s range extends below the usual range of a trumpet, the player will occasionally find notes written below our low F#. Although there are a few of these notes, you will get used to recognizing there names and some of you will be able to put them up an octave or if you really want to learn every aspect of your instrument, you can lip them down for better lip control.
Suggestions when using this book
The use of this book can be approached in different ways. If you have a friend who would like to play duets with you, read the book. If you are playing it by yourself, you can record the second part and play along with it on the first part. Another way to use this book would be to play the first phrase on the top parts and the next on the bottom. In this way, you will be able to get a few measures of easier playing and thus prolong your lip.
When considering trumpet duet books written for the upper range, you will be paying somewhere in the price range of $10.00 to $15.00 for five duets. For my money, I think this will get you more “bang for your bucks”. 76 duets for under $9.00!