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Clarinet Articulation Exercises

19th May 2020

We all know just how important good articulation is on all Wind Instruments. In this video Peter Cigleris walks through 3 exercises to incorporate into your warm-ups to help with articulation and get your tongue moving swiftly and lightly.

Exercise 1:

Thinking about the syllable you use to generate your tongue stroke (such as “doo or dah”), then start on a bottom E (with metronome set at 60bpm) with a quaver sub-division:

  • Play E / F / F# / G / G# / G / F# / F / E in quavers
  • Work up in semitones, so starting next on F# etc
  • Remember to use the alternative fingering options (right/left side etc)

Then try playing two notes per click, so thinking in semi-quavers, keep the metronome at 60bpm. You could then try playing four notes per click, when it’s all comfortable under the fingers and with the tongue you can increase the speed.

Exercise 2:

Essentially a variation of the above, but moving up one less step in the notes and playing it in triplets:

  • Play E / F / F# / G / F# / F / E
  • Then try playing two tongue strokes per note: EE / FF / F#F# / GG / F#F# etc
  • Work up in semitones, so starting next on F etc
  • Remember to use the alternative fingering options (right/left side etc)

Exercise 3:

This is a chromatic exercise starting on low E. So, starting on low E, slur up to the E one octave above and then descend chromatically in quavers.

  • Play low E, slur up to the E one octave above
  • Descend chromatically to the F and slur back up one octave to the F and down, etc
  • Work up in semitones, so starting next on F etc
  • Remember to use the alternative fingering options (right/left side etc)

Want more Clarinet Tips? Check out Peter’s Warm-Up video for Clarinets here.


About Peter Cigleris

Peter studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire from 1997 where his professors were Michael Harris and Colin Parr. Whilst at the Conservatoire, Peter won the prestigious John Ireland Chamber music award with a performance of that composer’s Fantasy Sonata. He was also awarded a place on the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Training Scheme. 

At the Conservatoire Peter performed numerous concertos with the college’s ensembles, he also developed an interest in early clarinets, which led to a performance with the Conservatoire’s Baroque Capelle Orchestra with the Chalumeau Concerto by Fasch. 

Peter went on to graduate from the Royal College of Music in 2002 with a PGDip. There his professors were Janet Hilton, Richard Hosford, Robert Hill and Tim Lines. During the summer of that year, Peter was awarded the Prix de Fossat and was invited to France to perform for Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark at a private reception.

As soloist he has performed in many venues across the UK and Europe and premiered several new works for the instrument as well as giving performances of concertos by Mozart, Weber, Finzi and Arnold to name a few.

Peter uses Backun MoBa Clarinets, available here. Visit Peter’s Website: petercigleris.com