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How to practice scales on the clarinet

Practicing scales well is a great way to build up good, solid fundamental clarinet technique. Practicing scales poorly can lead to bad habits and sloppy technique that will make playing the clarinet a horrible chore. Before playing your scales, read these suggestions and guidelines on how to practice well.

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Develop Good Technique

Major, minor, and chromatic scales, arpeggios, and exercises for the clarinet

Half Scales for the clarinet:
These scales use the first five scale degrees, allowing you to focus on selected groups of notes. They make accurate repetition easier and more effective.

Major half scales in quarter notes
Major half scales in eighth notes
Minor half scales in quarter notes
Minor half scales in eighth notes
Major half scales using jazz articulation
Minor half scales using jazz articulation

Lower register scales:
Major, minor, and chromatic scales in the lower register of the clarinet. These scales are good for students who have not played in the upper register, yet.

Major scales for the clarinet:
Two octave major scales with accidentals
Two octave major scales with key signatures
Major scales in sixteenth notes that run throughout the range of the clarinet, using key signatures.

Minor scales for the clarinet:
Natural minor scales with accidentals
Natural minor scales with key signatures
Melodic minor scales with accidentals
Melodic minor scales with key signatures
Harmonic minor scales with accidentals
Harmonic minor scales with key signatures

Chromatic scales for the clarinet:
Chromatic scales, in one and two octaves, spanning the range of the clarinet
Chromatic “fork B” fingering exercise
Chromatic “fork F sharp” fingering exercise
Chromatic “side F sharp” fingering exercise
Lower register chromatic scales

Arpeggios for the clarinet:
Major arpeggios in two octaves
Minor arpeggios in two octaves

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