TIP: Throat Tones


What can I do to make my throat tones more in tune and sound less airy?

Throat tones on the clarinet (middle of the staff G, G-sharp, A, and B-flat) are notorious for their stuffy sound and sharp intonation. To combat this, most clarinetists use some type of resonance fingering so that more air goes through the clarinet, which normally results in a better tone and slightly lower pitch. Simply putting the right-hand fingers down for most of these notes will make a big improvement, but depending on your clarinet, there might be other fingerings that sound even better. Here are some suggestions:

G                        G-sharp                        A                        B-flat

0                        0                                    0                        0
0                        0                                    X                        0
X                        X                                    X                       X
–                        –                                    –                        –
X                        X                                    0                        0
X                        0                                    X                        0
0                        0                                    X                        X

(F-key)             (F-key)

When learning these fingerings, do so on slow long tones so that you can focus on remembering them. After a while they’ll become second nature to you and no one will even be able to tell that you’re playing a throat tone!


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