As a high school clarinetist, I have showed skill and potential. I play a Buffet E12F, with a Vandoren Black Diamond mouthpiece, and use 3 1/2 strength V12 Vandoren reeds. I made all-state this past year as a sophomore, but mostly because of raw talent and a week's worth of cram practice before auditions. I do not currently take private lessons and am wondering what I need to focus on during practice time to make it more efficient so that I am able to benefit and grow as a player. As of late I do not know what to focus on in practicing. Some of my biggest downfalls are as follows:
• My tone (I feel that it is bright and weak, failing to embody a full and round signature clarinet tone you may hear from more experienced players like Corrado Giuffredi). My tone also weakens as I play through a variety of dynamics (ex: flat during pianos and long sustain notes like in the ending of Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre) and it suffers greatly as I move up the register. I also cannot maintain a full tone in faster pieces, usually giving it up as I focus on note accuracy instead. Recommendations for exercises or anything to better improve this would be helpful.
• My tonguing is very heavy. Something that you can hear during my playing during accidentals like stacattos. My band director pointed out that my playing is often very tongue heavy and reedy. I do not know what I need to do to improve this area of my playing. Any tips on this would help.
• My tonguing is slow and I have a hard time playing faster pieces. My fingers and tongue are often not in synch and I cannot tongue fast. I do not now how to double tongue and cannot tongue a fast string of notes well. I am not sure what needs to be done to improve this aspect of my playing.
• When I am faced with faster moving pieces and larger gaps in between notes that are far apart in the staff, I often am unable to play it. I generally have to fake it even during concerts. Tips for how to sight read would be helpful since I lack heavily in this area. Exercise recommendations that will help improve my ability to play faster and cleaner would also be appreciated.
Even if you have read this far, but are not inclined to answer, I thank you for taking the time to read this. Since we are going through quarantine I have decided to make good use of the vast amounts of free time I have at my disposal. I wish to grow overall as a player and want to return to school better than when I had left it before. Any comments and criticism would be greatly appreciated.