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  • Writer's pictureQueen Reed

15 Etude Books for Clarinet That Are Worth Every Penny

(Okay, maybe 17, but who's counting when you have all this great practicing ahead?!)

Rose 32 Etudes - This is your first stop. You don’t need anything else until you have this one.

Klose - My college teacher called this a “cradle to grave” book. True!

Kovacs Hommages - The pieces in this book are written for unaccompanied clarinet, and many are used as high-level audition pieces, performance stand-alones, and encores. They are more like mini-solos than etudes.

The Accomplished Clarinetist (Jettle) - Good solid college-level etude book.

Six Suites de J.S. Bach - These are originally for cello, and string music is ruthless as far as breathing goes! Plus, SO gorgeous. You can study these your whole life and still come back for more.

Quinze Études (J.S. Bach) - More string music, this time violin sonatas. Pure genius.

Odd Meter Etudes (Gates) - Fantastic for learning how to count. It's not technically FOR clarinet. A great companion to the Rose 32, this book keeps you firmly in asymmetrical meters!

Cavallini 30 Caprices - Fun, virtuosic, and Italian!

Paganini Dix-Sept Caprices - Fun, virtuosic, Italian! And harder than Cavallini.

Gabucci 60 Divertimenti - Short, sweet, beautiful, lyrical, operatic melodies.

Bitsch Douze Études de Rythme - Without being too improper, the name says it all. If you want a rhythmic challenge, these are great. IMHO prerequisites are Rose 32, and Odd Meter Etudes by Gates.

Uhl 48 Etudes - Standard late-high school/college workouts!

Polatschek Advanced Studies for the Clarinet - A nice technical challenge. Love doing these on Bass clarinet!

Bozza Études de Mécanisme - I love Bozza and you will too if you love an etude that is perfectly balanced in mechanical trickery and lyricism.

Zitek Sixteen Modern Etudes for Clarinet - A lot like the Uhl, and these build your jumping-around chops beautifully!

Jean Jean 18 Etudes - Something a little French, perhaps? Oui!

Kell 17 Staccato Studies - Just in case your tonguing isn’t perfect yet. And really, who’s tonguing couldn’t use a little help! (Clarinet immortals excepted).

Whelp, that should keep us busy for awhile.

Happy Practicing!

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