heather roche

Altissimo Quarter Tone Studies

One for the bass clarinet players today…

I was working on writing up some short exercises to help with working on the altissimo, particularly quarter tones, and thought that actually these might be useful for any advanced bass clarinet students who want to work on them. These studies are definitely meant for advanced bass clarinet students/players, but perhaps also useful to those just starting to learn to double in terms of seeing what’s possible.

They do, however, assume a certain amount of quarter tone knowledge. If you’re struggling, I highly recommend checking out Jason Alder’s quarter tone bass clarinet chart.

I’ve scribbled in fingerings here for a lot of the pitches you might need, just to make your job a little bit easier while learning these. I personally find it hard to get these fingerings to stick in my head, and needed to come up with some studies to help me work on them.

If you end up using these, I’d love to have some feedback: I’m definitely keen to write some more of these if they’re useful for you, and positive and negative feedback are both useful! What works, what doesn’t, which of them helped the most… I’ve definitely been thinking about writing a method for bass clarinet at some point in life, so consider these early sketches.

Anyway you can download a .pdf of the three studies here.

Thanks also very much to Luciano Giambastiani and Madison Greenstone for their feedback on these!

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