David Hickman and
Clarke Technical Studies
Personally, I do
some of the Clarke Technical Studies exercises everyday
as part of my warm-up. I change keys each day so that all of them are
under my fingers.
When I really
worked the book hard in high school, or when I now work on these
studies with some of my freshman students, I work them in all sorts of
articulations. I like to have them in about 20 patterns, including all
single tongued and all multiple tongued.
warns about doing too many of these exercises in one sitting, stating
that it is like "a doctor prescribing a few drops of medicine to cure,
whereas a spoonful may kill." So, I suggest doing perhaps five lines
(each with a different articulation) from a study, repeating each line
as many times as possible in one breath.
them from the low register to the high register, but this is only a
convenient way to notate them. In actual practice, I suggest picking
five different ones each day like this:
medium low line (with
repeats and in a particular articulation pattern)
low line " " " "
" " " "
line " " " " "
medium high line
" " " " " "
high line " " "
" " " "
Each day, select
different keys and articulation patterns, but keeping the same overall
type of range mix so the chops don't get too locked into one range
only. (I think this is what Clarke was recommending.)
After you master
the entire Technical Studies book (does anyone REALLY master it???), go
back to the beginning and repeat the studies but playing in minor keys
and various modes (for jazz skills). There is much more to the book
than what is printed!!
Anyway, this is
what has helped me the most.