Keep your neck relaxed. Try to picture a string connected to your head directly above
your spine that is gently holding your head up. Your head
should feel balanced between your shoulders.
Relax your shoulders. Your
upper body should follow the forward and up feel of your
head. Avoid hunching your shoulders by keeping them down
and slightly back.
Place your feet shoulder-width apart with one foot slightly in
front of the other. Use the whole bottom of your foot to
distribute your weight evenly The goal is to be standing tall and relaxed!
Your upper body should feel the same as it does when you're standing. Sit with your back away from the back of the chair. Your feet should be flat on the floor, but more importantly, your knees should be lower than your hips to encourage a full breath Your weight resting on your sit bones (the bottom points of your pelvis). Sit tall! The goal is to be sitting tall and relaxed!
Playing Position. Put that clarinet aside and lets work on getting your arms ready to play!
Let your arms hang loose
Let your arms hang from your shoulders. When you are relaxed there will be a slight space between your arms and your body.
Arms, Elbows and Wrists
Lift your arms up so that they are parallel to the floor and your palms are facing each other. You will notice the natural line at your wrist joint. Keeping your wrists in this natural position while playing will eliminate any unwanted tension.
Final Arm Position
Bend your arms at your elbow and bring your arms back down in a relaxed and fluid motion. Be sure to maintain the space between your arms and your body and to keep the straight, natural line from your forearms to your wrists.
Lets add the Clarinet
With the clarinet added, the clarinet should be supported by your right thumb and balanced by your embouchure.
The angle of the clarinet will be slightly different for each player, however, it tends to be around 30-40 degrees from the body. The main thing to remember is to stay tall and relaxed. If you bring the clarinet in too close to your body or out too far away from your body, your posture will suffer and in turn your sound will suffer.
Hang on! To the Clarinet
The Position of your hand is really important to be able to play the clarinet. Your hand should be shaped as though you were holding a ball in your palm.
Keep your fingers in place
Hold your fingers just above the key holes. Try not to lift them off and away from the clarinet. As you get better, lifting your fingers high off the clarinet will not let you play very fast.
The Left thumb
Your left thumb will cover the thumb hole on the back of the clarinet for most notes. It is important to keep this thumb pointing to the 1'oclock position so that it can push the register key without having to lift off of the thumb hole.
Place your right thumb
The right thumb is what holds all of the weight of the clarinet. None of your fingers should be supporting any weight when you are holding the clarinet. The thumb rest should sit on top of the side of your thumb nail so you can keep a round hand position. If you find this uncomfortable you can buy a thumb rest for your clarinet.