Crossing the Break on Clarinet – Smoothly!

There are many factors that contribute to clarinet players going smoothly from A to B in the staff. Many people call this “crossing the break” when really, the goal is to have NO break. I use the term “crossing the break” when talking to other teachers, but never when talking to students because I don’t want them to get in their mind that there is a “break” there. I say “going from no fingers to all fingers” or “moving from A to B” or something like that.

Obviously, the first step to crossing the break is to cover all the holes quickly and securely. When it seems like their fingers are doing the right thing and it’s still not smooth, air is probably the contributing factor. Here’s a visualization that may help.

I say this to the student:

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