Picture this: 37 middle schoolers rifling through a band director's file cabinets trying to find a solo to play. The kids usually have no idea what the pieces sound like, so they pick something with a mildly catchy name that they end up not really liking anyway, losing half the pages during the chaos. This scene is probably familiar to every band director who has ever prepared for solo and ensemble contest. I'm here to help.
In this 3 part series, I'll share my favorite bass clarinet solos for both intermediate and advanced bass clarinetists. Take a minute and subscribe so you don't miss a beat.
These are my go-to pieces for bass clarinetists who have been playing for 2-3 years.
Intermediate Clarinet Solos by Norman Heim contains approachable pieces for clarinet and piano that work well on bass clarinet; Le Tambourin is an example of a fun piece from this collection.
J.S. Bach: Six Suites, Alea publishing has artfully transcribed the cello suites for bass clarinet; some sections work well for an intermediate-level player with a bass clarinet that goes down to E-flat, and some require more advanced skill and a low C extension. Menuets I and II from the first suite make a beautiful selection that can be played with only minor modifications* for a bass clarinetist with at least 2-3 years of study. *Without a low C extension, the low D must be played up an octave in one instance.
Thanks for reading. Get your music, and go practice! Next up: Bass Clarinet Solos Every Bass Clarinetist Should Play: Part 2 Advanced.
Happy Bass Clarineting,