Episode 32 – Michael Lowenstern answers Clarineat Listener Questions

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This week on the Clarineat podcast I speak with the one and only Michael Lowenstern, who is one of the world’s premiere bass clarinet players. Michael has been a personal inspiration of mine since my university days, and is someone that I’ve been looking forward to sitting down and speak with long before this podcast even began.

Michael is also one of the most (perhaps THE most) requested guest by listeners, and so when it came time to ask listener questions there were tons submitted!

Because of this I decided to dedicate the entire interview to these listener questions, and I’m glad I did since the conversation turned out great and we covered a ton of ground. (Thank you so much for those who took the time to send in questions and I hope you enjoy the answers!)

In this episode you’ll learn about Michael’s gorgeous all-black bass clarinet, some of his gear and practice recommendations, what he wished he know about being a musician, and much, much more.

Michael Lowenstern

Michael Lowenstern Biography

Michael Lowenstern, who is widely considered one of the finest bass clarinetists in the world, has performed, recorded and toured as a soloist and with ensembles as diverse as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Steve Reich Ensemble and the Klezmatics.

He trained at the Interlochen Arts Academy, The Eastman School of Music, Stony Brook University and the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam, studying clarinet and bass clarinet with Charles Neidich, Harry Sparnaay, Richard MacDowell and John Bruce Yeh.

Not satisfied with the status-quo in music education, Michael’s irreverent and somewhat controversial YouTube series has become a source of information and edutainment for millions of viewers across the globe. And when he’s not teaching via the internet, he’s traveling regularly as a guest lecturer at universities across the world. When he’s stuck in New York, Michael serves on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School.

And when he’s not doing all that, he’s hanging out in Brooklyn with his family.


Michael’s FaceBook Page

Michael’s YouTube Channel

Michael’s Website “EarSpasm”

Discussion Topics

  • 00:00 – Theme Music by Tom Puwalski
  • 00:25 – Introduction, Biography, and Giveaway
  • 03:15 – Thank you to our sponsor, D’Addario Woodwinds
  • 03:41 – Interview begins… Hi Michael!
  • 04:28 – Reddit Questions (Thanks r/Clarinet!)
  • 04:50 -What is your warmup on bass? Does it differ from your B-flat warmup?
  • 06:04 – How would you recommend keeping up with bass clarinet and B-flat skills at the same time?
  • 07:39 – Do you feel you can completely specialize in bass clarinet?
  • 10:42 – Which neck strap do you recommend players use?
  • 13:33 – His black bass clarinet is so beautiful! What’s the story on it?
  • 15:55 – Email questions (submitted to feedback@clarineat.com)
  • 16:00 – Do you recommend practicing in boomy spaces or dry ones?
  • 18:23 – Have you played alto clarinet?
  • 19:00 – Do you take your clarinet as checked luggage or do you insist that it’s hand luggage?
  • 23:09 – I am switching to bass clarinet soon, do you have any tips on transitioning?
  • remainder of detailed notes coming this evening thanks for your patience!


The giveaway for this episode of the podcast is a signed copy of one of Michael’s CDs (Exact CD to be confirmed). To make sure you’re eligible to win items mentioned on the podcast, please subscribe to our email mailing list.

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