The Words in the Squeaks: A Writing Metaphor

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Oh, Squidward. You might be asking yourself, how in the world is Squidward related to my writing style?

Can you believe I came from playing like Squidward to this?

While clarinet playing may seem easy at first glance, it does take time to become an outstanding player. In order to become an outstanding writer, you must take time to perfect your style.

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First things first, in order to become a great clarinetist, you must know how to put the clarinet together.It may seem daunting but after you’ve gathered all your materials and take it slowly step by step, the task isn’t hard.

This concept can be applied to writing. While you may think that writing that 2000 word paper is impossible, you can make the task less daunting by simply thinking up a topic for your paper. Do you want to write about horses? Cars? Politics? It is up to you.


Once you’ve gotten your clarinet together, start off by learning how to blow through the reed and producing a beautiful sound. The key is air support, playing the clarinet requires confident breathing. Don’t hold back.

If you find yourself squeaking, don’t bite on the reed. Instead lightly press your tongue to the reed.

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When writing, think about how you want to approach your topic. Do you want to write your paper with a colloquial tone or academic tone? Do you want to persuade someone to understand your point of view? When thinking about this, consider your audience. Are you going to present this paper to your friends or are you a doctoral candidate presenting your thesis to a committee? With this information, you should be able to come up with a thesis.



Now we can begin learning notes!


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You must learn which note corresponds to which key on the clarinet. Remember to cover the holes with your fingers completely, you don’t want any squeaks!

With writing, you must think of the structure of the paper before anything else. Break down your thesis’s support into three or four separate support paragraphs. If the paper is relatively long, break down your support into two paragraphs each. Don’t forget your rebuttal, introduction and conclusion paragraphs!




Before we learn how to play the complicated piece on the bottom, we must start with the basics, like the song Hot Cross Buns.

hot cross buns
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With writing, you want to start researching with informing yourself on the topic. Encyclopedias, and dictionaries are a good start. Then, after fully understanding the topic, you can begin looking for sources that support your opinion. Blog posts, interviews, and research papers are examples of these.


There is more to a piece than just learning the notes Rhythm and harmony is what makes a jumble of notes sound like a song.

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Because you are a beginner, you will most likely play a piece with a 4-4 time signature like this one:

The first four indicates that there are four beats per measure. The second four indicates that each whole note has four beats. You might be asking, what the heck is a whole note? The shape of a note indicates how long you should prolong a note. This diagram illustrates each type of note and its length.

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When writing you want to play up your sentence structure to make the piece more dynamic. Mix up short sentences with long sentences. A musical piece that just has whole notes will be boring and not worthwhile.

Let’s go back to air support. When playing clarinet, confidence is key. With a weak sound, all the note learning you put into the piece will be a waste.

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With writing, write what is on your mind. Don’t hold back your opinions and keep your morals and values with you as you write. Being yourself while you write is key to originality. This is essential to keeping the audience interested in your paper.



The last component to good clarinet playing is paying attention to dynamics! Dynamics make a piece good to great! Dynamics control the volume, and the length and conciseness of notes.

Staccatos makes the notes precise. Don’t fill up your paper with fluffy words to make it sound more academic. Get straight to the point.

Crescendos make the notes gradually get louder. Leave your best point for the end. 

With these tips in mind, you should become an excellent clarinet player and writer! With practice you could be outstanding! Do not ever stop working to improve your craft.