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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000173.txt from 1997/09

From: (Andrew Grenci)
Subj: Re: Throat Ab and hand position
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 1997 22:46:53 -0400

Jeremy Alexander asks:

>I have a question.
>Are you sopposed to be able to hit the throat Ab key without moving your wrist?
>I cannot seem to be able to, and it kills me in fast passages (like in Ab
>arpeggios for example!) I play with my top hand (as looking from the front)
>angled with the knuckles higher than the fingertips. Has anyone else had this
>problem? and solved it? (this one DURN exercise keeps kicking my butt because
>the wrist movement puts me out of position!)

You will probably hear a variety of opinions on this. I was taught early on
to minimize wrist motion when pressing the A and Ab keys. I have since
decided otherwise.

When in grad school I studied with Charlie Neidich. He taught that an
effort to keep the wrist as still as possible creates tension and slows
down technique. Listening to any of his recordings will show that he knows
what he is talking about.

My opnion is that properly executed wrist motion is the quickest and most
efficient way to get on and off the "throat" keys. It is hard to describe,
although easy to demonstrate in person. Hold your left hand as if playing
middle C, then rotate the wrist to play either A or Ab. If your fingers
stay static in relation to your hand, they will lift off the toneholes in
unison. You can then return to C will an oposite motion from the wrist. In
a sense, the fingers do not move at all. The motion comes from a single
snap of the wrist.

Of course, I have seen and heard many great players with great facility who
play very differently from what I have described. But if what you are doing
now is not working...

Hope this helps.


Andrew Grenci
New London, CT

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