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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000186.txt from 1997/09

Subj: Re: Throat Ab and hand position
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 1997 00:14:43 -0400

Andrew Grenci wrote:
> 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!)
> >
> >
> >--Jeremy
> >
> 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.
> AG
> Andrew Grenci
> New London, CT

I have seen several texts recommending this type of "rolling"
technique. One referred to it as the same type of motion as downing a
shot glass of whiskey (this was for an adult audience). As you said,
the fingers stay together and the hand rolls up and then down. Anyway I
am teaching this "roll" method to my 10 year old daughter and she is
quite successful with it. It is also the same technique that I use and
it works very well.

Dee Hays
Canton, SD
(yes we changed servers here if anyone notices)

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