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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001041.txt from 2000/07

From: klarAnn-ette H Satterfield <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Left hand thumb
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 22:37:31 -0400

On Sat, 29 Jul 2000 17:59:01 +0200 "mariano javier zemborain"
<> writes:
> -----Mensaje original-----
> De: stewart kiritz <>
> Para:>
> Fecha: Sábado 29 Julio 2000 21:08 p.m.
> Asunto: Re: [kl] Left hand thumb
> I agree that you need a teacher to show you correct hand position.
It also
> sounds like you may be playing with too straight fingers. Try
curving the
> hands as though you were holding a tennis ball in each.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dee D. Hays" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Saturday, July 29, 2000 11:24 AM
> Subject: Re: [kl] Left hand thumb
> The fingers of my hand are curve in playing position, but it
> looks like the fleshy part of the tumb goes perpendicular to the
> clarinet because the first joint do not bend outward. I had the
> experience of my teachers and colleges, but my thumb seems to be
> diferent from their.
> Thank you.

This problem can be approached by different methods.

Use Imagination and Analogy

Another description that may help is to think of the space between the
thumb and the side of the hand as a 'mouth'. Keep the mouth open.

Then vary the angle to the clarinet until you can add the register key to
the closed thumb hole by tilting or rolling the thumb slightly.

Imagine that you are playing a sponge clarinet that will collapse if you
squeeze or pinch with your fingers.

Experience by sensation
Imagine that your right forearm is a clarinet, place left hand in playing
position. Play different left hand notes. Do you like the way you are
touching your right arm, are you touching as if holding the arm of a
friend --or as if angery?

View from Physical Description
While each hand is unique, most clarinet players left hand thumb
approaches a 45 degree angle to the clarinet.

The key joint for thumb and finger flexibility is the one 'hidden' in the
palm of the hand, the base joint. Compare finger and thumb--and count
the joints. Call joint nearest the fingernail 1, next in is 2, 3rd joint
is base of finger where it joins the palm. The thumb has two joints, and
the 3rd is the bottom of the bone that goes from what looks like the base
of the thumb to the wrist.

(This is the joint that stewart is affecting by the description like
holding a tennis ball)

Often a sign of good adjustment is 'but it is actually so EASY'. It may
be different, weird, but easy.

Ann Satterfield
clarinetist and teacher
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