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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000359.txt from 2001/04

From: David Renaud <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Throat Bflat fingerings
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001 21:43:15 -0400

Thanks for the replies
I was asking myself why not for passages like cat scurrying up the
tree, and at #3 in Afternoon of a Faune.
Incidently ,for both these specific examples I can easily reach resonance
fingering 3rd finger of each hand plus the c key for side Bb..

I appreciate David Hattner, and Simons comments, and upon some reflection,
must submit to a well voiced regular Bb is best. The side appeared to
be more resonant at first, but it also appears to be more spread,
less compact. It is possible to get a great ring from the Bb if voiced well.
This is what I was taught down the teaching tree from Marcellus.
I'm rediscovering a few things I never took seriously enough through university.

Someone raised the point of venting a long B with the A key.
I had forgotten about that......thanks.

Dave Renaud wrote:

> I told myself I wasn't going to get involved in this, but nonetheless. . .
> Why is the side bflat not a 'real' fingering? Basically, because you can't
> depend on it. It is inacessable in about 80% of all passages where a throat
> b-flat appears. In other words, you are coming from or heading to a fingering
> which will not allow you to use the side bflat.
> Therefore, whatever fingering for bflat you think 'sounds best,' you still
> HAVE to learn to produce an excellent bflat with the standard fingering. If
> you work at that until you are successful, you will no longer need the side
> bflat, other than as a trill fingering.
> When you use this side fingering, you are giving up access to all right hand
> venting of the bflat, giving you a 'short tube' sound quality. At some
> dynamics, this side bflat might be clearer and more pleasant, but at fff?
> Thank you for your concern for my clarinet. I assure you nothing is wrong
> with it.
> I am not trying to win an argument here. I am giving you my professional
> opinion. This is based not only on my own playing, but also on my teacher,
> Robert Marcellus, who had the best sounding (and best in tune) throat
> register I ever expect to hear (at all dynamic levels).
> I understand that there are great players who love the side bflat fingering
> (I am told that Ralph McLane used to use his right thumb to play it so he
> could cross the break with the other fingers of his right hand). My advice is
> to those who are still learning and thus have a decision to make. . .learn
> how to produce a good bflat or complain about it forever.
> David Hattner, NYC
> Next topic, why the 'side' throat fsharp is also a trill fingering.
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