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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000079.txt from 2005/04

From: Audrey Travis <>
Subj: [kl] Slow or weak fingers = slow brain, or...?
Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2005 21:21:01 -0400

I am an adult amateur, started at age 50 eight years ago, trying to
play music too difficult and fast (for me) without the proper time to
train my brain and fingers as I should have (and I'm not sure what that
training would be). I thoroughly understand basic music, counting,
articulation, dynamics, etc., but am unable to make my fingers or
brain move fast enough. I've identified the problems as:

1) both hands - fingers don't move quickly or smoothly, especially 4th
finger and pinkie of each hand - scale and non scale passages. I
suspect finger strength issues.

2) my hands are quite small - fingers don't always reach outer pinkie
keys on left, especially; don't always cover holes completely

3) reed squeaking a lot

4) finger/brain speed problem - can't seem to play fast - don't know
how to learn to do so

5) find certain fingering patterns or combinations very difficult -
it's as if my brain can't learn them and send correct message to the

6) clarinet feels very insecure as if it's going to move too much as I
change fingerings - I do play sitting, with bell on my knees, but still
find myself hanging onto clarinet for dear life - this is one reason
fingers don't move fast, but how to solve problem?

These are real beginner issues that were not adequately dealt with as I
developed. All of the fault is mine as I desperately wanted to play
serious music before I was ready. But now I realize I must address
these very frustrating problems before I can progress. Does anyone
have some detailed, concrete suggestions on any or all of these issues?
How do I make my fingers stronger, especially those farthest from my
thumb? How do I train my brain to send correct messages to my fingers
and hands?

Any help will be welcome. Yes, I have a teacher already.

Many thanks


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