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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000097.txt from 2005/04

From: Nancy Buckman <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Slow or weak fingers = slow brain, or...?
Date: Wed, 06 Apr 2005 17:24:56 -0400

At 09:19 PM 4/5/2005, you wrote:
>I am an adult amateur, started at age 50 eight years ago, trying to play
>music too difficult and fast ...........

Hi Audrey,

First, thanks for the kind remarks. I worked very hard on the Crusell. It
isn't difficult, in the realm of things, but technique is everything when
one wants to play musically. If the technique is good, musicality is less
of an issue. One doesn't find oneself tripping over fingers when trying to
play musically. I learned this last summer when I had that lesson with
Wes. So I spent time learning the scales and arpeggios that are present in
the key signatures used in the three movements.

Secondly, your secret is safe with me. As for your squeaking and squeezing
problems, I can offer a couple of thoughts. The first is that you may be
depressing the left hand G# and A keys unknowingly. When I am frustrated
with my own playing and tense up, I do this very thing and get the dratted
squeaks. The second thing is that I have noticed a distinct improvement
since I began using the neck strap. It really takes a load off my hands
and I am better able to let the clarinet "float" on my right thumb because
the strap does most of the "holding". It took a couple of months to get
used to the strap and it interfered with my left hand initially, but I
don't like playing at all without it and am going to have Morrie install
Jupiter thumb rests on my other clarinets (the little ones) because it has
been such a help. Also, try learning your scales with your eyes closed
too. That will help take the focus off your fingers moving up and down out
of your brain so you can concentrate on what it "feels" like to touch the
holes in the right places. And write to Annie and see if she will
tell you about "Mommy made me mash my M&M's"! She may be a strange bird,
but she has great teaching skills. She, too, has helped a lot. You don't
need to tell Morrie anything - just make sure he keeps your clarinet in
tip-top shape for you.

Off to rehearsal.....lots of things to tell you later. And I am so pleased
to have you as my friend. Are you going to OK?



Nancy Buckman
Principal Clarinet / Orchestra AACC

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