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 Pesky Pinky
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2006-01-27 09:59

I consider my hands relatively average, but today I got some doubts.
By the life of me I can't get a clean (mid staff) C# using my left pinky. I constantly either hit the B spatula, or my pinky rolls up in a strange way. I just can't spread it far enough from my ring finger. It's not so much of a problem in the chalumeau register, but as soon as I have to press the register key plus the LH C# I squeak, most probably because either the thumb or the ring finger don't completely close the hole any more.
The only remedy so far was to press both the LH spatulas at the same time but I don't want to develop bad habits.

Short of having my pinky replaced, what are my options? Practicing in front of the mirror, I know...

Update: Found out that twisting the upper vs the lower joint greatly alleviates the problem. Sometimes it's that simple.


Post Edited (2006-01-27 12:08)

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 Re: Pesky Pinky
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2006-01-27 14:38

I have the same problem with clarinets on which the left low E and low F# keys are the same height.

The first clarinet I played had the F# key bent up so it was slightly -- about 1/8" -- higher than the E key. I've made the adjustment on every clarinet I've owned, and this solves the problem.

By the way, Reginald Kell bent his left low E key up so the end was vertical. Do whatever works for you.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: Pesky Pinky
Author: jezzo 
Date:   2006-01-27 14:46

I had the same problem on my old Clarinet. Check your clarinet parts by closing all the holes, then blow into the Clarinet part and hear if any air goes out.
Good luck

My hot clarinet blog

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 Re: Pesky Pinky
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-01-27 14:48

Do you consciously make the decision to use the LH C# at most times, or will you use the RH C# as well?

I mostly use the RH F#/C# and E/B touch where it's practical (plus the fact they're directly connected to the keys rther than remotely as the LH levers are), a G major/E minor arpeggio as the note above B is D or E, and I find this is more logcal being kept in the RH, rather than using a LH B followed by a RH D or E. And in the descending D7 arpeggio down to F# (resolving on G) in Beethoven's 6th (3rd mvmt) I use the RH low F# touch - it seems the logical thing to do.

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 Re: Pesky Pinky
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2006-01-27 15:44

I usually close "C" with the RH key, "B" with both RH and LH. When there's a C/C# transition then I can't do that with one hand alone. And swapping sides seems very awkward. But bear with me - I play for about three months now.

The bending/twisting combo provided for a promising start. I am cautiously confident that practicing will do the rest.


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 Re: Pesky Pinky
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2006-01-27 16:08

Check what's going on at the top of the left hand. Are you angling the fingers too much to get the A key and the G# key? Just to get a feel for the most spread out the fingers of the left hand have to be, I practice playing from chalumeau E to Bb (register key and A key) while maintaining the pinky on the C# key the whole time (contact, not engaging the key).

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