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 Re: Natural movements of pinky fingers
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2006-06-15 01:36

Markael wrote:

>> Isn’t it true that, in most movements of arms, fingers, legs, and toes, complementary groups of muscles are used? One pulls; one pushes. Therefore, in order to achieve close fingers, it would seem that one group of muscles would have to act as a brake to keep the finger from raising too high.>>

Yes, this is a disadvantage of any direct instruction to minimise finger movement. Muscles working against each other are useful for quick changes of direction of finger movement -- see the discussion of trills, below -- but simply use up energy when we're not needing to change direction immediately.

>> .. fingers were not designed to be completely independent...a certain amount of movement in the pinky while playing clarinet is just a natural part of the way the human hand works.>>

Yes, a wise remark.

Paul Aviles wrote:

>> To answer Tony: Just be aware of acute paronychia (caused by bugs from the mouth getting into areas of the body they don't belong). Very painful. I AM being too concrete !!!! :-)>>

My post (as your smiley perhaps indicates you appreciate) was simply a humorous (?) way of suggesting that the whole difficulty is generated by a worry about something that isn't worth worrying about -- namely, the worry that we're doing SOMETHING WRONG if our fingers are sometimes distant from the holes or keys.

We're not necessarily doing anything wrong, whatever your teacher says.

I've pointed out here before that both speed of finger movement and distance of finger movement can be irrelevant to a particular passage. For example, an ascending one octave F major scale, starting on low F, can be immaculately executed at lightning speed using slow finger movements that continue until each finger is as far away from the clarinet as is consistent with not dropping the instrument. (The scale is long over by then, of course.)

Then, beginning with the throat F, the same is true of a descending fast F major scale. Each finger reaches its hole (or key) a split second after the preceding one, guaranteeing that the scale is very quickly over.

What happens to each finger before arrival is irrelevant.

If you do this, using as slow fingers as possible, up and down the scale, you may well find that it is a relaxing experience. No finger moves fast, even though the scale is fast.

Now, of course, if you want to do a fast F to G trill at the bottom of the instrument, you'll find that you CAN'T move your right penki far from the key; nor can its movement be slow. But that's obvious to you just by direct experience.

I suggest that if you think of making slow finger movements when you play, you will naturally find that the opposition that Markael talks about is used only when it's needed, and that things seem easier.

Your penki won't wander when it's needed -- and what it does when it isn't needed is its own business.

(For a special musical effect, of course, it can be necessary that each finger arrives on its hole or key AT SPEED.)


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 Topics Author  Date
 Natural movements of pinky fingers  new
Bigno16 2006-06-13 21:46 
 Re: Natural movements of pinky fingers  new
BobD 2006-06-13 22:35 
 Re: Natural movements of pinky fingers  new
Simon 2006-06-13 23:37 
 Re: Natural movements of pinky fingers  new
Tony Pay 2006-06-13 23:34 
 Re: Natural movements of pinky fingers  new
tictactux 2006-06-13 23:47 
 Re: Natural movements of pinky fingers  new
Markael 2006-06-14 02:44 
 Re: Natural movements of pinky fingers  new
Tony Pay 2006-06-15 01:36 
 Re: Natural movements of pinky fingers  new
Paul Aviles 2006-06-14 10:50 
 Re: Natural movements of pinky fingers  new
BobD 2006-06-14 22:06 
 Re: Natural movements of pinky fingers  new
Paul Aviles 2006-06-14 23:56 
 Re: Natural movements of pinky fingers  new
Bruno 2006-06-15 04:21 
 Re: Natural movements of pinky fingers  new
Tony Pay 2006-06-15 07:31 

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