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 Using Register Key
Author: mallardbay603 
Date:   2007-08-27 20:22

I am new and having touble getting above B&C as fingering chart us of upper register key. Is it all in getting enough practice or can you give me a hint what to do?

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 Re: Using Register Key
Author: Bob Phillips 
Date:   2007-08-28 03:33

Moving from the low register to the middle (clarion) register by punching the register key is called "going over the break". it is a tricky thing to get used to and usually takes a while.

Be careful not to "help" the clarinet go into the upper register by changing your lips, throat, tongue. Any such is a big no-no that will have to be un-learned later if you allow it to happen now.

Try fingering a note in your low register, getting it flowing with a full and noble tone --press out with your belly to keep the air flowing (called support). Then, punch the register key. After many tries, the high note will just pop out. do this with all the low notes. Then, pop into the middle line B and lift one finger at a time to move up the scale.

Note, as discussed in a recent thread (slurring down a 12th), that releasing the register key and getting the horn to drop back to the low register is much harder. Use your tongue to restart when you do that --and save the sluring down for later.

A teacher working at your side will shorten your learning curve.

Be patient with yourself.

Bob Phillips

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 Re: Using Register Key
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   2007-08-28 03:39

Bob Phillips wrote:

> Be careful not to "help" the clarinet go into the upper
> register by changing your lips, throat, tongue. Any such is a
> big no-no that will have to be un-learned later if you allow it
> to happen now.


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 Re: Using Register Key
Author: crnichols 
Date:   2007-08-28 03:54

I actually think Bob's advice here is appropriate for someone early in their development. It is ideal to minimize movement of the facial muscles at this point in their education, in order to develop strength. Subtle refinements can be learned later, but this strength is essential to developing good fundamental playing habits.

Christopher Nichols, D.M.A.
Assistant Professor of Clarinet
University of Delaware

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 Re: Using Register Key
Author: Ski 
Date:   2007-08-28 04:13

Keep in mind that I'm just a (re)beginner at clarinet but I after reading this post I was reminded of something...

I first started going for clarinet lessons mainly to learn how to traverse the break. After a week of practice I told my teacher (who's also a repair person) that no matter what I tried, those notes wouldn't speak predictably. So she took a closer look at the clarinet and saw that the register key had too much "throw" in it -- the pad moved too far away from the vent. So she added more cork to the bottom of the key to limit its throw and, voila, it immediately it became easier to play notes above the break.

I don't know that this is part of your problem, but maybe it's worth having checked out?

(editedd forrr spellllingg errorrrs)

Post Edited (2007-08-28 05:38)

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 Re: Using Register Key
Author: C2thew 
Date:   2007-08-28 05:08

ditto on checking your pad heights and sealing. make that the first step, then work on getting over the break.

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. they are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which was already but too easy to arrive as railroads lead to Boston to New York
-Walden; Henry Thoreau

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 Re: Using Register Key
Author: donald 
Date:   2007-08-28 08:09

i will post more on this later (in a rush now)
but if your tone is good in the low register, then the advice given by Bob Phillips (not to "help" the register change) is indeed good.
On almost a daily basis i use this with my students (both young and old)
- i get them to play a note in the lower register, we then work on the tone
- then, while they hold the note, i put the register key on so they produce an upper register note
- in almost every case, provided the low note is good, the upper note will be of a higher quality than if they had moved the key themselves (and conciously or unconciously adjusted their embouchure at the moment of register change).

It is true (and indeed scientifically proven) that a good player adjusts for each note, however the amount of adjustment needed is minute (and mostly in the tongue rather than the lips). In my experience for the playing of both myself and my students many many tone production flaws/issues are created by OVER adjustment. From my experience the majority of teachers/players agree with me on this. A few disagree, and at least one of them is far more successful and famous than me.
Regardless what may be said- i prove to my students on a daily basis that eliminating unnecessary "adjustment" can improve tone quality, and they are thanking me for it not arguing with me about it.

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 Re: Using Register Key
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2007-08-28 21:49

Working recently on crossing the low break, I found that my problems were with the right forefinger and thumb. They were doing something vague, and one or the other would sometimes lag or anticipate the crossing. Focusing in on those offenders - getting the right feel, one of doing something definite with them - made a good improvement in consistency.

I'm rather a beginner, so my situation may differ in many ways from others'. However, I do note in recordings that perfect break crossings are not automatic even for some experienced professionals.

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 Re: Using Register Key
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2007-08-28 23:17

15 minutes into tonight's practice, I realized I meant LEFT - left forefinger and thumb. Hmm, my problems may be worse than I thought.

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 Re: Using Register Key
Author: rtmyth 
Date:   2007-08-30 20:01

An ergonomic register key has helped me greatly. Ridenour TR147s have them, and I believe other makes are using them.

richard smith

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