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 left handed clarinet?
Author: Bubalooy 
Date:   2008-02-19 19:53

I have no intention of changing or having one built or anything like that, but it just crossed my mind that we use our left hand much more than our right when playing clarinet and as most of us are right handed, I'm not sure that makes a lot of sense. Is there any particular reason that woodwinds are built with the left hand closer to the mouth?

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2008-02-19 20:01

Bubalooy wrote:

> I have no intention of changing or having one built or anything
> like that, but it just crossed my mind that we use our left
> hand much more than our right when playing clarinet

Do we? I'm not so sure about that.

> Is there any particular reason that woodwinds are built with
> the left hand closer to the mouth?

The right hand bears the brunt of the weight of the instrument. As the right arm is stronger (for right-handed people, that is), this arrangement makes a lot of sense.

--
Ben

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: rsholmes 
Date:   2008-02-19 20:05

I'm not so sure the left hand is used "much more". One definite difference is that the right hand, not the left, supports the weight of the instrument, which makes some sense.

Early clarinets were made to be played with either hand above the other -- keys were centered, sometimes with double touchpieces for play with either hand. Obviously once there were more than a few keys that got to be impractical and one hand or the other had to become the standard top hand. A few left-handed clarinets have been made, but I get the impression there's really not much of an advantage for most left-handers in using the left hand down and right hand up. If due to injury one hand can't fill its traditional role then a left-handed clarinet might make sense, but that'd be an exceptional case.

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   2008-02-19 21:13

Hi Bub - This ? has been asked several times earlier, and answered in a number of posts. Use the Search function [above] for history and actual use. There have been a number of pics, one of Pete Fountain, from Reversed negatives, showing ?right hand high? playing, erroneously ! Don

Thanx, Mark, Don

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2008-02-19 21:24
Attachment:  BennyGoodmanStory.jpg (30k)

Even Benny Goodman had one. [grin]

--
Ben

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-02-19 22:44

Not only that, Yamaha even made a left-handed alto sax (model no. YAS-875EXLHB) specially for Paquito d'Riviera:

http://www.sternsmusic.com/disk_info.php?id=HUCD3045

So even the BIG companies will accomodate specific requests, even if it means special tooling and parts to be made specifically for the one-off instruments.

I think he also has a left-handed Rossi clarinet, judging by the album photography.

Who said "the camera never lies" (apart from Bucks Fizz)? Mind you, the camera NEVER lies, it's just what's done to the photo afterwards.

Chris.

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2008-02-20 01:03

Avrahm Galper had a left-handed clarinet. See http://test.woodwind.org/Databases/Klarinet/1999/01/001148.txt, http://www.avrahm-galper.woodwind.org/left-handed.html, http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=43460&t=43448 and http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=144418&t=144415.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2008-02-23 19:20
Attachment:  YoureDarnTootin1.jpg (54k)

I found another one. And a left-hand (French) Horn?

--
Ben

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2008-02-23 22:18

You can tell it's a flopped photo by looking at the buttons on Ollie's jacket/

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2008-02-24 07:42

Ken Shaw wrote:

> You can tell it's a flopped photo by looking at the buttons on Ollie's jacket

That's exactly why it isn't flipped. Aren't your buttons on your right side? (You can see it even better on Stan's double-breasted suit)

--
Ben

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: rsholmes 
Date:   2008-02-24 12:27

The clarinet, at least, isn't left handed; he's just playing it wrong. The hands cover the keys enough that it's hard to tell but you can see the top trill key and the wrap around register key.

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-02-24 13:05

Doesn't Bob Geldof play right-handed guitars in a left-handed manner?

Chris.

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   2008-02-24 13:29

Wouldn't be surprised, Chris, one of our [OLDT] dance band "git" players played a "reversed strings" guitar, playing well, both bragging about it and offering it to newbies, as a innovative joke. Much fun, Don

Thanx, Mark, Don

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2008-02-24 14:20

Ben -

You're right, as rsholmes. Olle, by the way, is playing (holding?) a mellophone, which is a marching band version of a horn, with piston valves operated by the right hand. See http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.public.asu.edu/~jqerics/Mellophone.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.public.asu.edu/~jqerics/mellophones.html&h=229&w=344&sz=58&hl=en&start=19&um=1&tbnid=sgR_7nZaCCWylM:&tbnh=80&tbnw=120&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmellophone%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26newwindow%3D1%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN

Ken Shaw



Post Edited (2008-02-24 14:21)

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2008-02-24 14:24

Ken Shaw wrote:

> You're right, as rsholmes. Olle, by the way, is playing
> (holding?) a mellophone, which is a marching band version of a
> horn, with piston valves operated by the right hand.

Aha, that explains. Thanks, Ken.

Trivia: What movie is the picture from?

--
Ben

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   2008-02-24 14:56

TKS, Ken, A fine reference re: "horns and their playing" in those golden old days, brings back many memories of [West] Jr High School, and some now antique insts. I pondered that old pic as well, recognising the pistons, but mello[w?]phone evaded me. Don

Thanx, Mark, Don

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2008-05-11 12:25

Found another left-handed clarinet, this time a modern one from Howarth.

http://freespace.virgin.net/pete.worrell/gallery/howarthreverseclarinet.htm

Ken Shaw

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-05-11 12:46

In the last episode of 'The Singing Detective' one of the nurses (stood next to an alto sax player) in the 'Teddybears' Picnic' bit is holding a horn the wrong way round. There's a patient playing an oboe through an oxygen mask as well.

Chris.

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2008-05-12 04:16

Actually I see this as a VERY serious issue.

I allude to my feelings about this in a recent post and firmly believe that the brunt of the difficult work for the clarinet is in the LEFT hand !!!!

Many really fine players that I know are indeed left handed. If you really think about the movements required for the fingers of each hand, there is MUCH more complicated one-handed coordination going on amongst the thumb, forefinger and middle finger of the left hand. I also sort of threw out the notion that the REAL "break" is at the "A" key, and we fool ourselves out of addressing a more pivotal area just a step below due to the whole full length/shortest length gobbledygook. And I further suggest that if you find holding the clarinet a significant aspect of your technique, you probably are not holding it correctly in the first place.

In short, I firmly believe that the clarinet already IS left handed (well, at least to the extent that a violin is a left handed instrument!). So lefties rejoice!!!



.............Paul Aviles



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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: skygardener 
Date:   2008-05-12 09:17

I also wonder why the strings are all left handed. Is there any historical reason for this??? Is there an ancient superstition about the left hand???

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2008-05-12 09:46

Considering that a higher percentage of people in general are right-handed, it is intriguing that the majority of woodwind and stringed instruments have the left hand doing more work than the right hand.

So anyone left-handed would benefit from their greater dexterity (though that does mean 'right' - so should it be 'sinisterexity'?) with their left hand fingers on an instrument considered to be 'right-handed' (that's the standard instruments, where the right hand either supports the weight and plays the lower notes on woodwinds, and plucks or bows the strings on stringed instruments).

Chris.

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Shanesax/Clar 
Date:   2021-01-18 01:47

I've GOT NEWS FOR YOU!

Clarinet IS a left-handed instrument!

IF you consider:
-The most subtle coordinations are with the left hand
-The most work is done by the left hand
- the right thumb does NOTHING (except give you pain in the right wrist !


Likewise the Sax. for the same reasons

Unlike the Bassoon which is a THUMBS INSTRUMENT! LOL


However the Low C Bass Clar seems to be more equally functional, but still is a left-handed instrument for the same reasons.

So obvious!

S. Nestruck
Saxology Canada
204-474-2588
shanedn@shaw.ca
Winnipeg Canada

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Shanesax/Clar 
Date:   2021-01-18 02:03

This 'right-hand
' clarinet is the result of a PHOTOGRAPHER or "ART DIRECTOR' reversing the image for some "artistic" reason. there are all sorts of such photos of instrumentalists playing with 'mirror' images. NOT REAL! just a photographic or printing trick!

S. Nestruck
Saxology Canada
204-474-2588
shanedn@shaw.ca
Winnipeg Canada

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2021-01-18 06:27

Shanesax/Clar wrote:

> NOT REAL! just a photographic or printing trick!
>

Nah. There are real clarinets that are the opposite of normal. I have a picture somewhere- that I took - of a normal and reversed clarinet next to each other. From Abe Galper's collection.

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Tom H 
Date:   2021-01-18 09:12

Considering both hands do basically the same thing but you add the throat notes to the left hand's job, the left hand does somewhat more work.
I have never given this any thought. But, I could bat and throw left handed as well as right.

The Most Advanced Clarinet Book--Austin Macauley Publishers
tomheimer.ampbk.com/
austinmacauley.com/author/heimer-tom (PDF samples here)
Boreal Ballad for unaccompanied clarinet--Sheet Music Plus


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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: donald 
Date:   2021-01-18 17:32

I believe Jerry Pierce is pictured in an old issue of The Clarinet with a genuine "left hand/red versed clarinet". As Mr Charette writes above, they DO exist (I do not have the time to locate that old picture from the 1980s but it's there...)

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: modernicus 
Date:   2021-01-20 05:13

I know Adler made them at one point in time, they've been for sale before with pics next to a regular one.

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: donald 
Date:   2021-01-20 05:50

BTW @Tom H
The left hand "rocks" to operate the throat keys, the right hand "rocks" to operate the right hand trill keys, the main difference between the two hands us the dexterity required of the LEFT THUMB,all other things being more or less equal.

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: Tom H 
Date:   2021-01-20 06:23

donald, Agree, but I think the left is busier over time playing all the added throat notes (G#,A,Bb regular fingering) whereas the right is basically dealing with the trill keys for Eb/Bb, alt. low F#, alt. throat Bb, and alt. altissimo G. Both busy at times, but I think L.H. gets more work.

The Most Advanced Clarinet Book--Austin Macauley Publishers
tomheimer.ampbk.com/
austinmacauley.com/author/heimer-tom (PDF samples here)
Boreal Ballad for unaccompanied clarinet--Sheet Music Plus


Post Edited (2021-01-20 06:24)

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 Re: left handed clarinet?
Author: modernicus 
Date:   2021-01-23 06:49

At the time of posting, these guys have one of the Adlers for sale, they come up periodically:

https://folkmusic123.com/clarinets-1.html



Post Edited (2021-01-23 07:27)

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