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 Student with short LH ring finger
Author: Les Aldrich 
Date:   2010-06-16 23:48

I have a student whose left hand ring finger was injured. As a result of this she lost the end 3/8" to 1/2" of the finger. She had her saxophone modified, can play quite well on an offset-G flute, but cannot develop her technique on clarinet. This shortened finger won't allow her to use her left hand pinky keys with any facility.

Has anyone dealt with this before? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

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 Re: Student with short LH ring finger
Author: vin 
Date:   2010-06-16 23:54

What specifically can't the left hand 4th finger do?
Is it that it is too short and can't cover the tone hole or that it moves too slowly or what?

If the finger is too short to come in at the proper angle, try putting a slight bend in the wrist so that the palm is slightly closer to the clarinet. This should bridge some of the distance.

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 Re: Student with short LH ring finger
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2010-06-17 01:54

My thought is somewhat similar. If she has her left fingers perpendicular to the horn, she should have much more flexibility how to curve the first three fingers. The only "oddity" will be that the pinky will be rather curled (particularly for "F#/C#"). I use this attitude just fine, in fact getting a better "Ab" arpeggio than before!

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

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 Re: Student with short LH ring finger
Author: GBK 
Date:   2010-06-17 02:17
Attachment:  ATT00724.jpg (27k)
Attachment:  ATT00737.jpg (28k)
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A few years ago I was given a set of R13's from the widow of a clarinetist.

The Bb and A had both been retrofitted with plateau keys in the upper joint and longer LH pinky keys to accommodate the left hand injury he had suffered late in life.

Attached are some photos

Perhaps this will give you some ideas.


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 Re: Student with short LH ring finger
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2010-06-17 02:27

Although I haven't had an experience directly with something like this I'd like to suggest two things. If you can find someone to modify the clarinet so that the 3rd finger LH has a covered pad instead of an opened tone hole and/or building an extension on the LH pinky keys. I have seen this type of thing done in the past for some of the RH keys but have no recommendation as to where or who made the adjustments. ESP http://eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Student with short LH ring finger
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2010-06-17 02:43

There is a guy in Michigan thats close to retirement. I used him several times at Interlochen from 1971 to 1975. I think he could do the modification. Call him and see if he's up to this.

Robert Scott
2930 Sunderland Road
Lansing, MI 48911

He's known as Scotty. I don't think he will remember me, but you can use the name Fred Ormand. I was a student of Fred.

Most likely he will fill the hole and redrill and match the new hole based on the students hand. If he takes on the job take a photo or 2 of your students hand position holding the clarinet.

Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist 2015

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 Re: Student with short LH ring finger
Author: hinotehud 2017
Date:   2010-06-19 01:52

Scotty put a plateau key on the LH 2nd finger hole of my Buffet in 1973 and it works great to this day. I know he is still working.

Post Edited (2010-06-19 01:53)

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 Re: Student with short LH ring finger
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2010-06-19 14:46

Susan Eberenz is a flute specialist who apprenticed at Haynes and made extensive alterations for Jeanne Baxtresser (principal flute, NY Philharmonic), extending the left ring and little finger keys. She also does superb work on clarinets. The late Kal Opperman said she was one of the few people he trusted.

(917) 861-6234

Kristin Bertrand does Buffet warranty work, and her site says she does custom keywork. http://www.woodwindworkshop.com/

Ken Shaw

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 Re: Student with short LH ring finger
Author: Les Aldrich 
Date:   2010-06-21 01:33

First, thanks for all of your responses.

She was putting her left hand perpendicular on the clarinet, and it worked, sort of. She doesn't have a lot of "pad" on her stub finger. Once she started working on faster technical studies using the left hand pinky we found that, in order to cover the left hand ring finger hole, she had to move her hand in so close that she can't reach back with the left pinky to the alternate low F#/high C# key as well as the low F/high C key.

She is going to look into getting a prosethetic.

This is difficult to describe. I hope it makes sense. Any thoughts on this?

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 Re: Student with short LH ring finger
Author: Les Aldrich 
Date:   2010-06-21 01:36

Having trouble with my wireless router. Ended up posting this by mistake.
Is there a way to delete it?

Post Edited (2010-06-21 01:41)

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