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 Kinky Fingering Problem
Author: CarlT 
Date:   2010-10-13 02:57

If I play a series of 1/16th notes starting with:

1st space F#, slur to 2nd line G,
tongue 3rd line B, slur to 3rd space C,
tongue 4th line D#, slur to 4th space E,

would you advise using alternate (right pinky) B and alternate (left pinky) C, or would you use (normal) left pinky B and right pinky C before D#???

I know my Rubank method book says when going from C to D# to use alternate C, and I normally can do that, but it's that darned B that I can't handle.

I'm pretty sure the answer from most of you would be to use the alternate fingerings. I also know I should learn them all, but for me, repeating these fingerings over and over again (at least for the above notes), it's still very hard to get a good response from the B-to-C-to-D#, as my right pinky feels soooo out of place. My right pinky seems much too long to get that alternate B. Conversely, I can use normal fingering and can hardly notice any problem.

I wouldn't be too surprised if some of you more advanced players might "cheat" and use normal fingering on this one...what about it?

Okay, I'll duck and wait for a barage of "suck it up and learn the alternates".


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 Re: Kinky Fingering Problem
Author: EEBaum 
Date:   2010-10-13 03:17

Right B, Left C, Right D#. Why would you make it more complicated than that?

I don't consider either fingering "normal" vs. "alternate." They're "Left" or "Right", used interchangeably as needed. If the Rubank poses them as normal vs. alternate, I'd consider that a bit irresponsible. Learn them all.


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 Re: Kinky Fingering Problem
Author: johng 2017
Date:   2010-10-13 03:21

You did answer your own question, you know. It is best to not slide the RH pinky from C to D#, although it is a skill one needs from time to time. Alternating fingers is the correct way and worth learning.

Try spending some time with the E harmonic minor scale. While doing that, pause a bit on the note just before the trouble spot - pause on A before going to RH B. This gives you a chance to consider (think well, Gillet would say) how your fingers need to move to go to the B. Then try pausing on other notes as well. Go slow.

I think just playing the same notes over and over until your fingers cramp up is not very productive.

John Gibson, Founder of JB Linear Music,

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 Re: Kinky Fingering Problem
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2010-10-13 09:33

On some of the better made clarinets the RH E/B lever is slightly longer than the others and this can help considerably in the little RH pinky finding it's position.

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 Re: Kinky Fingering Problem
Author: Plonk 
Date:   2010-10-13 10:00

When I was a beginner my teacher always told me to use both pinkies at the same time when playing B or C, so that neither side became "normal" but they both feel right. Obviously you can't do this in lots of scenarios, but she insisted I do it when possible.

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 Re: Kinky Fingering Problem
Author: Drakiej 
Date:   2010-10-13 14:06

I'm no pro player by any means but I try to learn to use all the keys when possible,however I do find myself jumping keys (being a former sax player)
sometimes and had my private instructor wandering how do you do that so fast( jumping from c to d#) and vice versa to where it was hardly noticeable.
I dont do it as much now because I have a clarinet with four pinkies on the left and five on the right so I have my choice of fingerings to use. I ve always had trouble using the left hand c so I hardly ever use it . I'm gotten used to using right hand c and left hand D#. unless I playing on my vito then I find myself jumping between keys or trying to use the left hand c.

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 Re: Kinky Fingering Problem
Author: CarlT 
Date:   2010-10-13 22:23

>>pause a bit on the note just before the trouble spot - pause on A before going to RH B. This gives you a chance to consider (think well, Gillet would say) how your fingers need to move to go to the B>>

Thanks, Johng, I did that, and it really does help. I believe I can actually learn to do it correctly now, given a lot of slow practice as you suggested. I so like this BB for the sage advice.

>>I'm gotten used to using right hand c and left hand D#>>

Drakiej, I'm not sure what you mean with "...left hand D#..."??? Am I missing something? I am talking about 4th line D# (see above).


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 Re: Kinky Fingering Problem
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2010-10-13 23:22

Practice it both ways that's the only way you will learn to have a choice in the future. Also, practice just a few notes at a time, going for A to C, then Ab to C# then G to D etc. Play it slowly until it becomes comfortable. Even one or two minutes a day. ESP

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 Re: Kinky Fingering Problem
Author: Chris Hill 
Date:   2010-10-14 03:45

You mentioned that the B is an issue for you. Make sure your clarinet is adjusted properly, and the B will come out easily, assuming you are covering all of the holes.

Post Edited (2010-10-14 03:46)

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 Re: Kinky Fingering Problem
Author: TianL 
Date:   2010-10-14 19:18

you know what you can do.. starting today, don't use the "normal" B fingering for a week and only use the alternative one.

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 Re: Kinky Fingering Problem
Author: Drakiej 
Date:   2010-10-15 12:20

Carl T I did mention that my clarinet has the lefthand D# key, see my previous thread above.<smiles> It also has all the other extra keys not found on most clarinets.

Post Edited (2010-10-15 12:29)

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