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 Tosca bass altissimo fingerings
Author: JHowell 
Date:   2016-06-16 19:12

Those who have switched to a Tosca bass: what effect does the register mechanism change have on high E played as an overblown throat A, or high F overblown throat B flat? Or any other altissimo fingerings, for that matter?

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 Re: Tosca bass altissimo fingerings
Author: BflatNH 
Date:   2016-06-17 05:54

To be sure, are you trying to get the above-the-staff E (E6) by overblowing the staff-2nd-space A, and get the above-the-staff F (F6) by overblowing the 3rd line Bb?
I don't think those are your best fingerings on any bass (except a contra), and that normal Bb soprano fingerings (except press and slide your LH index finger down to reveal the small hole) could still be better on most basses up to F6.
There are fingering sites out there, such as:
If your Tosca is new and these fingerings don't work, then perhaps your Tosca is not set up well (I'm amazed how poorly some expensive new horns are delivered!)
or if you played an inferior horn before, you may have developed some habits to 'coax' some notes out, and you may need to 'un-learn' them now.

Post Edited (2016-06-17 06:07)

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 Re: Tosca bass altissimo fingerings
Author: JHowell 
Date:   2016-06-17 08:48

I'm sorry not to be clear. I don't need help with fingering choices, nor do I have a problem with improperly set up clarinets. I was asking those who have switched from 1193s to Toscas how the latter's register mechanism, which apparently separates the first register vent from the throat B flat tone hole by means of a linkage with the throat A key, affects the use of the A key for altissimo. I am planning to have at least one of my 1193s converted to the Tosca register mechanism in order to improve the E/B twelfth, but I would hate to lose either of the two fingerlings I mentioned.


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 Re: Buffet 1193 bass E/B twelfth
Author: Greg H 
Date:   2016-06-17 10:22

Converting the 1193 bass to a Tosca register mech. would involve moving the existing vent on the body, adding another vent for the throat Bb and adding the mechanism. That would tune up your middle B and C. If your low E is flat, that would be more difficult to fix as I believe the Tosca bass has had the low Eb tone hole moved further up the body to tune up the E.
At least that is what I observed when comparing an 1195 to my 1193 several months ago. I cannot recall any issues in the altissimo range on the Tosca- it felt pretty great!

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 Re: Tosca bass altissimo fingerings
Author: qp 
Date:   2016-06-17 11:36

I have a Tosca bass.
Both fingerings you mention are fine - don't worry about it.

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 Re: Tosca bass altissimo fingerings
Author: JHowell 
Date:   2016-06-17 17:02

Excellent, thank you both. I'll report back in August.

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 Re: Tosca bass altissimo fingerings
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2016-06-18 01:04

I've played a zillion (that's a large number) types/models/designs of bass clarinet, and the altissimo fingers are pretty much the same on all of them. The register mechanism has no bearing on the altissimo, where the half-hole vent under the l.h. index finger does the "work".

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 Re: Tosca bass altissimo fingerings
Author: JHowell 
Date:   2016-06-18 08:54

Our experience differs, David. I have played only a few bass clarinets and don't consider myself an expert on them in general, but speaking specifically of my own playing on the 1193 I regard the register key to be vital in the altissimo and the first finger vent to be only of occasional use. Since I started playing 1193s I've been contemplating different ways to address the flat low E, which is to me the instrument's only real weakness, but a serious one. I spent some time with a Tosca (though not in the orchestra) and thought pitch was excellent but the sound not as good as the 1193. I think the Tosca's separating the first register vent from the b flat tone hole (I think basically the S-K mechanism) has broader benefits and better ergonomics than a low E vent hole/key, but if I were to lose those two fingerings I mentioned that could change my choice. I owned an 80s Selmer with an added vent which was great for low E but there were other issues.

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 Re: Tosca bass altissimo fingerings
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2016-06-18 08:55

>> where the half-hole vent under the l.h. index finger does the "work". <<

Not with the overblown throat notes fingerings they asked about :)

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 Re: Tosca bass altissimo fingerings
Author: CEC 
Date:   2016-06-18 17:46


I feel your pain regarding the flat low E issue (I play a Selmer 37 and it's the only egregiously out-of-tune note on the horn). An alternative approach to fixing the low E is moving its tone hole and raising its chimney height and this might be required (or another solution for the E) even if a Tosca-style modification is done to the register mechanism/venting system, since the moved vent brings down the right-hand clarion notes only. I've been corresponding with Steve Fox about all this and he may be of help regarding your concerns about the altissimo fingerings.


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 Re: Tosca bass altissimo fingerings
Author: clarinetfixer 
Date:   2017-11-25 17:14


Who added the 1195 mechanism to your 1193? I’m looking to do this to my own and will need to talk to someone who has done this.

What did you decide to address the flat low e?


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