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 alt fingering Eb4
Author: LC007 
Date:   2017-11-26 01:04

I sometimes have a problem fingering E flat (left hand). I have seen many clarinet fingering charts in print and on the web but I haven't come across this alternate for Eb4 ( [Eb4] ). Just lift finger off from D hole but keep the adjacent key pressed down. I get a nice clear tone this way. The little key between the D and C holes produces a fuzzy note sometimes (I know it's probably my technique / fat fingers). But nonetheless I was wondering why this alternate is never mentioned anywhere?

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-11-26 02:23

When I first got my clarinet in 6th grade, I tried to learn the fingerings by experimentation. That was the first fingering for Eb4 I "discovered."

It gives a pretty good sound, but for me its sharp. Be careful!

-- Ray Zhang
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
-- Gustav Mahler

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-11-26 03:41

LC007 wrote:

> ...alternate for Eb4 ( [Eb4]
> Just lift finger off from D hole but keep the adjacent key
> pressed down. I get a nice clear tone this way. The little key
> between the D and C holes produces a fuzzy note sometimes (I
> know it's probably my technique / fat fingers).

If I'm understanding correctly, what you describe is basically what happens when you use the "1 and 1" fingering - index finger of each hand plus the thumb. The reason 1+1 works is because the pad between the LH 1st and 2nd fingers is held down through the bridge key when RH 1 is pressed. It sounds similar to the "bis" key on a saxophone.

It *is* generally sharp. But how are you holding the key closed when you lift LH 2? Are you bridging your index finger over it as you keep the E/B hole covered? I can't manage that. An extra touch piece soldered to the top of the key (like the sax "bis") might make it doable for me. If you're somehow keeping RH 2 on the key but opening the 2nd tone hole, it's not a very convenient thing to get to and wouldn't help much in a technical passage.

I guess it doesn't make the fingering charts because it just isn't easy to do. But it's available for intonation if it's really better in tune than the more convenient Eb fingerings.

I don't personally use the LH "sliver key" much for Eb. I almost always use the RH side key. But I'm not sure why your sliver key fingering is fuzzy unless (a) it's bent and not opening enough or (b) you're partially closing the 3rd (C4) tone hole. You can get the sliver key ground thinner and moved closer to the 2nd tone hole so you aren't so close to the 3rd hole if you want to use that fingering more.

Karl

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: Caroline Smale 2017
Date:   2017-11-26 04:03

Some of the earlier B&H 1010s had a little spatula arm soldered onto the key sleeve to allow this pad to be closed by extending the LH1 finger a fraction. However it's intended use is primarily for the Bb a twelth above, which is only slightly sharp with this fingering.
The Eb below will with this fingering always be far too sharp to use except in very fast passages.



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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-11-26 04:06

Hi Karl, I think he fingers it by placing his finger on the metal key in between the low E and D tone holes. I think...

I always find my sliver key Eb (as well as the altissimo Bb5 with the same fingering) to be more in tune than the side Eb, but a little more darker. For the opening altissimo Bb5 of the Weber Concertino and 1st Concerto, I use the sliver key fingering since its not as sharp especially when playing soft, and is darker sounding. I guess I could get the pad thinner or the key to lift higher, but maybe that will make it too sharp?

-- Ray Zhang
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
-- Gustav Mahler

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: LC007 
Date:   2017-11-26 04:55

Thanks for the replys.

Yes the bridge mechanism on RH1 does activate the same pad in question but that's not what I am doing. And yes, this fingering is clumsy when going up from a lower note because of uncovering LH2 briefly. Otherwise you have to slide the finger off the hole without letting the pad up. But I find it works well when going from a higher note like F or G . That way you only have to put down 2 fingers instead of 3. And it isn't sharp to my ears. But I didn't test it with a tuner. I will do that tomorrow.

The reason I get some fuzziness sometimes, is purely due to inexperience and sloppiness - usually when trying to play faster than my skills allow and my LH3 finger ends up causing a partial covering with the C tone hole. When I play slow there is no problem normally so I don't think anything is bent or misaligned.

I don't use the RH side key. It feels awkward to me but I should practice it. This is all beginner stuff of course. Once my fingers develop the proper memory and synchronization, putting down 2 fingers instead of 3 will probably not be an issue.

Looking forward to "discovering" more "unique" fingerings.

Cheers,

Luc

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2017-11-26 15:49

Luc,

A piece of advice.

Learn when to use each of the fingerings for that Eb/Ab as there will be unique fingering situations that will require it. I make it a habit of using the sliver key as much as possible which is the best for a chromatic scale but the hardest to remember and then use.

Make yourself learn these alternate fingerings. What may be easier now is not the way to really learn the instrument. Exercise/practice will get you over the awkwardness.

HRL

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-11-26 19:09

Hank Lehrer wrote:

> I make it a habit of using the sliver key as much as possible
> which is the best for a chromatic scale

Why? In any case some of us who, like the OP have short, stubby fingers find the resulting crowding in the area risky. In fact, on my Eb clarinet I wedge a piece of cork under the LH sliver key to keep it from opening at all so I can't bump into it and open it accidentally, but I also can't use the LH Eb/Bb at all, so I do without (quite comfortably). I've seen some newer instruments with the slivers (both hands, I believe) very much shortened, which I think reduces the risk of accidental openings.

Each to his own if the result is good!

>
> Make yourself learn these alternate fingerings. What may be
> easier now is not the way to really learn the instrument.

I think his point wasn't that his fingering is easier, but that it sounds better. That's a valid choice if the result is good. But I second the advice to learn all the available fingerings. Wider choice is always good.

> Exercise/practice will get you over the awkwardness.
>

Sometimes. Sometimes it only reduces the awkwardness enough to make a fingering useable when it's the least awkward among the available awkward choices. :-)

Karl

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-11-26 19:29

The right hand Eb/Bb key may be difficult to get used to. My former teacher almost always used the sliver key fingering or the 1 and 1 Eb/Bb and only used the side key fingering when he had to. But that was because his first instrument was the oboe, and I think on the oboe you don't have the side trill keys (correct me if I'm wrong).

The good thing about using the side Eb key is that it can be used 90% of the time. It would be pretty hard to go from Eb4 to C4 using the sliver key fingering, or Eb4 to any note lower than C4. The side Eb key solves the issue.

And if you need to play fast passages, you always have the 1 and 1 fingering too just in case.

-- Ray Zhang
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
-- Gustav Mahler

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2017-11-26 19:52

Ray,

Using the sliver key when you must go from Eb4 to C4 is not often the best choice. Getting the ring finger of the left hand off the sliver to then cover for the C is pretty sloppy. Side Eb key would be the right choice.

I'd not pick the 1 and 1 (or 1 and 2) for a fast passage unless there is a Bb/B to Eb/D#. My whole point in my post to Luc was to learn which fingerings (other than with a problem like Karl's "short, stubby fingers") are available.

The sliver key is on the clarinet for a reason even though the side Eb/Bb is probably used more often.

HRL

PS I believe that the use of the LH sliver key has been discussed in several other posts. We do not all agree! But as Karl stated "Each to his own..."

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2017-11-26 20:57
Attachment:  Fiesta Del Pacifico.JPG (75k)

Here is an example of where you may want to use several different Eb/Bb fingerings within about a 30 measure span of a composition.

See measures 310 to the bottom of the page in the bass clarinet part for Nixon's Fiesta Del Pacifico which the Ann Arbor Concert Band is preparing for its next concert. Fortunately, my bass has a LH low Eb key which is helpful. Note the need for the chromatic F# to F fingering.

In the last measure which is immediately repeated three times on the next page I use the sliver key fingering for the Eb as the side Eb fingering is very awkward for me.

HRL



Post Edited (2017-11-27 01:56)

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-11-26 21:17

That's what I was basically saying, Hank. I use the sliver Eb all the time actually. Especially for the higher Bb. For me, it gives me a more in tune Bb5 and a darker sound. I use it for the beginning of Weber Concertino. I didn't say the fingering was bad: in fact I believe more people should use the sliver fingering.

-- Ray Zhang
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
-- Gustav Mahler

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-11-26 21:28
Attachment:  Saint Saens.PNG (122k)

For the excerpt you attached, I would probably play all the D#/Eb with the right hand. I mean you can play some of them with the sliver, but for me personally, playing them all right Eb makes it simpler. That's the advantage of the side Eb.

The one and one fingering can be used in the attached excerpt from the Saint Saens Sonata, 2 measures before rehearsal marking 1.

But perfectly fine to alternate on which Eb fingering to use.

-- Ray Zhang
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
-- Gustav Mahler

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2017-11-26 23:01

Karl, if the LH Eb4 sliver key is blocked closed or otherwise avoided, how would one play a repeated sequence at quick tempo of, for example, Eb-F#-F-F#4? Side key Eb I suppose, plus flipping F#-F-F# with index and thumb (or hey, can you slide off/on just the second side key?? I must try that.) Or maybe 1+1 to the side key F# and back. Either way it sounds like more work to make smooth than using the sliver key for Eb.

BUT, I am sympathetic to the difficulties of hitting - or missing - that sliver key correctly in quick or complicated passages, even though I have relatively slender fingers. Whenever I try to speed up chromatic or other scales or passages that use it, it tends to be a thing that needs additional finicky attention. That finger seems to have a low IQ. Wider fingers would make it all worse for sure.

About the slur from Eb4 to C4 with the LH ring finger sliding off the sliver key to the hole, I practiced that for a while (for reasons I can't easily elucidate.) The transition between notes became fairly smooth, but the sliver key would on release make an audible snap as it suddenly closed. Then one day the needle spring for that key broke. I went through that scenario twice before I decided that, in addition to that being a kinda useless exercise, it wasn't good for the spring.

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-11-27 01:39

Philip Caron wrote:

> Karl, if the LH Eb4 sliver key is blocked closed or otherwise
> avoided, how would one play a repeated sequence at quick tempo
> of, for example, Eb-F#-F-F#4? Side key Eb I suppose, plus
> flipping F#-F-F# with index and thumb (or hey, can you slide
> off/on just the second side key?? I must try that.) Or maybe
> 1+1 to the side key F# and back. Either way it sounds like
> more work to make smooth than using the sliver key for Eb.
>

Well, if something came up that really was significantly easier with the sliver key, the cork isn't glued in place, only force-fit, so I can take it out if I really want to use the fingering. And I don't cork the sliver keys shut on my soprano clarinets, where there's a little more room. Mine are filed thinner, though, and positioned a little closer to my LH 2nd finger so I don't accidentally open them with my 3rd finger, which tends to angle upward a little.

Karl

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: 2cekce 2017
Date:   2017-11-28 06:59

I use the sliver fingering and the 1 & 3 LH most of the time for my Eb and Bb.
My clarinets came with all the extras so I 've gotten used to using all of them.
I actually like those fingerings better than side Bb, but I use it when needed.

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 Re: alt fingering Eb4
Author: Dibbs 
Date:   2017-11-28 17:30

A while ago I came across a picture of a clarinet with rollers on the sliver keys. I think it belonged to Henry Lazarus. This made me think it must be possible to slide on and off the sliver keys.

After a fair bit of practice I'm now pretty happy with sliding off the Eb/Bb. In fact, it works really nicely on something like a descending scale of E. Sliding on to it still needs work.

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