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 Thumb (and thumb rest) position
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-02-19 06:20

Over the past year or two I've noticed that my fingers, especially on the lower joint of my A clarinet, are not stretching out easily to cover the tone holes reliably. My RH index finger tends to slip down, uncovering the top hole of the lower section, especially when I play D5, C5 or B4. Sometimes RH ring finger (G3/D5 tone hole) starts to slide up toward the index finger. It all makes RH B4 and C#5 a little unreliable.

I think the stiffness, or lack of stretch, is probably age-related. I don't think my fingers are arthritic, they just seem less flexible than they once were. I'm trying some stretches I've found online. Meanwhile, I've been experimenting a little with moving the thumb rest around. I've already turned the one on my Bb clarinet upside down and found that it helps, but the real problem is on my A clarinet, which has as a stretch of almost a half inch more from index to ring finger than my Bb has. I think I've found by experimenting a little more tonight that moving my thumb higher to align right behind or maybe even a hair above my index finger actually seems to help noticeably.

This is higher than the adjustable thumb rest on my A clarinet will allow, and flipping it isn't as convenient as it is on my Bb, which has a fixed thumb rest (with no adjusting screw in the middle). The center screw on the adjustable rest is where my thumb sits when I turn it upside down. So if this turns out to be a useful change, I'll probably need to have the thumb rest on my A clarinet moved higher on the instrument.

Just for historical background, I long ago took the thumb rest completely off my bass clarinet for the same reason - it freed my whole right hand up. But I use a floor peg to hold the bass still and don't really need my thumb to support it. Playing a soprano clarinet without a thumb rest isn't as convenient.

This sparks my curiosity about where other players prefer their RH thumbs to be.


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 Topics Author  Date
 Thumb (and thumb rest) position  new
kdk 2018-02-19 06:20 
 Re: Thumb (and thumb rest) position  new
xiao yu 2018-02-19 12:44 
 Re: Thumb (and thumb rest) position  new
Garth Libre 2018-02-19 20:37 
 Re: Thumb (and thumb rest) position  new
Philip Caron 2018-02-20 03:52 
 Re: Thumb (and thumb rest) position  new
kdk 2018-02-20 07:49 
 Re: Thumb (and thumb rest) position  new
Caroline Smale 2018-02-20 04:49 
 Re: Thumb (and thumb rest) position  new
kdk 2018-02-20 07:35 
 Re: Thumb (and thumb rest) position  new
shmuelyosef 2018-02-21 00:52 
 Re: Thumb (and thumb rest) position  new
Chris P 2018-02-21 01:09 
 Re: Thumb (and thumb rest) position  new
kdk 2018-02-21 03:45 
 Re: Thumb (and thumb rest) position  new
EaubeauHorn 2018-02-21 08:59 
 Re: Thumb (and thumb rest) position  new
Chris P 2018-02-21 19:46 
 Re: Thumb (and thumb rest) position  new
Bob Bernardo 2018-02-24 19:35 

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