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 Right hand position for beginners
Author: Mgp13 
Date:   2018-09-03 20:15

For many of some of my younger students i have had a problem with them supporting the instrument with their right hand under the right side keys. Despite constant remainders, they continue to do this. What solutions have you found? Has anybody had experience with students and clarinet neck straps?

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 Re: Right hand position for beginners
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2018-09-03 20:32

Amen brother!

I have, fortunately, only run into this with one student. Wow, this is a hard habit to break; smart kid too. I am realizing as you, that it has more to alleviating the pressure on the thumb. It also didn't help that SOMEONE showed this student the "1 and 1" first line "Eb" fingering.

My problem with the neck strap idea (also proposed by my wife) would be that there would still be no attempt to take on the clarinet weight problem. Unless there is a demonstrable physiological problem, students need to address the clarinet in the most standard way.

I continually poke at his finger during a thirty minute lesson but I'm sure that is just as annoying to him as it is to me and that still leaves 10,050 minutes during the week for him to jam the index finger back under there!'

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

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 Re: Right hand position for beginners
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-09-03 21:37

It is uncomfortable for a youngster and maybe the thumb hurts after a while. Bell on a knee is OK for support.
If all else fails, give them an exercise to memorize, low Eb to low C back and forth many times, and play it fast. Play it for them so they can hear it.
It is their "Poor Hand Position" exercise, and every time they tuck the right index finger under the side keys, "Time to play the PHP exercise fast." 😉

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