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 hands of woe...left hand!
Author: oldreedguy 
Date:   2019-11-14 13:22

I guess it's old age creeping in at 58, but a few years ago, when I was playing a lot of clarinet, my hands were cramping up. Now, I'm having the same problem with my S1 I had with my R13...getting a good seal approaching the left-pinky register B from above...say, like F#-to B...anybody have this problem...solution? I know I have osteoarthritis and possible nerve damage on my left side and increasing other symptoms...looks like my playing will be limited to my apartment and making youtube recordings...if the powers that be allow it. The S1 just got overhauled and it's OK considering I paid less than $1000 to get a pro-level Buffet back...so maybe it just needs a tweak or two...

Thanks,
Barney in California

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 Re: hands of woe...left hand!
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2019-11-14 16:32

Hi Barney,

So when you move from F# to left-hand B4, the B4 doesn’t speak? And you’re playing the B4 with just the left pinky and not the right pinky as well?

If that’s the case: the crow’s foot (or the crow’s foot felt/pad) needs to be adjusted. This is one of the things that most often goes out of alignment on a clarinet.

Hands cramping? I would think that you’re squeezing the clarinet too hard with your fingertips? This can be quite involuntary and, counter-intuitively, the harder you squeeze the worse fingertips usually cover the holes.

Does all of that make sense?

James

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: hands of woe...left hand!
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-11-14 21:25

So sorry ...

Setting up horns correctly takes time and maybe a few visits back to the repair place. Arthritis is no fun. But I feel you can still play the horn and maybe your hands are getting locked up from tension because the keys are set to low or too high requiring you to press harder than normal? Your hands should feel limber and stress free. The clarinet may actually help your arthritis feel better.

Maybe post on youtube so fellow friends can take a look at the horn?


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: hands of woe...left hand!
Author: Burt 
Date:   2019-11-14 22:16

An easy way to check the crow's foot adjustment is to play B4 using the left pinky, then add the right pinky on the key used for C5. If that makes the note speak correctly, then the crow's foot is not closing the C5 key completely.

Old age has crept up on me a long time ago. But I and many others I know don't have the cramping problem. I agree with James' suggestion that you may be holding the clarinet too tight.

Burt



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 Re: hands of woe...left hand!
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-11-15 01:04

Burt wrote:

> An easy way to check the crow's foot adjustment is to play B4
> using the left pinky, then add the right pinky on the key used
> for C5. If that makes the note speak correctly, then the crow's
> foot is not closing the C5 key completely.

Also, play D5 quietly, then just touch the LH B key to close it. It should pop out easily if the keys are adjusted well. Try the same thing with the RH B key. The point is that the pads that close for both C5 and B4 need to seal (equally well) when B is pressed without pressing the C key, which hides (or compensates) for a badly adjusted crow's foot. If one pad closes first, the other is not sealing.


> Old age has crept up on me a long time ago. But I and many
> others I know don't have the cramping problem. I agree with
> James' suggestion that you may be holding the clarinet too
> tight.

Maybe too tight a grip. Or maybe related to the nerve damage you mentioned. Or even a mineral deficiency in your diet. Maybe check with your doctor.

Karl

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