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 Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-12-30 15:30
Attachment:  IMG_9385.JPG (1315k)
Attachment:  IMG_9386.JPG (899k)
Attachment:  IMG_9387.JPG (304k)

Hi,

I wondered if I could ask a question about left thumb position on the clarinet? I'm wondering if there is someone I could approach to ask for a lesson over zoom to help me fine tune it a bit.

The question is about how to accommodate my particular hand anatomy. Sorry it's a fiddly to explain.

I'm getting to pieces of music now where I need to cross the break rapidly and repeatedly (like in the attached photo 9387).

I need to be able to get my left thumb into a position where I can cover the thumb hole only, or the register key only, or both, by just rocking my thumb. I also need to do the rocking action without actually moving the thumb up or down relative to the instrument. The position needs to accommodate the position of my fingers reaching the holes and my pinkie reaching the levers.

My teacher says that ideally my thumb out to be sort of horizontal-ish or diagonal (as in photo 9386) so that the side of my thumb hits the register key. However, my thumb doesn't seem to be able to turn that way and still allow my hand to play.

The only thing that actually works with my arrangement of joints is to have the top section of my thumb totally vertical (as in photo 9385). That makes things nearly work. But when I need to cover just the thumb hole, I then need to move my thumb down a little bit to fully cover the hole, and then back up to manage the register key.

Neither my teacher nor I can work out what to do to get my hands into the right position.

I just wondered if anyone might know who is good at figuring out how to solve these kind of problems? I thought maybe in this world of zoom lessons I could ask for a lesson with someone further away, who has thought a lot about these things, and might have some good ideas.

Thanks so much for thinking about it.

I hope you are all having a good Christmas.

Jen x



Post Edited (2020-12-30 15:42)

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-12-30 15:52
Attachment:  IMG_9389.JPG (807k)
Attachment:  IMG_9390.JPG (843k)

The attached two photos show the problems of my hand position.

In 9389 you can see what happens when I try to cover the thumb hole but not the register key. My thumb ends up trying to bend back further than it can go and that hurts.

In 9390 you can see where I put my thumb when I play a long run of notes that require the register key but not the thumb hole. My thumb is just fractionally further up, which means that when I need to cover the thumb hole again, I have to move it back down. That takes up time that I do not have if I am playing fast.

Sorry it's a bit complicated to explain. I would be really glad to know who might help me to sort it out.

Thanks!

Jennifer

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-12-30 16:11
Attachment:  IMG_9392.JPG (806k)
Attachment:  IMG_9393.JPG (827k)
Attachment:  IMG_9395.JPG (826k)

I think it is possible that this is what I am meant to be doing, but it makes the tip of my thumb go numb.



Post Edited (2020-12-30 16:29)

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2020-12-30 18:08

If you can get this link to work, it shows some pretty realistic thumb positioning, especially in thought #4, "efficient thumb use."

https://www.clarinet-now.com/clarinet-left-hand-position.html

The positions of your own thumb in the photos you sent look forced and abstracted from the job the appendage has to do. It has to move from closing the throat F tone hole to opening the register key so it 1) does not occupy a fixed, rigid position; 2) rather, it assumes a range of positions depending what it is doing at the time, and it must therefore be capable of fluid and gentle but also firm and accurate TOUCH and MOTION. You need to map out what the entire range of motion looks like as the thumb flexes and bends. Don't fixate on a single "ideal" position, because that would be static and unproductive. In classical physics, you can't calculate the trajectory of a projectile just by taking a snapshot of it at one single point. You need more information to get the entire curve. With the thumb you have a back and forward curve; the thumb is going to and fro like a (curved but) swinging pendulum. But unlike the pendulum, its also closing a hole-ring mechanism and depressing a key.

The real question is how to get the thumb to wiggle just enough to do the job. As the lyric in the old rock tune goes, "there's a whole lot of shaking going on." But what kind of shaking? The answer can come only by trial and error as you finger passages across the break and from one register to another. Never mind how the thumb looks; the relevant information is in how the result sounds and how it feels to your hand. If it sounds even and smooth and the hand is unstressed, then you are probably doing the thing right. Photos can add interesting and possibly useful information but the main information comes from the auditory and haptic senses (ear and feel).

Michelle Anderson has a Youtube video on thumb movement (from 5:31 on) in which her thumb movement looks and sounds reasonable (at least for the conformation of her left hand) and might be of some help. The video is called
"Michelle Anderson Clarinet Lesson Faster Fingering Crossing the Break More Easily--Left Thumb Position." Some of the best etudes for establishing the left thumb range of movement are found in Eric Mandat's clarinet practice book "Finger Food" (available from Van Cott and Groth Music).



Post Edited (2020-12-30 19:49)

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-12-30 19:21

Hi Seabreeze,

Thanks, that's really helpful perspective. I'll have a look at the video and a ponder on it all.

Do you know if people ever add extensions on register keys? I'm wondering if I ought to try to make one as well.

Thanks!

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2020-12-30 19:42

I’m happy to help over zoom. Drop me an email.

Peter Cigleris

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2020-12-30 19:46
Attachment:  Selmer Privilege.jpg (25k)

The "tip numbing" doesn't sound good but image 9393 is better looking.



A friend of mine once said to "aim" the tip of the thumb into that space created by the thumb ring, thumb ring post and register key. That way you catch the register key with the upper left quadrant of your thumb.


Some makers fill this void with register key extension as in the provided image (original Selmer Privilege.......they don't make it like this anymore). Personally I think that would be much more comfortable for me as well, but I have never owned a clarinet with this feature.


Sad




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

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-12-30 20:20

Hi Cigleris,

Thanks! Could I keep that in mind and just wait a bit as well to see what ideas people mention? It's really kind of you.

Paul - that extension seems like exactly what is wanted. Maybe I could get a bit added onto the register key? I could ask around once the clarinet-fixing people hereabouts come back from holiday. It really does seem as though it would help a lot. I had a key extension put onto my albert clarinet before and that was very helpful so it must be a thing that can be done.

I wonder if Bob Bernardo is round to give thoughts on this for Yamaha clarinets? He generally knows what Yamaha-specific things there are that can be done.

Thanks!

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-12-30 20:22

These people seem to specialise in key extensions.

https://www.clarinet.dk/content/show_content.php?id=100&cont=eu&lang=en&instr=cla

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2020-12-30 22:18

That Privilege register key looks very much like Ridenour's "ergonomic key."

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2020-12-30 23:13

Others have done this as well such as Rossi and (if I recall correctly) Patricola. I wouldn't mind if this were a common option amongst the major manufacturers.






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



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 Re: Thumb position
Author: bmcgar 2017
Date:   2020-12-31 01:50

If I've missed something that's already been covered, I'm sorry, but:

Your problem may be more related to your hand, wrist, and arm position more than your thumb or the thumb joint. For example, you may successfully concentrate on getting the thumb "angle" correct, but your remaining fingers, your wrist, and your arm may be getting in your way more than anything else and causing the numbness.

Do you feel stress in other fingers, wrist, or arm? The photos suggest to me that there is a lot of tension in your fingers and that your wrist is "scrunched up" and not in line with your fingers.

Can you provide photos showing wider views of your hand, wrist, and arm position?

Also, I don't think register key design should be considered until you're sure that you have some sort of large physical problem. I own clarinets with "normal" as well as "ergonomic" register key designs, and the difference playing the two is not great as long as the touch area is not wildly out of adjustment in relation to the thumb ring.

B.



Post Edited (2020-12-31 03:34)

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-12-31 15:17

Hi bmcgar,

Thanks, yes that was kind of what I was wondering. I do tend to grip the clarinet like a vice.

I just tried playing my complicated piece again, bearing seabreeze's advice in mind. The thing that I am finding helps more than anything else is actually memorising the music on paper before I play the clarinet at all.

I've spent the last 8 or 10 weeks writing out my scales on paper over and over, and then doing that again, but also writing the fingering in every time, while imagining it in my head. Not in a concentrating, working-hard, kind of way, but just as a quiet relaxation exercise. I also did that for the fiddly bits in my pieces.

The result seems to be that when I come back to the instrument, the fingering and sight reading comes to me much more naturally, and I have the space to relax a bit. I'm hoping that as my fingering becomes more and more automatic, I will have more and more space to relax and enjoy playing rather than constantly worrying about where I need to put my fingers next.

The really odd thing is that once one of those fiddly bits becomes automatic in my fingers, the music feels as though it goes more slowly and I have time to relax and enjoy it, even though I am actually playing more quickly than before.

Thinking about seabreeze's advice today, I realised that when I get to that stage, I also find that my thumb is no longer a problem and then it just finds the right spot all by itself without me thinking about it. I think seabreeze may be right, that the position doesn't matter nearly as much as I thought.

I will keep trying and pondering. It's interesting stuff this.

Thanks!

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: bmcgar 2017
Date:   2020-12-31 16:04

So it's tension after all, isn't it, not so much wrong "technique."

As you practice and get into "the zone" where you stop thinking about it, you relax and your fingers, hand, wrist, and arm assume a more natural position.

When I see my students "bunching things up," and especially when I notice that they're getting tense and maybe apprehensive, I ask them to put the clarinet down, put their hands to their sides, relax their arms and shoulders, take a couple slow breaths, wiggle their arms around loosely for a bit, then bring their hands back up to the clarinet without contorting anything.

Might be useful to you.

B.

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-12-31 16:31

Hi bmcgar,

Yes I think tension is probably a big part of it.

I'll keep thinking about what the sources of tension are. Figuring that out is the tricky bit, I think.

Thanks,

Jen

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: bmcgar 2017
Date:   2020-12-31 23:39

Don't think about it, try to feel it!

Your body will give you correct answer, not your brain.

B.

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-01 16:32

In case anybody else is interested, my local shop said they can put an extension on the register key for £120 for nickel silver and an extra £80 + VAT if I would like it silver plated. It would take a week apparently. I'll have a think about that when I'm playing in the coming weeks, to try to understand what sort of difference it would make.

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: JTJC 
Date:   2021-01-01 17:27

That sounds expensive. About 2 years ago I had 5 keys re-silver plated, plus new pads etc and it was around £200. That’s a South East England price. I know your quote includes an extension but it’s only one key and, presumably, one pad.

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2021-01-01 19:17

SunnyDaze.....Jen

Hi.

Would you allow me better appreciation of limits you may have in your left hand anatomy?

What might happen if you were to grip (or pretend to grip) a pipe with your left hand, whose diameter is small enough to allow non-thumb fingers and the thumb to touch--at least for those who don't experience your issues?

What I mean to say is "can you grip such a pipe such that your left thumb would be touching one of your left hand non thumb fingers or would your left thumb naturally position itself to the sky?

If you can achieve a position where the left thumb touches a left non thumb finger while gripping such a pipe, is this what produces tinging for you? If so is that tingling instant or does it take a while to manifest?

Much as the weight of the clarinet isn't held by the left hand might wearing a neck strap help? Do you in fact wear such a strap?

Can you lift your left hand up and point all your fingers to the right? If so does it hurt or cause numbness (eventually)?

At the risk of telling you that you know or that's already been said, correct thumb position (which you may not be able to achieve) is such that he left thumb faces to the right, covering the hole and touching, but not pressing the register key, such that the thumb can rock up and down or lift away from the instrument to cover both, one or, neither of these keys.

Stephen Fox is another great contact for players with physical issues that may best be served by mechanical fixes to their instruments.

He sells a wide range of products and does customizations.

http://www.sfoxclarinets.com/Accessories.html#clar%20acc

Good luck.

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-01 23:20
Attachment:  IMG_9410.JPG (798k)
Attachment:  IMG_9411.JPG (818k)
Attachment:  IMG_9412.JPG (703k)

Hi SecondTry,

Thank you very much for these questions. Here are my answers:


>What might happen if you were to grip (or pretend to grip) a pipe with your left hand, whose diameter is small enough to allow non-thumb fingers and the thumb to touch--at least for those who don't experience your issues?

>What I mean to say is "can you grip such a pipe such that your left thumb would be touching one of your left hand non thumb fingers or would your left thumb naturally position itself to the sky?

I can absolutely do that, yes, but my thumb pad faces down towards the floor and I cannot rotate it to make the thumb pad face towards the knuckles of my fingers. (I have attached photos so you can see. There is no rotation available in my thumb from this position.)

>If you can achieve a position where the left thumb touches a left non thumb finger while gripping such a pipe, is this what produces tinging for you? If so is that tingling instant or does it take a while to manifest?

No there is no pain or tingling when I do that.

>Much as the weight of the clarinet isn't held by the left hand might wearing a neck strap help? Do you in fact wear such a strap?

Yes I wear a Claritie sling like this: https://www.reeds-direct.co.uk/clarinet-support-to-suppliment-the-use-o.html
It's very good and takes the weight of the instrument so completely that I can play with no hands at all.

> Can you lift your left hand up and point all your fingers to the right? If so does it hurt or cause numbness (eventually)?

I can do that and there is no pain or numbness, at all, ever.

>At the risk of telling you that you know or that's already been said, correct thumb position (which you may not be able to achieve) is such that he left thumb faces to the right, covering the hole and touching, but not pressing the register key, such that the thumb can rock up and down or lift away from the instrument to cover both, one or, neither of these keys.

That's what I thought. I think my problem is that I can't rotate my thumb to make the pad face towards the thumb hole. The pad of my thumb faces down towards the floor and I have no way to alter that.

Having said that, since I thought about seabreeze's advice I realised that I can sort of manage a bit better if I don't try to go whole-hog for a single perfect thumb position but allow my thumb to move a bit, so that one angle is okay for thumb-hole-only and another position does for register key situations. I think seabreeze's idea of allowing my thumb to move a bit may be a good answer. I'm not sure because my teacher said that in order to play really fast I do need to find one good position that works for everything, but maybe that is not an option for me. I would be glad to know what you think, going from my photos. Thanks for following my question up. I really appreciate it.

>Stephen Fox is another great contact for players with physical issues that may best be served by mechanical fixes to their instruments.

>He sells a wide range of products and does customizations.

>http://www.sfoxclarinets.com/Accessories.html#clar%20acc

Thanks, that's really good to know. :-)

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2021-01-02 00:00

Jen:

I can't help but think, if I've got my arms around the issue--or at least your left hand, [wink] that either God or the passage of time has given you a left hand where, if lied palm down on a table, the thumbnail would naturally point to the sky like the other fingers....(?)

It that correct, I ask void of any judgment?



Post Edited (2021-01-02 00:01)

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-02 11:45
Attachment:  IMG_9413.JPG (804k)
Attachment:  IMG_9414.JPG (888k)
Attachment:  IMG_9415.JPG (767k)

Hi SecondTry,

Yes I think you are right. Here are photos of my hand on a flat piece of wood next to my son's hand. His thumb nail faces sideways and my thumbnail almost points straight up.

I explained the problem to my husband and son and my husband jokes that I have been born without opposable thumbs and must therefore be a cat. LOL!

Thanks for chatting to me about this. I think you have hit the nail on the head.

Jen

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-02 12:14





Post Edited (2021-01-02 12:14)

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-02 12:14
Attachment:  IMG_9417.JPG (877k)
Attachment:  IMG_9418.JPG (929k)
Attachment:  IMG_9421.JPG (978k)

Hi,

We did some more experiments and here are three more photos to show what is going on.

9418 shows my son's relaxed hand position in which his thumb nail points up, like mine, while gripping the pipe.

9417 shows how he can also rotate his thumb so that the index finger and thumb are opposed.

9421 shows what happens if I try to oppose my index finger and thumb in the same way. I can't do it using just the power of those fingers themselves. However, if I twist my thumb hard using my other hand, then I can get it into opposed position. It hurts a lot though and my thumb definitely could not do that by itself.

Interesting! My son says he is glad he plays the French Horn.

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-02 12:31
Attachment:  IMG_9422.JPG (787k)
Attachment:  IMG_9423.JPG (837k)

This is my husband's hand in the same positions. His thumb nail also naturally points up when he grips the pipe. However, he can rotate his thumb so that his thumb and index finger are opposed, which I cannot do.

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-02 13:38

I have looked back at my hand position on the clarinet and I think I have worked out what needs to be done to make it workable.

I can put my thumb on the thumb key at an angle, so it is not completely vertical (photo attached). If I do that, and have some modifications made, I think it would work.

I think it the modifications that it needs are:

1) Addition of the right-hand-side extension on the register key that Paul suggested.
2) The register key also needs to be squashed flatter so that I don't need to reflex my thumb joint so hard to avoid to avoid pressing the key.

I phoned the shop and they said they can do that. Yay!

I'm going to keep playing and thinking about it a bit more to check that it seems right.

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-02 14:08
Attachment:  1_thumbposition.jpg (796k)
Attachment:  2_Reflexed thumb joint.JPG (1753k)
Attachment:  3_currentregisterkey.jpg (1947k)
Attachment:  4_registerkey -option1 copy copy.jpg (1961k)
Attachment:  5_registerkey_option2 copy.jpg (1950k)

I sent these images to my local clarinet shop to ask if they think these modifications could be made.

In the image where it says F# I meant F natural. I'm not sure how to do the natural sign on a keyboard.



Post Edited (2021-01-02 14:12)

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-02 14:10
Attachment:  6_Selmer Privilege.jpg (80k)

and this one.

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2021-01-02 14:42

Would it help to play with your elbows "UP" more?



The higher the elbows, the less your thumb needs to "extend."





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



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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-02 15:01
Attachment:  IMG_9428.JPG (849k)

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the suggestion. I just tried that, and with my arms up my thumb sits horizontal, but I can't reach the register key at all. (photo attached)

Jen

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2021-01-02 19:21

hmmmmm.........


In that photograph I see the top of the thumb ring. While closing the thumb hole, your thumb should be "over" (covering so that you cannot see that last bit) the last 3mm of the register touch piece (roughly).


Now, if your thumb is too thin, you "flatten" your thumb by twisting your wrist clockwise so your fingers take on that angled look across the front and your index finger hits the "A" key at the side of the tip knuckle.


Also, all the images (naturally posed for the camera) show the clarinet straight up and down. I would think the hand postures should be made better holding the clarinet (when playing) closer to 45 degrees out from the body (and then elbows up makes more sense because then it is more rotating around the clarinet.....making you bend your fingers a bit more).









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



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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-02 21:52

Hi Paul,

I just tried that and the place where my thumb hits the register key is then exactly where the extension is on the Selmer Privilege that you showed earlier. The more I think about it and try things, the more I think that you really had the right idea there. The man in the shop says they can easily add that in for me.

The difference with this new idea is that then the register key doesn't need to be made thinner to get out of the way.

Thanks!

Jen

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-03 13:29
Attachment:  1 register key unaltered.jpg (1795k)
Attachment:  2 flat plate idea.jpg (1789k)
Attachment:  3 flat plate side on.jpg (856k)

Hi Paul,

I thought a bit more about your idea to adjust my hand position, and I think it is good.

If I hold my hands the way you suggest then my thumb doesn't touch the register key at all any more, which means I don't need to reflex my knuckle, which is much better.

If I then had a flat plate soldered onto the back of the register key and sticking out to the right, then I could press that with my thumb, and that would be much more comfortable.

I sent the attached images to the shop to ask if that would be an easier modification to make.

Thanks so much for your ideas. I think I am really getting close to a solution.

Jen

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2021-01-03 21:13

So I take it that your thumb is too thin to catch the register touch piece with the "upper left corner" when flexed?


There is sooooo much we can do with angles of approach (wrist straight or bent; wrist turned one way or the other; fingers straighter or more curved; fingers angled pointing down across the clarinet or perpendicular or even pointing up) so I think maybe just getting out of the box of some pre-conceived hand/finger position can be quite helpful.


And that brings me back to your teacher's suggestion to stick with one position. I personally find it helpful to have a specific posture that works with ALL fingerings and situations that you can possibly imagine.........but you need to FIND that position.


Here is an example of a player who does this very obvious "locking in" to a position (also an interesting lesson on faster tonguing technique):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRgKs5t86A







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



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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-03 21:31

Hi Paul,

Thanks, yes I see what you mean about trying different positions, and I will think about it.

I think that I have probably got a pretty good solution if I can get that plate fitted on the register key though. When I play with the idea of that plate in place, I can manage everything without moving my thumb position, but also all of the joints of my thumb and my hand stop hurting, which I hadn't even realised was happening in my normal position. That has got to be a good thing.

The shop opens again on Tuesday so I will hear back from them then hopefully on whether it is easy to do.

Thanks!

Jennifer

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-21 16:16
Attachment:  key.jpg (267k)

Hi,

I wondered if you would like to see my register key with its extra little bit added on? It really works well and it's much easier to cross the break now. It was done at Woodwind and Reed in Cambridge.

Jen

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2021-01-21 17:03

That looks awesome!




Glad to hear that this is a help to your playing.






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



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 Re: Thumb position
Author: OneWatt 
Date:   2021-01-21 18:00

Excellent solution. This closely matches the stock register key on a Ridenour clarinet. Enjoy!



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 Re: Thumb position
Author: sal 
Date:   2021-01-21 20:21

I know everyone has differing hand postures, but for me my thumb and index finger are much more parallel with each other. My grip is much more like holding a glass.
I couldnt imagine playing with my thumb sticking up towards the sky like that.

I would work on clean execution of throat tone passages, focusing on moving only digits, not the entire hand.

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2021-01-22 01:21

Sal,


What you describe (if I understand correctly) is that your fingers are basically perpendicular to the clarinet. I vacillate between that (constant within a given period of time of course) and using a much more angled approach where the fingers head DOWN across the top and the thumb points up at a fairly steep angle. There are advantages to both. The parallel posture allows your pinkies to reach their keys no matter what size your hands. Even though I have big hands, I find curling my pinkies advantageous in many ways.



Now with the parallel approach, the bending of your thumb knuckle really gives you the most movement at the far side of the register key (nearest the side keys). I'd think that you'd benefit from an extension on that side as well.............worth trying a clarinet with that on it if you ever get the chance.





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



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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-22 20:42

Hi Paul,

Do you think it would be worth my writing this modification up for a clarinet magazine or an ergonomics magazine, or is it too obvious?

The really good thing I think is the simplicity of the design.

Jen

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: sal 
Date:   2021-01-22 22:14

Hi Paul,
I have been practicing and "looking" at my thumb position; definitely not parallel, but also not "straight up"-I dont have a protractor handy, but I would say slightly less than 45 degrees.
I guess i would say that "I think" of keeping my fingers and thumb parallel so as not have my hand fall down into a position that involves the thumb shooting upward.
I played the passage in question to see what my hands did to execute. It seems like I bring my elbo left ward to stretch my fingers "longer and straighter", and it seems my fingers are MORE paralel with thumb, but slightly so I can execute throat keys cleanly.
Generally (and I do mean generally) I find for me and my students the hand and finger posture should stay the same, EXCEPT when executing the throat notes (A, Ab, G, F#, F, E. I think thumb position in the passage in question is an issue that has more to do with the front of the clarinet, specifically how throat tones are executed (finger tip placement, elbow placement. One thing I noticed, is that when watching students is that when depressing the A key, the G# key should also be depressed, with the middle joint of index finger. I think of watching students go from A to G#, AND THEY PRESS THE A KEY with their finger, and then move practically their entire bodies, lifft their finger off they A key, have their index finger suspended over the G#, and then put their finger down on the G# key. What a mess! If depressing the G# key when playing an A, you just move the finger tip to get to play a G#.
Interestingly, if I havent practiced in a while, I REALLY notice Im out of shape by how sloppy my throat tones are. Take out KLOSE scales and scales in 3rds, get to A melodic minor and UGH! fingers are flopping all over the place! I really have to work those bugs out in particular-and I suppose thats because finger and hand posture is basically the same EXCEPT for throat tones. They have to be "relearned" after not practicing for awhile.



Post Edited (2021-01-22 22:38)

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 Re: Thumb position
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2021-01-23 05:27

There is a limit to the SIZE of file you can upload. I think if you can limit the resolution (or literal size) to make it under a megabyte, it should work.




.............Paul



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 Re: Thumb position
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-01-23 16:19

Hi OneWatt,

Thanks for mentioning it. I see the register key extension on the image in this page:

http://www.clarinetpages.net/hard-rubber/professional-hard-rubber

I will mention it and the Selmer Privilege that Paul mentioned, if I do write it up.

Thanks!

Jen

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