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 alternate fingering for A?
Author: Riona 
Date:   2010-06-29 19:27

Hoo boy. This is where my not knowing what notes are what kills me *blushes* According to the fingering chart in Rubank's Advanced Method book, it is the second A you can hit going from the lowest notes, you don't have any fingers down over the holes, just the "9" key open.

I haven't taken lessons in a bit over a year(or played, oops.) I just picked my clarinet back up and that A sounds way off while I was playing along with a piece on my computer. I know my professor had told me of an alternate fingering for the note where you kept some of your fingers on your right hand down, but I honestly can't remember it, and can't find anything online that says what I should be pressing down. All my book says is that holding down the fingers on your right hand will flatten the note, but I can't hear a difference when I left all 3 down. Is there anything else I could try?

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 Re: alternate fingering for A?
Author: Jaysne 
Date:   2010-08-11 12:08

Try holding down the LH Ab/G# key, and then add the third RH side key (second from the top).

But if I were you, I'd have my clarinet checked out before I started learning new fingerings for a very basic note. You should be able to play this A normally. Having to adjust because your instrument is faulty is the wrong thing to do.

Post Edited (2010-08-12 02:32)

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 Re: alternate fingering for A?
Author: Jørgen Münster 
Date:   2010-12-05 21:54

This A is one of the most flexible tones on the clarinet, i.e. if you play ppp it tends to be high in pitch, and if you play fff it will most often flatten. You will almost always have to adjust the pitch by adding fingers or leaving them out.

Adding fingers have one more purpose: it will improve the sound of the tone. Playing the A will only use the very top part of the clarinet giving very little support to the tone. By adding all fingers on the right hand (pres the C/F key with the fifth finger) you will create a tube that will enhance the sound. At the same time, adding these fingers will make the shift to the B and C above much easier.

Before you ask for any modifications of your clarinet make sure that it is in tune. You may have to adjust the barrel, and pulling it as little as one twentieth inch will flatten the A considerably. You may need a tuner to find the right position of the barrel.

I prefer that my A is in tune when I add all my right hand fingers. When I play ppp (and there is time for it) I add the fourth finger of my left hand and maybe even the third finger. When playing fff I might have to leave out the right hand.

By the way, it is even possible to raise the pitch by adding fingers! Play the A with the left index finger and add only the third and fourth finger on the left hand. This will raise the tone on most clarinets.

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