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Clarinet Lessons: Finger Use

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So the part that we'll put everything
together for
getting good tone is the finger use.
And the user the way that
we're going to deal with this
is make sure we can maintain
a beautiful legato.
If we combine the tongue
position with the air stream and
the voicing,
we will get an overall good sound, but
now we use our fingers to
get from note to note.
That's why, how we do that also
will be of paramount importance.
Now, if we are actually lifting the
fingers too high and bringing them down.
What we will have is a pop,
mainly because as the air is going
through the tube of the instrument,
if we lift the finger in a way that is too
abrupt then that air will escape through
it, sort of like a Coke can, and
it will just create a pop sound.
And the same thing as
when we bring it down.
We can get a little thing
going in the sound.
And that little pop gets
in the way of the legato so
it creates what are called
consonance in the sound.
So it will be like du du du du du du.
Let me show.
This way of playing,
I still try to use the kai
thumb position in the air.
And that was working, but because of
that finger like that is actually
non existing at that moment than trying
to make a fret out of the scale.
It didn't work because I wasn't
just talking I was going [SOUND].
So it would be sort of like me
talking like this every single time,
so then it just lacks flowbility.
So, what we would practice is thining
of the fingers that we are playing,
like an octopus, we're an octopus.
So that there is not one action that
is frozen and comes down and up.
So like, how we see an octopus
that there's movement,
the tentacles are always in movement.
That's how we will be
thinking about the clarinet.
Fingers so we will be putting a finger and
then as we get close to
the key we put the, we have to feel that
the key is being touched, and then we have
to go gentle enough that we can feel the
weight of that spring as we press it down.
And then as we release.
So in slow motion,
how we're going to practice this, we will
create a little bit of a finger glissando.
But that is to try to eliminate
the pop of the fingers.
So it will go like this.
Now at
the beginning,
it's an extremely
boring exercise.
Okay, I grant you that.
But, we're here to try to
learn to play clarinet
as well as possible with
the least amount of time.
So I'm trying to give you exercises,
what I call grown up exercises.
It'll get you going, it'll get you going
well, and it'll get you going fast.
Instead of giving it 20,000 etudes and
hopefully by then you'll get something,
but that's not what we're doing here.
We wanna get ready for action right away.
So how we combine that,
one good way to be thinking about
that is I would recommend for
you to be looking at the Daniel
Bonet's,A Clarinet's Compendium.
There is a book published be Le'Blanc and
it has a very nice exercise that he
explained, he is one of the first
teachers that started talking about that
kind of legato and was very successful.
One of the exercises is just
by playing a C major scale and
how we are going to be
going from note to note.
So we will try that and
we will try to gently put the tone,
the finger on the tone hole until it
closes but not hard, eliminating the pop.
Okay, and at the beginning we
have to exaggerate it a lot so
that it sounds almost like a glissando.
Starting from high C
and then what we will do
is we will try to speed it up
as we get more comfortable with it
without adding the hit.
So that way we will be eliminating the pa,
pa, pa, pa, pa so we don't go
I mean it's fine but not for us,
we want to be able to play
music beautifully and
to give singers a run for
their money, okay.
One important exercise
book that I like to use,
especially when it comes
to the finger legato,
is the Vade Mecum by Paul Jeanjean.
It's a book of six etudes.
Mainly for fingers, scales and
articulation that he wrote basically with
clarinetists that are always busy and
don't have several hours a day to
actually practice their techniques.
So it's very concise,
it's very to the point.
And the first exercise is talking
about finger dexterity and
this one I like to use for
the octopus fingering.
Meaning instead of just for speed we
are going to be trying to use that
squeeze motion from note to note
always squeezing and releasing.
Squeeze, release, Squeeze, release.
Never put down up, put down up.
The very first exercise,
we'll do it slowly at the beginning,
so then we can get used to the motion.
See that we're hearing that doo wah,
that is that little glissando,
that is my key not going hard, not going,
and then, once we get comfortable,
this is what we are trying to achieve.
So that then it's not dougi,
dougi, dougi, dougi.
We eliminate the
so we want to have all vowels,
no consonants.
Wi, wi, wi, wi, wi, wi, wi.