Re: How to create lighter fingers on clarinet
Posted by Thoughts on 9/7/2018, 2:58 pm, in reply to "How to create lighter fingers on clarinet"
I find clarinet is one of the most difficult woodwinds to have a light touch on, both for the strength required to hold the instrument through the right hand, and the necessity to cover holes correctly. If she doesn't have a neck strap, try for that, to at least ease the strain on the right hand. |
"Hot potato" drills might work; think a remington or chromatic exercise that flicks between a stable long tone, and a very short target note. Ex: Whole note G-----(sixteenth or shorter F#) whole note G. Middle note changes chromatically, aiming for speed and accuracy. This can evolve to metered trilling, swapping between two notes in eight notes, tripalets, sixteenths, and so on.
The tendency with technique is to focus on the downward motion of the finger, when the upward motion is absolutely equally important, and more difficult to train. How far do the fingers come off the keys? Do they fly into the air, expending extra energy to flex the fingers away from the instrument, or do they simply release tension? Think about pulling a cork out of a wine bottle; all the tension is gone the second the cork releases. In the instant of lifting a finger, a good amount of force should be applied over a VERY short distance, creating a fast action that doesn't travel far. If the fingers are closer to the instrument, accuracy increases, and the available applicable force decreases. You can't hit as hard from a shorter distance.
Have her hold out a C below the staff. Can you lift her fingers off the keys easily? Same for C in the staff. Do her fingers release tension without a fight?
Hope this helps!
I have a clarinet player who plays very rough. It's to the point where, at times, her fingers hit the keys so hard it causes her mouthpiece to slightly shift and squeak. She has made the All-State band once before, and we are trying to refine her weaknesses, this being the main one.
How can I make her fingers lighter and more delicate?
Any help is appreciated.