How to make a bad fingering chart

The fingering diagrams I’ve provided in the Fingering diagram builder came into existence gradually over the last several years. As part of the process of developing them, I’ve looked at a great many fingering charts.

I’d like to share a few of the most horrifying examples, and tell you why I’ve tried to make mine the opposite of these. I’m not naming names on the sources, but many of them are well-known and recognizable. Many come from players and pedagogues who I deeply respect for reasons other than their fingering-chart-making skill. (Please don’t identify them in the comments. I’ll edit you if you do.)

Case study no. 1

Here’s a partial saxophone fingering chart from my collection:

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Fingering diagram builder, version 0.2

Two months ago I introduced the Fingering diagram builder, something that I hoped people would find useful for quickly and easily creating fingering diagrams for woodwind instruments. Since then, something over 1,000 fingering diagrams have been downloaded, which I think is a nice start.

Many of those have been saxophone fingerings, and I attribute this to some kind mentions among the saxophone-blogger community (thanks Doron, Eric, David, Neal, Alistair, and Anton!).

Now I’m pleased to announce the new-and-of-course-improved version 0.2. Go take it for a spin, or read on about the new goodies:

Continue reading “Fingering diagram builder, version 0.2”

Introducing the Fingering diagram builder

I’m pleased to present something I’ve been working on, on and off, for a while now. I’m pretty excited about it, and I hope you will check it out and let me know what you think.

This project developed from my own need to quickly and easily create fingering diagrams for the woodwind instruments that I play and teach. Frequently I find myself scribbling saxophone altissimo fingerings onto a scrap of paper during a private lesson, cutting-and-pasting at the photocopier to put together simplified charts for a woodwind methods class, or penciling cryptic markings into musical scores to remind myself which pinky finger to use.

And so, I’m pleased to introduce the Fingering diagram builder. I hope you’ll take it for a spin. Continue reading “Introducing the Fingering diagram builder”