Posts tagged “fingering selection”

November 20, 2015

Selecting alternate fingerings

When several fingerings are available for a note, how do you choose the "right" one for a situation? Here are some criteria you might use in that decision.

February 17, 2015

Making sense of third-octave flute fingerings

I recall as a beginning flutist (coming from background in saxophone) finding the third-octave fingerings to be a confusing, illogical jumble, but they do actually make some sense. There is an incorrect explanation for these fingerings that I hear every so often, and have seen published on a couple of flute-related blogs recently. It goes ...

December 15, 2014

Purposeful fingering choices

I have gotten into the habit of grilling my students about their fingering choices: “Can you tell me which fingering you used for the last note in that phrase, and why you chose it?” Often they take this (and often correctly so) as an indication that I disapprove of their choices: “Oh, I guess I ...

March 8, 2014

Misconceptions about saxophone-to-clarinet doubling

If you expect to play the clarinet decently well, you're going to have to do all the same things you did to play the saxophone decently well: obtain good quality equipment, seek out quality instruction, practice regularly and well, and listen to lots of fine playing.

November 19, 2013

Saxophone altissimo books: Raschèr vs. Rousseau

My university saxophone students are anxious to tackle the altissimo register, and it’s not at all uncommon for them to show up to their first lessons clutching the Sigurd Raschèr Top-Tones for the Saxophone book and wearing a hopeful expression. I also see the Raschèr book frequently and glibly recommended on online forums. With the greatest respect ...

June 18, 2013

Bassoon F-sharp fingerings

I recently set out to try to make sense of the handful of bassoon high F-sharp fingerings that I was aware of. As it turns out, I had no idea what I was getting into. I looked at a number of online and offline sources, and ended up with about 60 fingerings (yes, you read ...

March 29, 2013

Commonly-fudged woodwind fingerings

Beginning woodwind players, including doublers, sometimes cheat a bit on fingerings, using fingerings that are almost right. If you’re doing this, it’s likely that you have notes with poor tone, intonation, and/or response. If you think you are getting away with it, you’re probably mistaken, and you may be cementing bad habits that are going to become ...

February 25, 2013

Crossing the break on the clarinet is easy

The following is a comprehensive list of what clarinetists need to do to successfully Cross the Dreaded Break: Put the correct fingers in the correct places at the correct time. That is all. I frequently meet young clarinetists who have been taught that a successful Crossing of the Dreaded Break requires many other things, including ...

June 17, 2012

Woodwind doubling and “similar” fingerings

Some of the questions I am most frequently asked about woodwind doubling involve the similarities in fingerings between the instruments: “You play all those instruments? Well, I guess the fingerings must be pretty much the same, right?” “I play the oboe, and I would like to learn the saxophone. How close are the fingerings?” There ...

March 18, 2012

Rediscovering the clarinet’s left-hand sliver key

I think for many doublers the clarinet’s left-hand “sliver” key seems useless or problematic. For example, the sliver key is easy to press by mistake when intending to cover the middle and/or ring finger holes. And even when reaching for the sliver on purpose, it’s easy to accidentally cover part of the ring finger hole, ...
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