Technically Speaking: Fork keys

At some point, you may have looked at your clarinet and wondered, “what’s that key for?”

I know I did, and I was not afraid to explore my instrument (you shouldn’t be either).

I think the keys on the clarinet that are most neglected by young clarinetists are the “fork” keys. IMG_0457

You may have heard them called other things, like the “sliver” keys or even “banana” keys. (If you still have no idea what I’m talking about, the photo here should be of some help).

Whatever you call them, I’d like to make sure you understand when using these keys is best. I will call them the fork keys. Continue reading “Technically Speaking: Fork keys”


Technically Speaking: Pinky keys

Those pinky keys! Why do they give us so much trouble?

I have some tips for both students and teachers to help remember and/or instruct quickly and efficiently.

First and foremost: STUDENTS, Know what your clarinet sounds like and feels like. Experiment. Just wiggle your pinkies around on the keys and get used to the feel and sound of them.

Let’s start with the right hand pinky stack.Lower Pinky Stack

You should notice that this is the view similar to what you would have if you were holding the clarinet in playing position. I’ve numbered the keys for reference purposes.

Key 1: Ab/Eb
Key 2: F/C
Key 3: F#/C#
Key 4: E/B

Continue reading “Technically Speaking: Pinky keys”