Understanding The Clarinet Fingering Chart

When you start to learn the elementary notions on how to play clarinet, you must spend a great deal of time inspecting and understanding the clarinet fingering chart. Doing it regularly will allow you to memorize the clarinet notes that are usually used when playing this awesome instrument.

A clarinet trill chart can be considered your best friend, when playing the clarinet. For a beginner player is a great idea to bring one and used it in the clarinet beginners practice sessions. After a while, when you have accomplished a good level of knowledge of the fingering chart, the learning and playing scales stage of your clarinet music journey can begin.


Clarinet Music in Perspective

The invention of the clarinet is dated on the 18th century. Based on a shepherd’s instrument its main characteristic was that it had a one octave range. These days the most used systems between the varieties that has been developed, are the German and the French Boehm

Considering all the wind instruments the clarinet sound claims the amplest register and is in the same instrument group with the flute, the oboe, and the saxophone. When used in an orchestra the clarinet can take the leading role as well as the internal register of the woodwind portion, although a leading role, usually with the trumpet.is adopted when performs in music specially created for wind instruments sections.

The clarinet sound is often preferred as a solo instrument for several styles of jazz and modern music, which are attracted by the characteristic clarinet notes that release a warm timber and classical felling.

Clarinet Sound

The sound of the clarinet is one of the richest that you can find in a wind instrument, showing many textures that can be similar to a human voice, also displays alternative sounds depending on the register play utilized for the clarinet player.

Musicians can use practically all the articulation techniques when playing the clarinet, it could be a vibrato, an extremely short note, or notes played smoothly connected, according the effect intended.

Different types of clarinets

B Clarinet:The renown B♭clarinet, which with its versatility is used for secondary roles as a solo performer,being a popular choice in any group of wind instruments for a major orchestral set up.

E♭ clarinetA fourth higher pitch than the B♭clarinet make this clarinet more difficult to play and meanwhile it shows a thinner range have a sharp and bright sound which help to give a great deal of emotional  in its performances.

A clarinet:This clarinet is used for Chamber music and solo parts the A clarinet is an essential orchestral instrument. With its deep,the fingering on this A clarinet is the same as on a B♭clarinet, and the same mouth techniques are used on both instruments.

Bass clarinet

The instrument is pitched an octave lower than the B♭clarinet, and with its powerful sound in the lower registers,this instrument is pitched an octave lower than the B♭clarinet and gives the opportunity to play it softly or on a louder manner depending of the emphasis that the executioner wants to put in the piece of music.

How To Play The Clarinet

Holding the clarinet: The first step to play the clarinet properly, is to relax your shoulders and hold the instrument in a natural way.

Mouthpiece use: round your lower teeth with your bottom lip softly, setting the reed on it, placing the top of your mouth securely close it openly over the mouthpiece.

Creating The Sound: Using your right hand’s thumb, grasp the clarinet and after holding your breathe for an instant blow out straight to the mouth of the instrument.

Once you are able to hold the instrument naturally and can produce a nice sound, is time to practice your fingering skills with the help of a clarinet fingering chart. The charts show different scales for clarinet and are really useful to shorten the learning process.

Clarinet Parts


Clarinet Keys

If you have never played clarinet or maybe bassoon or oboe the key system could seems very difficult to understand and some musicians couldn’t even say the direction that the keys should go, in order to play some notes .New players just learning  the fingering do the job quite automatically without thinking too much about the system.

You must use the keys properly, closing the tone hole completely without releasing air through the holes.

We have to consider that some keys close several holes simultaneously and normally the action must be executed really fast, accurately and in both directions.

Keys musts

The air must flow easily through the full open tone holes and they have to be of the biggest existing diameter in addition to that, the key must raise a third or more of the diameter of the tone hole.

The closing and opening of the holes must be possible to be performed using the keys as quickly as possible.

 Keys Materials

A copper-based alloy known as German silver cast is normally utilized in the metal parts of the key system, and silver lead is used to solder the steel tubes to it

The most sophisticated clarinets used forged(hand forged are preferred over drop forged) keys because  are more resilient that the aforementioned cast keys.

The advantage of the use of silver lead when soldering, is that the instruments can be easily repaired.

Using electroplating baths the metal areas of the clarinet are gilded or plated using nickel and especially silver.

Some players preferred silver plated clarinets because their awesome look, but unfortunately they tend to tarnish overtime.

Even the use of nickel is common when plating clarinets, it has the disadvantage that sometimes can provoke allergies

Clarinet Pads

Silicone Pads

Nowadays silicone is a popular material for the production of pads. The fact that can be molded easily, its elasticity and that is not affected by humidity are the main reasons why is such an efficient material to be used in the confection of clarinet pads. The disadvantage is that if the key gets curved overtime, due to its rigidity the pad could not be positioned appropriately over the tone hole and failing to cap the hole. The malleability of the leather would avoid this drawback adapting itself to the pressure of the key.

The other downside of the silicone pads is that because it cannot absorb water only way for the liquid to evaporate, is doing it through the clarinet wooden parts. This can in the long run be harmful for the tone holes.

Leather Clarinet Pads

Produced of 2 identical round dishes, one as a base in the end part of it, and the other one, a stroked plate in the center, leather pads seems to be better than most of the other kinds of  them. Back in the day the artisan placed fixed a white died leather coating over the aforementioned set up.

One advantage is that they can adapt to the tone holes when faced with imperfections of the keys. Also leather pads can be detached effortlessly and are easily fixed onto the keys using hot-melt glue or the classic plain wax fixer.

The downside is that with the pass of the time the sound start to loose quality making the owner to change the pads regularly.

Other Pads

Cork pads

There are still used, like in for example the bass clarinet, and are placed in the keys that are more exposed to moisture. Thinking about pads materials cork is a great raw material but surely is going to be displaced for modern materials like silicone.

New Materials

Excluding new leather pads the majority of the last clarinet pads materials technologies, like for example silicium resonance are superior in quality sound to many of the pads that has been used until today ,but they require that the keys has to work perfectly and not bend at all.