Clarinet Thumb Rest Relocation
The goal of playing any instrument is to be as natural as possible, however, many players believe the placement of the thumb rest on most clarinets is too low.
A low thumb rest can place the hand in an unnatural position, resulting in hand movement that is not only less free, but more apt to cause the player harm.
A good test to determine the natural position of your hand, and consequently reveal where the thumb rest should be, is to hang your right arm by your side. Both the arm and hand should be completely relaxed. Being careful not to move the thumb, bring your hand up to playing position. Notice how the thumb rest is much lower than the relaxed position of the thumb? Try to move the fingers in a rapid motion with the thumb in the relaxed position. Now bring the thumb down to the position of the thumb rest and move the fingers rapidly as before. Most players feel that the fingers are more awkward and less free. This can be especially true for players with large hands.
If the natural position of your thumb does not match the level of the thumb rest on your instrument, consider having the thumb rest moved. Relocating the thumb rest can make a huge difference in relaxation of the hand, and relaxed hands will greatly improve aspects of your playing.
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