Left-hand C problems

HI, Iíve found your responses helpful.

Iím primarily a saxophone player, although clarinet was my first instrument. I was a competent high school clarinetist 30 years ago and am trying to reclaim my technique in order to join a local community orchestra. Mostly, Iím using Hiteís books on Baermann, vol III and melodious and progressive studies.

My embouchure is returning but Iím really struggling with the left hand C on my early model (1970) Selmer Series 10. At one point, I thought that the key was out of adjustment, but my repairman, who is quite good, said that it was adjusted properly.

Do you have any suggestions on the left hand C or taking the instrument up again in general?
I also see that some of the current models have an 18th key, which is a ring around the third LH finger. What does that do? JT

Hi:
The problem with the left hand C is almost surely to be one of displacement of the other fingers on the left hand when reaching for the C itself. You can determine this by looking at your playing position in a mirror when playing the left hand C both before and the moment of reaching for it. You will see your hand stretching for the C. This is when the displacement of the fingers take place, and the ensuing leakage at the displaced finger(s). I have had the same problem mainy times, and the mirror helps immeasurably.
The sax playing position and fingering position are less problematic simply because all the keys are covered. With the clarinet all of the rings are possible traps if not completely covered.
The added ring makes the playing of the Eb/Bb much simpler because all one needs to do is raise the middle finger and the note(s) are achieved. It is relatively easy to keep in adjustment. The Series 10 Selmer is a fine clarinet.
Good luck,
sf

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