How to Learn Finger Placement on a Clarinet

Learning the proper position to place each finger on the clarinet is the first step toward learning to play the clarinet. The clarinet is a complicated instrument with several possible finger combinations for each note. Getting the basic posture and finger position accurately placed will make learning to play the clarinet significantly easier. Although there are many options for fingering different notes, there is only one correct way to hold a clarinet.

Step 1 Place your left-hand thumb on the hole beneath the clarinet closest to the mouthpiece. This thumb-hole is covered for almost all notes on the clarinet.

Step 2 Place your left hand on the clarinet by placing the index finger on the first key, the middle finger on the second key and the ring finger on the third key. The pinky will be used to hit the extension keys on the side for certain notes.

Step 3 Place your right hand on the keys that begin after the part that connects the top and bottom of the clarinet. This is easy to find because there is a metal ring that wraps around the clarinet. The index finger of the right hand will go on the first key. The remaining two keys will be covered by the middle and ring fingers. The pinky can rest on the extension keys.

Using the pads of your fingers will help to completely close off the keyhole and will provide a better sound.


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