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key modification

Discussion in 'Eb Soprano Clarinet' started by saxplayer1004, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. So I'm playing Eefer for the first time in years in a production of The Music Man. I love the horn, it's a great instrument, and I can play it well as far as tone goes. My problem is I have very very large hands and it's a problem to the point where they hit some of the keys. So has it been done before where the Bb and Eb trill keys have been removed? I never use the bloody things anyway, and I'm not a virtuoso clarinet player doing concerto's on the thing, just want to be able to play arpeggiations at a decent speed without hitting keys inadvertently. Anyone have these keys removed before or do you think it would be feasible? I don't have my own eefer, but if this is something that is feasible I may bite the bullet and buy one. I've got two more pits with eefer in it between now and the start of WSS so it may be worth it.
  2. Hmm... the top banana trill key is the Eb/Bb trill key, I assume you mean that one, but what other one (you say "keys")? Do you mean the lower banana trill key (B/F#)? Either way, no problem to remove them. I had a student once with such wide and fat fingers I removed the top banana key on his Bb clarinet for him. To seal the hole, just use a cork plug or similar (I would probably use rubber cork or something like that).
  3. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    You can plug the hole without removing the key (except for the plugging operation itself). So you're still aware of its presence yet inadvertedly touching it won't do any harm. And you won't lose the key should you ever want it back.
  4. both banana keys are problems, the top much moreso than the bottom one, thanks for that though, will have to devise some removable plugging system until I get my own eefer
  5. I wonder if foam earplugs would work? Roll them until the fit in the tone hole, insert, and let them expand to fill it. If it would work, 1 cut in half should fill both holes easily.
  6. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    I too have fat fingers and sometimes have to bend those pesky keys out of the way on Bb soprano to keep from hitting them. I can imagine how challenging it would be for me to play an Eb soprano.

    I haven't done so, but I would think that putting something that protrudes into the tonehole would affect the acoustics inside the clarinet and perhaps the intonation on some of the notes. I don't know if this would be noticeable enough to be a concern, but it is possible.

    I would opt for removing the keys and then covering the toneholes with a layer or two of black electrician's plastic tape. That way the hole would be sealed in the same manner as when the pad is covering the hole, and the black tape would not be very noticeable. Just a suggestion.
  7. Groovekiller

    Groovekiller Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    I have several repair customers with similar problems - arthritic hands, one guy shot himself while cleaning his gun (!) and the simple remedy is to slide a narrow piece of cork under the touchpiece of the key in question so that it can't be depressed. No alterations, problem solved.
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I played on a Charles Bay modified Vito that had the sliver keys thinned quite a bit. It's also possible to shorten the keys to little stubs that can still be used when needed, but allow finger clearance.

    As for blocking them, try using flute plugs under the key.

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator


    ...you could go the classical method, and use beeswax to plug the holes (as do I). I'd leave the keys on, so as not to get impaled on a needle spring.
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