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Does anyone know how I can smoothly go from a low F to a low Eb easily? I am using a Bb Bass Clarinet and I have small hands and I have trouble reaching the low keys for my right pinky. Everytime I try to do it I end up missing the Eb. Any suggestions at all are greatly appreciated.
I have been playing for about a year and a half. When switching the bottom notes I can't reach the last key without moving my hand entirely and I end up lifting my other fingers and it messes up the sound.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Doesn't look like the Yamaha 221 has a left Eb key. I don't know if OP has a YCL-221, but that's a rather common student bass clarinet. I checked a couple other makes and they didn't have them, either. My bass clarinet playing days are far behind me, but I thought my student horns had one. Guess I'm confusing bass and contrabass in my mind.

A standard clarinet has left pinky keys like ...


The alternate Eb key would be on top of the of the other keys and in the middle, like ...


Yes, these are regular Bb soprano clarinets. I couldn't find a pic of the left pinky keys on a bass. Well, after 2 min of searching.

Anyhow, if you don't have the alternate key, a) Talk with your instructor. You might be holding the horn wrong and/or he might have some better ideas. b) You might want to talk with a repairman to see if either an alternate key can be fitted or if the existing low Eb can have an extension or something added to make it easier to hit.


College Student who likes wind instruments & music
^ I agree with what Pete said to do, but I think the key in question is low E flat, not the left hand alternate key like you thought it might be - an Eb with that won't exactly be low! =P
I can take a photo of both later today of my bass, if any of you want!
My Selmer has both types of Eb key, but I don't know of any student level instruments with one, just a lot with low Eb. My first bass had neither, though - same 17 keys as a soprano clarinet, only with plateaux keys!
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