Flapping fingers

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
I just saw myself for the first time playing at my gig i did the other day, looked ok apart from my flapping fingers, they were almost in the next county!!
Does anyone else suffer from this, better still any tips on how to improve. And before anyone says keep them closer to the keys, duh! thought of that. Thanks guys and girls, any info appreciated. Phil:sax:
 

Nick Cook

Member
Messages
862
Location
Wokingham, Berks, UK
My teacher always used to tell me my fingers were too far away from the keys. She's stopped now, but I think that's more in exasperation than because I'm doing it right now!!!
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,627
Location
Rugby UK
I think its quite important for you to overcome this problem. I feel it causes unnecessary vibration and "noise" through the horn and of course it means you have to move your fingers further, which in turn means that your finger positioning is likely to be less accurate, leading to more bum notes/squeaks as your fingers will sometimes hit next key along. When you practice, just try to play very slowly and deliberately and concentrate on keeping your fingers in constant contact with the keys.
Don't worry, it'll come with practice!
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
I just saw myself for the first time playing at my gig i did the other day, looked ok apart from my flapping fingers, they were almost in the next county!!
Does anyone else suffer from this, better still any tips on how to improve. And before anyone says keep them closer to the keys, duh! thought of that. Thanks guys and girls, any info appreciated. Phil:sax:
Phil

I guess its a similar issue for many of us. I have improved my own lot by slowing down during practice sessions and ensuring I keep my fingers close to/touching the keys. I have found that a good trick is to ensure the pinkys are touching the pinky keys all the time.

Now I am getting better and can play much faster. It used to take a lot of concentration but now I just seem to do it.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
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2,428
Location
Coulsdon, London/Surrey
I'm not offering any solutions other than practice and concentrating on not lifting your fingers too much, but I was reminded of this thread watching the Charlie Parker prog on BBC4 on Saturday. His fingers hardly seemed to move at all they were so close to the keys. Perhaps that was what his claimed 11-15 hours practice a day did for him!
 
OP
thehunt

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
since i posted this have been working on this and actually (for me ) has helped as i find i have more time, to read the music and hit the keys. still a bit wild when hitting the higher notes as i tend to push the sax away from me when all it needs is a gentle nudge to get those palm keys working.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,438
Location
Sweden
Some players place their left pinkies at bell and the right pinkies below the low C, when they are not using them. I guess to prevent flapping fingers.

I looked at a video with Ray Charles. I think the piano teachers think his "finger work" was not ok. But he sounds good!!!

Thomas
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
since i posted this have been working on this and actually (for me ) has helped as i find i have more time, to read the music and hit the keys. still a bit wild when hitting the higher notes as i tend to push the sax away from me when all it needs is a gentle nudge to get those palm keys working.
You obviously need to take account of the fact that I've not been playing that long and I'm rubbish - however, I can say that after working on this for some weeks, I have much improved my finger action and it is paying odd.

Less (movement) in this case means more (faster) for me at least. Now if only I could read music better, play in time, remeber the melodies, improvise... blah... blah:D
 

Wiredtothemoon

New Member
Messages
7
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Down, not in!

One thing that helped me a bit on the palm keys was advice I got from my teacher, when playing the palm keys, press them down (moving your hand downwards) as opposed to in (so you don't have to lift your hand out and back in again with the key).

And then there's Charlie Parker who didn't actually press any keys, just telepathically caused the instrument to play...
 

littleplum

Member
Messages
446
Location
Leicester, United Kingdom
Flying Fingers

I find with the palm keys to actually treat your thumbs as pivots on the back of the horn. This is the same as pushing the key down not in. It works well on both hands .

Glad to hear that things are improving for you.

Regards

Dave
 

deebee

New Member
Messages
9
Location
Berlin
Flapping fingers? Would you play a horn with flapping keys? Nope.
Hold your hands out in front of you, Imagine you are holding two balls (no jokes here), look at your curled fingers and the angle of your thumbs in relation to your fingers. The flat surface of your thumbs is not parallel to your fingers. This is a good relaxed way to touch the instrument. Keep contact to the keys with the pinkies - right hand pinky lightly touching the low C key, Left hand pinky lightly touching the G# key. Look in a mirror and play some familiar stuff, very slowly. You will find that when the pinkies are lightly touching the keys the other fingers just settle down. Remember: keep your fingers slightly curled.

Does this help?

David Beecroft
 

SteveK

Member
Messages
149
Location
Guildford, Surrey
Some horn section players I've played with don't seem to move at all - fingers, arms or anything. This is a real downer when you're lost count of the bars and you are relying on them to twitch a finger or two before the next up beat ;}

If you lightly touch the keys (cups, linkages etc) with fingers that are not employed in making a note you can feel the vibration of the note through your fingers. I find this creates a sense of resonance that and, strangely, helps me to 'feel' the note.
This is particularly true for the Ab (left hand fourth finger).
This is of course very hard to do in fast passages but when you are playing slow parts it can help to keep you finders in contact.

Steve
 
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