Upper Register Alternate Fingering Chart for Clarinet, by Kyle Coughlin
Many of the upper register notes on the clarinet have alternate fingerings, especially the altissimo fingerings above high C. The interactive chart below shows several possible fingerings for these notes. To view the primary fingering for a pitch, point to the desired note on the staff. A box will open on the screen and let you know if there are alternate fingerings. An explanation is given for each fingering.
Keep in mind that not all fingerings sound the same and some vary in terms of pitch and tone quality. Also, no two instruments are the same, and a specific fingering might be in tune on one instrument, but be out of tune on another instrument.
A few factors should be considered when deciding which alternate fingering to use -- how well in tune the fingering is, the tone quality produced with that particular fingering, and how easily your fingers can move to it. For example, if you have a fast trill from F to F sharp in the upper register, the best fingering is the “fork” fingering which uses what is sometimes called the little “banana key” (check it out on the chart below). Even if your fork F sharp is a little bit flat, it is a better option than flip-flopping your first and second fingers for that trill.
Visit TheClarinet.net for Kyle Coughlin's new, larger, easier to read clarinet fingering chart that does not require Flash Player. The interactive fingering charts can be used on iPhones, iPads, and other portable devices. Each note includes sound and alternate fingerings.
This interactive fingering chart requires Adobe Flash Player. If you do not have it installed or if you cannot see the fingering chart, you can download it for free from Abode.
Printable fingering charts for the upper register of the clarinet are also available.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why do the notes D sharp and E flat have the exact same fingerings?
Those notes have the same fingerings because they produce the exact same pitches. Notes that have different names but sound alike are called enharmonic equivalents. The following groups of pitches are enharmonic equivalents and sound exactly the same:
F sharp = G flat
G sharp = A flat
A sharp = B flat
C sharp = D flat
D sharp = E flat
C natural = B sharp
F natural = E sharp
C flat = B natural
F flat = E natural
I think that I'm using the right fingers, but I am not sure that I'm right. How can I tell if I'm playing the correct note?
Use the fingering charts with sound for both the lower register and the upper register. Click on the desired note and see if it sounds like the note that you are playing on your clarinet.