First space F#/Gb. Beginners are often taught to play this note in a chromatic scale with thumb and bottom 2 trills keys. I suggest that teachers teach the standard fingering of left hand index finger instead. Have students use it all the time, even in the chromatic scale. In actual music it almost always is the preferred fingering for F#/Gb. Learning to “flip” between thumb F and index F# is an important technique for all clarinetists.
I was taught to introduce alternate fingerings early and often – and I agree. However, I would make it clear to the students that the basic (or guide) fingering is index finger. FYI, the great Robert Marcellus said in an interview, “…the two side trill keys are not chromatic ‘F#’ like a lot of people play. The chromatic of “F#” is just the index finger in the left hand.”
First line Eb/D# (also Bb/A# second space above the staff). Beginners are often taught to play this note with the left hand fork key (also called the “sliver” or “banana” key). Teachers should consider having the students use the usual fingering of the top two fingers of left hand with right bottom side key. And, as above, I would suggest this fingering also in the chromatic scale. Again, this fingering is almost always the preferred fingering in actual music. Further, the left hand fork key is very difficult to use if a student’s fingers aren’t slender. FYI, one of my teachers told me a story about pro clarinetist who disliked the left hand fork key so much he had it taken off the clarinet and its hole plugged up!
I want to restate that I think alternate fingerings should be introduced early and often. The more fingerings a clarinetist knows, the better he/she can solve technical problems in music. However, I’ve seen too many young clarinetists who don’t know the usual fingerings. This obviously hinders good technique.
ClarinetMike says, “Teach good fingerings.”