Monday, March 25, 2013

Flick that Bassoon!

What is flicking?

Flicking is also called Venting or Speaker-key use.  It refers to the addition of certain thumb keys while playing the notes A, Bb, B, C, and D just above the bass clef staff.  This technique keeps these notes from "cracking".  It ensures a clean, quick, consistent attack.

Why do I need to learn how to flick?

You can be confident that these notes will always speak when you play them.  This will free you to be more musical and more consistent when playing music containing these pitches.  You won't need to be cautious approaching them (slurred or tongued), but can play them at any dynamic level called for with confidence and accuracy.

What are the flick fingerings?

For A, add the high-A key.  For Bb, B, and for C, add the high-C key.  For D, add the high-D key if you have one, otherwise try using the high-C key.

How do I use these flick fingerings?

Flicking can be done on staccato or tongued notes, as well as notes that are slurred. The flick key needs to be depressed at the exact same time that you tongue and finger the note you are playing.  You can either hold the flick key down or release it right away (in other words, you can just "flick" the key which is why it is called flicking).  Holding down the flick key may change the timbre and pitch of the note slightly.  Experiment with both ways and find what works best for you.

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