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Bb fingering

Discussion in 'Playing' started by Nick Cook, May 1, 2009.

  1. Nick Cook

    Nick Cook Member

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    I've got my grade 3 Jazz book and decided to try 'Blue Train' the other day, but was having a lot of trouble going from Bb to C using the lower palm key with the right hand (for the Bb).

    Last night I tried the alternate Bb fingering with the Biz key, and that was much easier getting to the C afterwards.

    My question is: Can I keep my finger on the Biz key all the time (apart from C)? I seem to recall my teacher telling me that was the case when she was trying to get me to use that fingering some time ago.
  2. half diminished

    half diminished Senior Member

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    It's a good question. Check out The Art of Saxophone Playing (Larry Teal) and I am sure there will be other books that talk about/explain alternate fingering and when you can leave keys down. You should also experiment and see for yourself.

    For example - G# to low Bb - you can use the Bb LH pinky to play G# rather than the G# pinky which makes a difficult maneuver rather easier.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2009
  3. SLoB

    SLoB Member

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    There are various fingerings for Bb. There is no right or wrong answer - merely what suits you best.

    Look at the context of the note in the piece and see what other notes are before or after it, as this helps to inform what fingering might be most appropriate. In some pieces you will use the Bis key in one bar/phrase and the standard fingering in the next.

    If a piece involves lots of Bb and using the Bis key seems appropriate there is nothing wrong in keeping your finger on it instead of putting your finger back to the B key.

    The nicest sounding Bb is with the standard fingering and it is often said that you should try to use standard fingering whenever you can - these alternatives are alternatives for a reason. The standard fingerings tend to fit most situations.

    However, experiment - that's what makes it fun. :)

    Stephen
  4. littleplum

    littleplum Member

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    Bb's

    The Tune a day book (modern Version) gives the fingering for Bb as the A keys plus the right hand palm key, then further down the page tells you about the Bis key as the alternative fingering. It then goes on to state that the Bis key is the most used! (should this not make the Bis the standard?)

    Have you tried using the bis key and then using the middle right hand palm key to get from Bb to C (you don't need to remove the Bis)

    It is all about what note appear before and after the Bb that dictates which version you should use.

    Regards

    Dave
  5. AlanU

    AlanU Member

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    What's wrong with fingering Bb using the right hand key, then lift your right index finger from the B key, thus sounding C without moving the right hand?
    You can then trill Bb to C moving just your left index finger on the B key.

    Some might say it's cheating, but it works!
  6. AlanB

    AlanB Member

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    Since starting to play I have dogmatically stuck to the A+RHPK for Bb/A# for some reason. In many cases it is not the most ideal or fastest fingering. I still practice all scales with this fingering, although must change this soon.
    But recently I have been playing a couple of tunes actually in the key of Bb and find that I have started to prefer the L1+R1 fingering. In the key of Bb the 3rd is a D and the 5th is an F. Using L1+R1 makes it very easy to move between 1, 3 & 5.

    This is a bit of a revelation for me (epiphany?) and I shall try and explore alternative fingerings from now on.

    As a matter of interest does any one here force themselves to practice all the scales using the different fingerings (when Bb/A# occurs) or do most generally only use the most suitable one for the notes either side, or do others only use one fingering? Getting used to Bis is the hardest and least intuitive (natural) for me.
    Al
  7. O.C.V.

    O.C.V. Member

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    alternate Bb fingering

    If you have a look at Kellie Santin's Creative Saxophone Workbook she gives exercises and scales using alternate fingerings for Bb,C, F#, high F and high E.
    In general I use side Bb, but quite often long 1-4 or long 1-5 are useful. I rarely seem to use the bis Bb, just my personal preference.
    Cheers
    O.C.V.
  8. Nick Cook

    Nick Cook Member

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    Actually - I told a big, fat lie in my original post. :blush:

    It was going from Bb to D with the octave key that I was having problems. I would probably have been ok going to C from the right hand palm key Bb!!
  9. AlanB

    AlanB Member

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    Nick,
    This is what I have to do in "Pick Up The Pieces". Rapid movement from Bb to D(OK). I find that the L1R1 finger works very well for this. I think this is the long 1-4 O.C.V. refers to.
    Al
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2009
  10. Nick Cook

    Nick Cook Member

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    Thanks Alan - I'll try that tonight!
  11. AlanU

    AlanU Member

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    I agree with Alan.
    Isn't that nice, when Alans agree.
  12. Justin Chune

    Justin Chune Senior Member

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    I agree with Alan as well.

    Jim.
  13. Lodger

    Lodger Member

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    Pedants' corner

    For someone of my generation, unless of course you are American, "alternate" (verb or adjective) is used to describe movement back and forth between two states. In this thread I would refer to "alternative" fingerings.

    Sorry - I can't help it.:(
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2009
  14. Nick Cook

    Nick Cook Member

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    You are, of course, right Lodger. And it's the sort of thing I usually pick up on.

    My pet hates are loose for lose, your/you're and they're/their/there.

    >:)
  15. half diminished

    half diminished Senior Member

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    • Well my friend was like, hello........
    • That was random - applied randomly to things which are ironically NOT random!
    • Gotten
    • Anything that John Prescott says
    • "I'm good" in response to the question "How are you"

    I hate em all!:mad:

    I work for a UK software company and my pet hate is the way American English is affecting us. Apparently, if we use words like 'labour' 'colour' 'organise' they think we cannot spell and so our website and literature is all going to change!

    Even on this forum the spell check underlines them too!
  16. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Chief of Stuff Cafe Moderator

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    As with this type of fingering:
  17. Nick Cook

    Nick Cook Member

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    Our company went through a similar exercise recently whereby we had to Americanise all our manuals and messages!!!
  18. Lodger

    Lodger Member

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one that worries about these things....

    Thanks, Pete, for your (yore? you're? yaw?) excellent example of the English uses of alternate and alternative.

    While typing the above, I wondered if anyone else had heard the longest (4) collection of homonyms that I know:

    If you want to say something like "OK, maker of things, jot down on paper the word for ceremonial or religious act", you can just say "Right, wright, write 'rite'". (Not that I can ever imagine needing to.:) )

    I'm afraid this has wandered a long way from Bb fingering.:(
  19. Nick Cook

    Nick Cook Member

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    Is that alternate fingering or alternative fingering!!! :w00t:
  20. old git

    old git Tremendous Bore

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    Much as I favour 'ess' rather than 'zed' in the 'ise' words, the problem is that the Americans use English spellings from earlier times, which makes us the deviants. ;} ;}
  21. Young Col

    Young Col Well-Known Member

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    The ABRSM book (and my teacher) gives the Bb using the RH side key as the primary fingering, with the Bbis key method next and the RH1 and RH2 alternatives as 3rd and 4th. I find the RHSK fingering the most natural, rarely, if ever, use the Bbis key and only sometimes use the others. Again the ABRSM book suggests using all of them at some points where it could be advantageous. It's a bit like the alternative C using L1, RHSK2: I find this much more fluid when doing a downward chromatic and/or slurred run.

    Antiquated spellings ("ise or "ize") apart, we do seem to have got ourselves some awful linquistic aberrations in the cause of modernisation. As well as the examples already given by others, why does everything these days have to be on a basis (eg "on a daily basis"; what is wrong with just "daily")? Why are things tagged "obviously" when they are far from so? Why is the collection of buildings down the road now called a "train station" when it has always been pretty obvious that the only thing that could possibly run along those steel tracks and stop at the station ("railway station" if you are a pedant) could be a train? Why do the staff in restaurants and shops say to Mrs YC and me "Are you guys OK?". And this morning Angela Rippon on TV said something was happening "twenty four, seven, three hundred and sixty five". When I'd done the maths I realised she meant "all the time", by which time I had lost interest in the subject. Rant over. Must be something better to do.... go out and vandalis(z)e OG's Zimmer?

    Colin>:)
  22. AlanU

    AlanU Member

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    Young Col, Fowlers advises 'ize' in such circumstances.

    I agree with your concerns about the abuse of our beautiful language, and how it is even mangled by HM Radio4.


    Some of mine are, (here we go) are.

    'The best temperature today will be.....' Best for what, skiing, sunbathing?

    'The Army delivered essential supplies to innaccessible areas'. Not possible.

    The way people are allowed to say 'I refute that' without being made to refute it.
    Refute means disprove, which requires a reasoned argument. They say 'refute' because they think it it a classy way of saying deny.

    It happens all the time. Even weather forecasters talk of hotter and colder temperatures!

    The worst, and I think most irritating/blatant/incompent/illiterate, and just plain wrong, is where there is a news item written by a journalist, edited and then read on Radio 4, where the subject and object are confused.

    'Mr Bloggs was yesterday convicted of multiple rape at Swansea Crown Court.'

    He may have been convicted, that may have happened in the Crown Court. I don't imagine multiple rapes occured at Swansea Crown Court.

    It is just wrong, innaccurate and fodder for us who care!
    We all make mistakes in everyday speech, but when it is written, edited and then broadcast without anyone spotting the elementary errors it becomes detrimental to the accuracy with which we express ourselves.

    'The stand out player........' What is wrong with the word 'outstanding'?
    'Two times World Champion' The word is 'twice'.
    It shouldn't be difficult for professional journalists to master, then get past their sub-editors and broadcast.

    And believe or not, I'm not a pedant. I just want our wonderful language to be used correctly and to convey the meaning without ambiguity.

    Isn't that what language is for?


    Sorry, what was the question?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2009
  23. old git

    old git Tremendous Bore

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    Tom,
    I do not believe you should accept this challenge.
  24. Young Col

    Young Col Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I'll go with that. We all make lots of mistakes when speaking, but when things are scripted for broadcast there is no excuse. I learned last week that the "g" in Porgy and Bess is soft. It must be so as a BBC TV anouncer said it twice on one day last week.

    What question? :shocked:

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