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Nick Wyver

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When playing a B or an F# scale which fingering do you use for A#? Do you use a different one depending on whether you're going up or down? Do you use a random selection depending on how you're feeling on the day?

In case you're wondering, this was prompted by nothing other than idle curiosity.
 

Sue

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Side key ascending and bis key descending usually
 
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jbtsax

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Since those scales go from G# to A#, the best choice is the 1 2 + side IMO.
 

Vlad

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For what it's worth ,nowadays I always use 'long' fingering, ie 1 1 or 1 2 for B flat /A sharp.....as a youngster I always used the wobbly old side key, but no longer !
Seem to remember Mr Coltrane being quoted somewhere as recommending using the 'main action' fingerings if poss..( JCs theory is not why I do it btw! )
 

Colin the Bear

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I can't get on with bis. I'm a side or long man which probably stems from starting on clarinet. For me it depends where you're coming from and going to.
 

kevgermany

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Bis works well for me, but is often awkward when B and Bb are next to each other. I get confused with all the different fingerings for A#/Bb and often use the wrong one.
 

Mack

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This may be a very individual view but I tend to use the side key when playing blues stuff and bis key when playing more restrained stuff. I think the blues is more...physical...? Using the side key is a bigger motion and you can kind of lean into the note, or something? Whereas the bis key is a very small rocking of the finger. I'm not explaining this well am I...
 

Nick Wyver

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No consensus so far then. :)

I use all A#/Bb fingerings. Probably my only "rule" would be to use bis as much as possible in flat keys. In B and F# major, if just playing the scale, I generally use 1--/-2- when descending and side key when ascending.
I like to try and avoid situations where fingers have to go in opposite directions, like the normal B to C (one goes up, one comes down). Unfortunately, when going B, A#, G# it's difficult to do anything else (except for the bis fingering, pace Martin) so you have to make the best of a bad design. Recorder players no doubt sniff at this attitude - try playing a recorder in F# major - fingers all over the place.
The one thing I almost never do is roll onto the bis fingering from B. I don't care what Greg Fishman says, I find it very clumsy.
 

fibracell

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No consensus so far then. :)

I generally use 1--/-2- when descending and side key when ascending.
I
The one thing I almost never do is roll onto the bis fingering from B. I don't care what Greg Fishman says, I find it very clumsy.

Nick - if you use side ascending then why not use side descending?

I sometimes roll of Bis to B, but can't roll down - my finger gets stuck. And if you roll Bis then some things are really awkward - like C - B - C - Bb -C (repeat sequence)

Another point - you can use side Bb for grace notes Bb to A, and use 1 - 1 for grace notes Bb to B, as in many smooth jazz styles.
 

kevgermany

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The one thing I almost never do is roll onto the bis fingering from B. I don't care what Greg Fishman says, I find it very clumsy.

Maybe it depends on the sax design - it works well for me, mostly. But I slide, not roll.
 

Jeanette

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You need to play some orchestral music, which is often in G or D, so on an Eb instrument you can enjoy 4 or 5 #s playing in E or B :D One fewer for Bb


Would have to get the sop then :)

Jx
 

Chris

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Seeing how I only play jazz ballads and they are always in a flat key I never play A#>:)

I know there had to one smart a***:rofl:






But for Bb any of the fingerings depending on context.:confused:
 

jbtsax

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This may come across as "pedantic", but the most logical use of each of the Bb fingerings (and other alternate fingerings) can be found in Larry Teal's The Art of Saxophone Playing. As far as remembering which one to use in a difficult technical passage in a piece I am preparing, I always pencil it in above the note so that I use the same fingering every time and develop a pattern.

As far as always using the bis for everything, I'll have a contest with anyone using that method trilling from B to Bb. Any takers. :)
 

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