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Saxophones Alto Sax and Clarinets?


Is it correct that the fingering of an Alto sax notes is the same as those on a Clarinet?
If so, which type of clarinet (Eb or Bb), or does it not matter, the fingerings are the same??

I'm assuming (hoping), that if I learn alto sax, I will be able to play Clarinet also..... or at least the fingerings will be the same. Is that right?

Any other instruments that also have the same fingerings?

Hi Fred, welcome to the forum.

What you've heard is partly true. But you'll need to learn different fingering for a clarinet. The basic fingering's the same, but as you go higher things start to change.

The fingering on all saxes is the same, except for very minor differences here and there. So for instance middle finger on the left hand gives you a C on all saxes (written). But as saxes are transposing instruments, you'll get an Eb on Eb saxes (alto/baritone) and a Bb on Bb saxes (Tenor, soprano).

Saxes are quite close to flutes in fingering, but again it changes as you go higher, but not in the same way as a clarinet.

I've deleted the duplicate of your question.
Thanks for the reply.

Are the changes difficult to master?
Is it common for sax players to also be able to do a bit on a clarinet or a flute also?

I sometimes work away from home, and I am thinking it may be useful to take a flute or a clarinet away with me, to help me learn, rather than taking the bulkier sax....

Any thoughts?

Thanks again
On a sax, the fingering is the same across 2 octaves, just press the octave key. Below the D, things are slightly different, and above top C, the same.

Flute's the same for the first couple of octaves, but has no octave key, you blow harder to get the overblown notes, much like a tin whistle.

Clarinets overblow on the 12th, not the octave, so the difference is that e.g. C plus overblow key is G an 12th higher. They also have more keys. Another thing to be aware of is that the mouthpieces are slightly different and require a slightly different position and blowing technique.

Some useful fingering charts for all woodwinds here:

It's very common for woodwind players to play more than one instrument: flute and sax, sax and clarinet, all three.... Not so good to learn all at the same time, though. It's known as doubling. And of course different instruments in the same family.
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Thanks again for the reply.
Another beginners question... kind of related.....

I've never seen a B# note before.... I guess this is related to the origin of the Sax in Bb?? or Eb?? I guess the scale is different to the C based Chromatic?

Oh - another question.... Are the fingerings for Bb and Eb clarinet the same? If they are different, which type of Clarinet is closest to that of the Alto Sax?
Which are most clarinets?? Boehm-System or Oehler-System
In 19 hundred & frozen to death, alto players were expected to double on clarinet. There were even clips in the lids of alto boxes for a clarinet :w00t:


Yup. I used to have one.

You're talking about professionals though. If you've ever tried to teach someone sax who already plays clarinet you'd know what I'm talking about.

Similar threads... or are they? Maybe not but they could be worth reading anyway 😀

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