support Tutorials CDs PPT mouthpieces

Bb fingering

Nick Cook

Member
Messages
862
Location
Wokingham, Berks, UK
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.
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
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.
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:

SLoB

Member
Messages
102
Location
Bishop's Stortford
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
 

littleplum

Member
Messages
446
Location
Leicester, United Kingdom
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
 

AlanU

Member
Messages
625
Location
Enfield, North London
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!
 

AlanB

Member
Messages
170
Location
Vientiane, Laos
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
 

O.C.V.

Member
Messages
113
Location
North Lancs
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.
 
OP
Nick Cook

Nick Cook

Member
Messages
862
Location
Wokingham, Berks, UK
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!!
 

AlanB

Member
Messages
170
Location
Vientiane, Laos
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:

Lodger

Member
Messages
108
Location
Darwen, Lancashire
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:
OP
Nick Cook

Nick Cook

Member
Messages
862
Location
Wokingham, Berks, UK
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.

>:)
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
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.

>:)
  • 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!
 
OP
Nick Cook

Nick Cook

Member
Messages
862
Location
Wokingham, Berks, UK
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!
Our company went through a similar exercise recently whereby we had to Americanise all our manuals and messages!!!
 

Lodger

Member
Messages
108
Location
Darwen, Lancashire
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.:(
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
  • 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!
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. ;} ;}
 
Top Bottom