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Beginner Bis key?

saxmaster

Member
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41
This is my third year playing sax and I have only recently used the bis key. My bottom side key Bb spring died so I used the bis as a more in tune replacement. However now that the spring is fixed I have no clue what it's for. I only use it now when there's passages that don't utilize the right hand keys so I have a free hand to smack the other tenors for playing too loud. ;)
Anyways what is the Bis key actually for?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,947
makes playing many passages easier. If there's a Bb in the key sig, just slide your left index down a touch, no need to play Bb as B+C+Side Bb. Other useful alternates are B+D, B+E B+F.
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
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3,904
It's for playing Bb :). I use it much more than any other fingering for Bb and many (most?) other sax players do too. Or did I misunderstand the question?
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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8,895
How I play Bb depends on notes before and after, some finger movements feel easier than others.
 

saxmaster

Member
Messages
41
Im just so used to using the bottom side key…
I think I'll try to use the bis key more to improve my technique
Thanks everyone
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
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8,003
From "The Art of Saxophone Playing" by Larry Teal

"The bis fingering requires a shift of the first finger L.H. so that the same finger closes both the 1 and the bis key. It is advantageous when the G - Bb or A - Bb interval is used, provided the Bb is not followed or preceded by a C or B natural. Avoid sliding from Bb to B natural (or vice versa) with this fingering."


I find the Bis fingering most useful while playing Eb or G minor arpeggios, a G to Bb tremollo, or a Bb to C trill using the C middle side key.
 

MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
From "The Art of Saxophone Playing" by Larry Teal



I find the Bis fingering most useful while playing Eb or G minor arpeggios, a G to Bb tremollo, or a Bb to C trill using the C middle side key.
One of these days I will read these replies and comprehend what they actually mean! :w00t:
 

dubrosa22

Senior Member
Messages
413
I'm a bit of a side-Bb freak but if a piece calls for a little bending/glissing between Bb-B-C the Bis key is the place to be.

It's good to be fluent in both (sorry, ALL!) of the Bb fingerings. :D
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,272
My 1st teacher showed me both ways but suggested using the bis key moreso (ease of use), as a result i only ever used the bis key until i changed teachers, new teacher told me to use side key. (confused) Suggesting it was the 'correct way' to play Bb (confused i am)
But i do find it easier to use side :)
 

saxmaster

Member
Messages
41
Guess I'm not as dumb as I thought :)
When we had sectionals the teacher told us about the timings of the three different Bb fingerings…
How much does the tone/tuning actually differ between side key, bis, and one-and-one?
 

muzza

Member
Messages
109
I was told experiment with both and use what works for you. I ended up mainly a side key person.

It is worth getting use to using the other alternate keys, I sometimes use side C. I read (on the web so unverified) the sound of each key fingering is slightly (personally I cannot tell this), and apparently Charlie Parker may have used different finger for this reason. Has anyone come across this.
 
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sushidushi

Mine's an espresso
Messages
651
I suspect fine differences in tuning between different fingerings vary between different saxophones and different players. I'd just use whichever is easiest to play. I had forgotten about the Bis key until this thread, so I ought to try to use it occasionally to get used to it...
 

Ivan

Undecided
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Messages
7,339
Im just so used to using the bottom side key…
I think I'll try to use the bis key more to improve my technique
Thanks everyone
I used to be a side-key-only kinda guy but with practice the Bis has become second nature when it's right, as has the RH F pad fingering for B flat (again with a bit of practice)

As said above the different fingerings fall more naturally depending on the notes before and after. There's probably no disadvantage to practicing them all to find their place
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
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3,409
I tend to use nothing but Bis B although I suspect there may be the odd exception where for some reason I started using the side B but off hand I wouldn't know where,I know I use a side key in Moon river for some reason but am not sure without checking it out if it's side B

Come to think of it I really should spend more time familiarising myself with all these various alternatives another cavernous hole in my knowledge has appeared out of nowhere I really wish you beginners would stop doing this

And Mell OH YES YOU WILL and then it will be BEHIND YOU!!!!!!
 
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aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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12,125
Working out correct fingerings to play "Joy Spring" on a Bb instrument is an excellent exercise for Side Bb/Bis.

Mordent Bb/C using the side C key on Bis is allowed...
 
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