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Eb to C transition

zebrafoot

Member
Messages
63
Hello. I've got a small issue with my BW tenor with the Eb/C keys - basically when I depress the Eb "roller key" (dunno what the proper name for this is), it is so low compared to the adjacent C key that I find it difficult to make a smooth transition to C. Is this normal? The keys appear level when raised, so I don't think anything's got bent. It makes legato passages including an Eb to C move difficult to play nicely.

Pete
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,002
If the keys have adjustable felt bumpers, you can try lowering the open keyheights of both keys slightly by turning the adjustable screws containing the felts. This will reduce the travel of the Eb roller and also lower the position of the C roller in its starting position. Be careful not to go so far as to make the Eb and D (which vents out of the C tonehole) sound stuffy. Sometimes it involves a compromise between ergonomics and tone quality to find the spot you are most comfortable with. Keeping the RH little finger curved helps as well.
 

spike

Old Indian
Messages
2,254
Hi Zebra, I used to have the same problem,
jbt's suggestion would help but I prefer to keep my Eb and C pads fairly open as they can get a bit stuffy when you lower the pad heights.
My solution was to have my tech to simply raise the key on the Eb just slightly higher than the C key so it doesn't depress so far making it easier to roll down to the C - and then rolling back up is no problem as yer just dragging the pinky up over the rollers. I got my tech to do it with his blowtorch as my messing around and bending was a bit hit and miss and probly not healthy for the horn.
I've only had this done on my tenor, as alto and sop have never posed a problem.
I've often wondered about sax keyboard design - let's face it we've all got different size hands and fingers and the action from horn maker to horn maker can be very different.
gruss - spike
 

zebrafoot

Member
Messages
63
Thanks both for your helpful suggestions. I'll have had the sax about a year in October, so I may take it to the local tech guy (Allegro Oxford) a bit early so that I can discuss it with him. I also have a bit of a noisy key issue, so perhaps he could look at that at the same time.

Pete
 
Saxholder Pro

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