SYOS

Fast high Bb problem

Andrew T

New Member
Messages
16
Location
Ootacamund, S.India
I've been playing alto sax for two months now, and have had no lessons (although I've got a music degree and play piano, french horn, trumpet, and recorder as well). I've been playing through Graham Lyons Compositions for Alto Sax, which is a great book. There's one piece I'm having difficulty with though, Dancing in the Rain, last six bars.

For those of you who don't have the book, it contains two very top Ds (two octaves above middle C), then C, then Bb, all in the same register going down, all staccato. This pattern has to be repeated four times. I hope I've explained that well.

However much I practice it, I can't get my fingers round it as it goes quite fast. My son (who also plays alto and has had lessons) and I have talked about alternative fingering - there are three different ways of playing that Bb, but none of them seem that satisfactory for fast playing.

Is this just something I'll have to practice over and over, with fingering of my preference (I prefer playing the Bb with octave key (obviously) and first finger left hand and first finger on right hand for this bit). Or is there another way to get round this tricky pattern? perhaps there are alternative fingerings for the other notes I haven't discovered yet.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks.
 

Pete Thomas

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This is quite tricky, I would probably use the button Bb (bis key), or makbe the side Bb (A fingering + side Bb key), but not the long Bb fingering ( L1 R1) that you suggest,
 
OP
Andrew T

Andrew T

New Member
Messages
16
Location
Ootacamund, S.India
This is quite tricky, I would probably use the button Bb (bis key), or makbe the side Bb (A fingering + side Bb key), but not the long Bb fingering ( L1 R1) that you suggest,
Thanks for your help.

Sorry, but by "button Bb (bis key)", do you mean the little Bb key which is between Left hand 1 & 2 fingers? I tried that, and that seemed the hardest, as you have to move the left hand second finger from the C to the Bb button so quickly that it wasn't smooth, or is there another way of doing that? I did try putting my third finger on the C key just for this bit, so my second was free for the Bb, but this was all too confusing in a fast passage (fast for me anyway).

I'll practice the A fingering with side Bb key, see if that helps.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
12,656
Location
McLean, Virginia
Thanks for your help.

Sorry, but by "button Bb (bis key)", do you mean the little Bb key which is between Left hand 1 & 2 fingers? I tried that, and that seemed the hardest, as you have to move the left hand second finger from the C to the Bb button so quickly that it wasn't smooth, or is there another way of doing that?
Yes, you just use your 1st finger to cover both the B key and the little bis key.
 
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Andrew T

Andrew T

New Member
Messages
16
Location
Ootacamund, S.India
Ah, that's how you do it. Now why didn't I think of using one finger for two keys - probably because it'll never happen on a trumpet/french horn!

Anyhow, it's all much easier now. Many thanks.
 
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