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Beginner Low A?

lennieh

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I just bought a Bb Real Book, and some of the tunes in there feature a low A, i.e. an A below the bottom Bb? How do you do that? By bending the Bb down? Or can you blow the lowest A on a sax in such a way that it sounds an octave lower ( I can certainly make notes sound an octave higher than they should by overblowing??
 

rhysonsax

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That is probably aimed at trumpets (also in Bb and on the treble clef). Play it up the octave, or play the whole phrase up the octave.

The range of tenor sax goes down to a written low Bb (except for some special horns adapted with longer bells).

You can get close to a low A on tenor by shoving your left knee into the bell of the horn or use the bottom of a passing audience member in the same way (honest) or roll up a magazine, shove it in the bell and extend the tube length.

Rhys
 

jbtsax

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My old teacher used to say, "take it up an octave and leave it out". :) Seriously, Ryse has the best advice. Take that section of the tune up an octave. Oftentimes it adds interest to the melody to use both registers of the sax. Other choices would be to "ghost" that note, or to play a substitute note that fits in the chord that is in the range of your instrument
 

Colin the Bear

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Take up baritone or clarinet. I've seen a low A alto too but can't remember where. Was it a Selmer?
 

Colin the Bear

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I've only seen a picture of one. The low a on bari is quite useful but I suppose the look is more important for the alto.
 

Reed Warbler

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Marciac, France
I'd love a low A on my tenor, much more useful than Bb when playing with guitarists. Perversly, some bass guitars go up to high Eb concert when a semitone higher would be more apt for rock and blues. Have you complained to Real Books?
 

Reed Warbler

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Marciac, France
Which Bb instruments can play low written A apart from clarinets? It's a pretty dull note on a trumpet.
 

Nick Wyver

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You've just about covered it there if you add in any other brass instrument that reads in Bb.
 

Nick Wyver

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No, you're probably right. But quite a few trombone players who read Bb.
 

rhysonsax

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Which Bb instruments can play low written A apart from clarinets? It's a pretty dull note on a trumpet.

But most people wouldn't write above a high B or C for the trumpet, so Real Books end up being a compromise at the low end and the high end, if they are written with trumpet and tenor sax in mind. I think that clarinet has a wide enough range not to have problems.

Rhys
 

Reed Warbler

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Marciac, France
No, you're probably right. But quite a few trombone players who read Bb.
Not in my experience, it's a concert instrument written in treble, tenor or bass clef. Brass band trombonists call Bb C, jazzers usually dont.
 

Colin the Bear

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For trad jazz Bb is called No1 key. They hold fingers up for the key. Two fingers down , 2 flats 3 fingers down Eb etc.

I overheard at the last session the trumpet player talking to the pianist.

" Is this in D or are you mad at me?"
 

Reed Warbler

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617
Locality
Marciac, France
For trad jazz Bb is called No1 key. They hold fingers up for the key. Two fingers down , 2 flats 3 fingers down Eb etc.

I overheard at the last session the trumpet player talking to the pianist.

" Is this in D or are you mad at me?"
Fran Black, a former bassist with Ivy Benson, told me that a pianist had indicated Ab and another musician asked "someone lost a cow?"
 

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