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Low Bb to Ab

Two Voices

Senior Member
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1,113
I am learning quite a complicated piece and I have to play consecutive eighth note: Low B to Ab. Anyone got any tips or suggestions about how I could roll the little finger from Low Bb up to the G# on the LH Pad. If I try this I’m hitting a bum note as the finger catches either Low B or Low C# and I can hear it. Would it be best to lift my little finger from Low Bb to Ab? I’ve tried this but it’s too slow. Practice perhaps?
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
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3,013
Hi Paul. You can play Ab/G# with any of the left hand keys, so just hold the B key down and lift the fingers of your right hand off the keys.

Jim.
 
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Two Voices

Senior Member
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1,113
:thankyou:
Hi Paul. You can play Ab/G# with any of the left hand keys, so just hold the B key down and lift the fingers of your right hand off the keys.

Jim.
Thanks Jim! I didn't know that! So I can hold the Low Bb Key to play Ab/G# once I've lifted my right fingers of the keys! Cool! Now that is quick :D
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,048
Hi Paul, basically nearly all saxes (apart from the odd vintage sax) have this mechanism where any of the left hand pinky keys operated the G#.

Its called the articulated G# mechanism.
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Hi Paul, basically nearly all saxes (apart from the odd vintage sax) have this mechanism where any of the left hand pinky keys operated the G#.

Its called the articulated G# mechanism.
Thanks Griff! Very useful to know! I can't believe that I didn't know this :shocked:
 

VirusKiller

Member
Messages
449
There are a number of such mechanisms on the sax. The one that I'm using the most since I was taught it is the Bis Bb mechanism which effectively turns the B key into a Bb key (perfect for all key sigs with flats) - you don't have to lift off the Bis key when you need to play any other note (apart from C, of course).

Having said that, I've just found that there is only a tiny difference in pitch when using Bis Bb + side C vs. B + side C, so that's a nice trick for a fast Bb to C.
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
There are a number of such mechanisms on the sax. The one that I'm using the most since I was taught it is the Bis Bb mechanism which effectively turns the B key into a Bb key (perfect for all key sigs with flats) - you don't have to lift off the Bis key when you need to play any other note (apart from C, of course).

Having said that, I've just found that there is only a tiny difference in pitch when using Bis Bb + side C vs. B + side C, so that's a nice trick for a fast Bb to C.
I'm aware of the Bis key and to be honest I don't use it as I quite often stumble when I have an accidental B in the piece. At the moment I'm playing a piece that has Bb followed by a B then a Bb then a G. In this case I find the Side Bb quick, easy and doesn't cause any break to the rhythm unlike the Bis Key.

I was taught not to play the Bis by my teacher. Having said that he is a clarinet player the plays the saxophone and if I remember correctly there isn't a Bis key on the clarinet.

Apart from Altissimo do you know of any other fingerings that I might not know?
 

VirusKiller

Member
Messages
449
My teacher was keen to show me all of the alternative fingerings in my first lesson. Unrelated, but I've been learning "Sidewinder" and use three mid-Bb fingerings (side, Bis and R1 fork) and two mid-C fingerings (Bis Bb + side, regular).

Mid C#/Db can be played either with no fingers (produces a fundamental) or using the low C#Db fingering + octave key (produces 2nd harmonic).

The following might be useful:

http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-alternative.html
http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-false-fingerings.html
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
My teacher was keen to show me all of the alternative fingerings in my first lesson. Unrelated, but I've been learning "Sidewinder" and use three mid-Bb fingerings (side, Bis and R1 fork) and two mid-C fingerings (Bis Bb + side, regular).
My teacher is reluctant to use alternative fingering so I'm trying to figure them out for myself one by one. Getting there slowly.

Mid C#/Db can be played either with no fingers (produces a fundamental) or using the low C#Db fingering + octave key (produces 2nd harmonic).
Didn't know that one - I can see that coming in handy one a piece I learnt a little while back.

Thanks Joel!
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
My teacher is reluctant to use alternative fingering...
I don't like the sound of that! Keep teaching yourself those fingerings, you will find them invaluable to play smoothly once you get onto really complicated stuff. Just my opinion of course!

Nick

P.S. Having said that, and having thought about it some more, it's wise to get the 'normal' fingerings nailed too - don't distract yourself with trying to remember which Bb you need when actually you can play pretty fast with just the regular fingering patterns. Certainly up to around grade 3/4 level! Maybe this is your teacher's philosophy...?
 
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Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
I don't like the sound of that! Keep teaching yourself those fingerings, you will find them invaluable to play smoothly once you get onto really complicated stuff. Just my opinion of course!

Nick

P.S. Having said that, and having thought about it some more, it's wise to get the 'normal' fingerings nailed too - don't distract yourself with trying to remember which Bb you need when actually you can play pretty fast with just the regular fingering patterns. Certainly up to around grade 3/4 level! Maybe this is your teacher's philosophy...?
"Don't run before you can walk" That what's I keep getting told! So I guess that might be the philosophy.

However, I have a very good memory and can remember all the standard fingers plus some alternatives I've taught myself. I practice various fingerings daily with the scales to improve speed and accuracy.

The piece that I'm playing at the moment required knowing that I can play Ab from any of the table keys as I couldn't hop from Low Bb to Ab cleanly with the official fingering.

I suppose everyone has their pace of learning or their structured way to teaching. He's pretty good though at tolerating my leaps and shooting off on tangents!
 
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