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My Octave Key wont work when... (alto)


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Hello guys,

I am really really new to saxophone - and I just realised when i press the 3rd key ( i think that is what it is called - the lowest one you press when playing G) the octave key doesn't work. it works perfectly fine until i press that key.

when i press the octave key while pressing the 3rd key the stuff moves but it wont push the part on the other section where the mouth piece is.

please help - can i fix this my self?
first off i am sorry i did just make a post about this - but i had one more question
first of in case you didn't see the other on when i play the 3rd key the part at the top doesn't open when i press the octave key.

i am since realised that instead of that opening instead it opens a different whole on the main part of the body - is it meant to do this? it doesn't apear to make any sound differences
Yes it is. It's basically an accoustic compromise. Ideally there should be an octave hole for each note but that would obviously be impractccal to build and use, so we make do with two, with a clever (but delicate) mechanism to switch from one to the other.
i may have just been really dumb - i now realise that when i press the 3rd key the whole on the crook doesn't open but a different one opens on the main part of the body. is that meant to happen???

Yes - that is what is meant to happen. There are two octave holes on your saxophone - one on the crook and one on the body. The octave mechanism switches automatically from one to the other.
Well, well, I ever! The things you can learn on here about the octave key.
Thank you for your enlightening presence here @Souscubus; most welcome.

@saxendd @octavius
Well, well, I ever! The things you can learn on here about the octave key.

I think the early saxophones had two keys to press and the player had to switch between them.

My bassoon has 4 octave keys and there is no automatic switching - I have to move my thumb up and down from one to the other.

Here's a picture of the left-hand thumb keys on a bassoon. The octave keys are on the right. The ones on the left correspond more or less to the pinky keys on a saxophone (low notes).
Bassoon 1.JPG
This is how Joe Wolfe describes it on the UNSW Acoustics Website:

Just in case you haven't noticed on your own saxophone, the octave key is automated: one key opens one or other of two register holes, according to whether or not the third finger of the left hand is depressed. So the upper register hole (right at the top near the mouthpiece) opens for notes above G#5, whereas from D5 to G#5 the lower hole is used. This is an example of a mechanical logic gate, which is well worth examining closely. The octave keys on oboes are only partly automated and on bassoons---trust me, you don't want to know.

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