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Saxophones My open C# is a D??

cohen990

New Member
Messages
2
I just bought a brand new alto sax from sax.co.uk (where they had a technician check it over before letting me buy it) and have been playing sax for a little while now.

My open note is a D or an E depending on how far in I push the mouthpiece.

Is it not supposed to be a C#?

This is gonna be a problem when it comes to jamming or playing along with videos so I would be grateful for any help.

Kind regards,
Dan
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Hi and welcome.

What do you mean by open? No fingers pressing keys down? - That's a written C# in a part arranged for alto sax. But the alto is a transposing instrument in Eb - so no fingers down would be an E in concert pitch.

Easiest way to remember it is that it's playing 3 semitones sharp, compared to concert pitch. But it's actually an octave lower than this.
 

cohen990

New Member
Messages
2
So I'd need to take this into account if I transpose a melody onto saxophone or when Im jamming?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
So I'd need to take this into account if I transpose a melody onto saxophone or when Im jamming?
Yes. No way around it. Most saxes are in one of two keys - Eb or Bb. Soprano, Tenor, Bass are in Bb, Alto, Baritone are in Eb.

There are some C instruments around, mainly sopranos and old C Melody's - sitting somewhere between alto and tenor.
 

Jeff Foster

New Member
Messages
5
Open C# on alto is concert E (E above middle C on the piano). If you're getting concert D you're flatter'n a fritter.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,059
Oh dear. What a time to find out the alto transposes, after you've bought it. Don't worry about it. We all have to get used to it, and you will. Don't think about it when your playing.

I assume you're using a tuner. Another thing about the saxophone is that it doesn't play in tune by itself. Use the tuner across the whole range of the instrument to find your best compromise position.
 
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