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Palm key issue w/ King alto

skydawg

New Member
Messages
8
Hi all,I have a King Zephyr Special alto that plays very flat w/ the palm keys, middle register,Eb,E and F.With the octave button,these are in tune an octave higher.Is it me or could there be a mechanical issue with the horn? Thanks.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,105
You're using the palm keys in the middle register (i.e. without the octave key)?
If so, there's your answer. There's a reason why we call these keys the top D, Eb and F keys.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,304
Charlie parker was known to use Eb palm key in middle register (without octave key) to play D. Handy for a trill or difficult phrase. Otherwise...use a fingering chart. ;) Isn't it great to find out the horn is fine and it's you who's not sharp. :happybunny:
 

skydawg

New Member
Messages
8
My bad...although the fingering chart from Better Sax does not show the octave key being used for palm keys D,Eb and F,nor does it refer to them as top keys.
 

skydawg

New Member
Messages
8
Aha!!!Thank you Halfers. So even modern altos can`t play those notes in tune w/out the octave key?It seems like it could be a useful sequence in the middle register.
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
Subscriber
Messages
2,263
Aha!!!Thank you Halfers. So even modern altos can`t play those notes in tune w/out the octave key?It seems like it could be a useful sequence in the middle register.

I can certainly use the Palm D without Octave and it's in good tune. Useful for a quick jump to D then back to the first register. It has its place.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
6,354
I sometimes use palm D in addition to the usual fingering to brighten the tone of the stuffy middle D on my tenor. (i.e. lh 123, rh 123, octave key, plus palm D.). But it makes the D even sharper than normal.
I also sometimes use palm D and palm Eb as trill keys to get to D from C# or C.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,987
You can actually get away with this on some horns...usually Tenors (playing lower register with palm keys). Some are made such that they will not intone badly there....but I am talking maybe 20% of 'em. Altos much less likely.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,103
Acoustically the farther away the octave vent is from a note's "ideal" octave vent location, the sharper the note becomes when the octave vent is opened. According to Gary Scavone, the neck octave vent is in the "ideal" location for the note B, hence the notes A and C# two half steps away are typically sharp. As we go to the "shorter tube" notes played with the palm keys that are farther away, opening the octave vent makes them extremely sharp. This is why the toneholes for these notes are put in a location that produces notes that are very flat when played in the lower octave so to be closer in tune when the pitch is raised by opening the neck octave vent.
 
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