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Beginner Playing D in upper register


Havant, Hampshire
When Playing D in upper register?(octave key down)-coming from C. I am having trouble holding my YAS 275 still, whilst applying the small amount of pressure on LP3 to open it, then going back to upper C.(The bell/my right arm, wants to drift to my right hand side)
I have managed to play it a couple of times following scales, but it feels very uncomfortable and to do at any sort of speed above 88beats/min is(at the moment) impossible.
Is this just lack of practice?
I find if I continue to hold the C key down, that gives me the small amount of leverage required, but then it comes out D flat:(
I am not sure if I have made it clear what is happening or not. It seems that the sax should have a small handle to hold it still.

I assume upper register is the correct term?

Haven't tried it on tenor yet!!
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I think it's primarily just a matter of practise. I do not know of any tricks or ways around this. I remember having similar thoughts in my early days of playing and it certainly is a learning curve going up into those side valves and the horn tends to turn at first until you get used to it.
If your strap is adjusted correctly the horn should just sit comfortably and there shouldn't be a need to apply much pressure - thus the horn shouldn't turn.
maybe you can think about whether you are gripping too hard or if you could take a little more weight on your right thumb to help stabilise it or maybe push away slightly with your left thumb.
I also think it's just practice. Try going really slowly from C to D and anlyse what you're doing. You'll probably find you're grabbing or tense as you've got to push 7 fingers and a thumb down at once. Try the same from C# (all fingers off). May be it's the way you're opening the octave key, this tends to unbalance me if I don't do it from the thumb joint.
Yes, practice probably and the slightly downwards suggestion from Geoff. It may be that most of us counteract any sideways movement by subconscious pressure back on the right thumb rest. After all the sax should be held fairly steady by the thumb rest, sling and the end in your mouth.

Those notes are often called C3 and D3 for the sax.

There doesn't seem to be a definitive name for the side palm keys. The chart in the Associated Board book of scales calls them LSK1,2 &3 (with the D being LSK1), although the text calls them left palm keys, while the chart in the Guest Spot books and in another book that I have calls the D key 3L!

Many Thanks for all the replies.
It does feel awkward, but I ran( walked slowly;}) through a scale at 90 beats, and it was better and in tune(ish). As has been said, it seems altering the balance slightly and using the thumb hook a bit more together with practise, will, eventually, do the trick.
I suppose holding a pint glass was awkward when I was 18years old, but look at me now.
Still fall over after 20 pints, but practice, practice, practice.:):)))
All the LH palm keys are a bit fiddly so for that matter is moving around the low Bb, B, C#, C, Eb keys quickly - just try playing Bb major or Db major quickly!

My teacher has suggested playing some exercises especially with moving from upper C and C# through to F# using the palm keys. It is getting easier the more I practice. They key as always seems to start very slow using a metronome and gradually speed up.

Also returning to kevgermany's comments about moving from c# (no keys down) to D 6 keys plus OK. Again it's just practice, practice, practice.

Similar threads... or are they? Maybe not but they could be worth reading anyway 😀

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