All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians

Sheet Music Same sheet music for different sax types?

Daniel T Jones

New Member
Messages
13
Locality
Stoke on Trent
Hi,

I play alto and I'm wondering if I use a sheet music for written for soprano etc, will it still work? The fingering is the same right? I know it'll sound slightly different but will it be recognisable?

Thanks
 

Chris

Well Known
Café Supporter
Messages
3,825
Locality
Manchester,England
Hi Daniel, yes you would recognise what you are playing but it would be in a different key. Welcome to the forum btw.. Why don't you go to the "Doorbell" and say hi there..

Chris..
 

Daniel T Jones

New Member
Messages
13
Locality
Stoke on Trent
Hi Daniel, yes you would recognise what you are playing but it would be in a different key. Welcome to the forum btw.. Why don't you go to the "Doorbell" and say hi there..

Chris..

Thanks for reply.

So is this what I keep hearing about transposing then? Changing the key?
 

maxortensi

Member
Messages
69
Locality
Bologna, Italy
Well, you will recognize the melody, no doubt.
If you play by yourself and without any background music you won't probably notice any difference.
It won't work instead if you play with someone else or wit backing music, in that case you'll be completely out of tune (unless you have a way to transpose the background too)
 

maxortensi

Member
Messages
69
Locality
Bologna, Italy
Depending on what's your purpose :
do it as long as you like for your pleasure , but when you're going to perform together with other people you all have to be in the same key.
That's the reason why you'll find real books in Bb and real books in Eb with same songs but different sheets
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,912
Locality
Just north of Munich
Hmmm so basically, it's not recommended?

It's fine. It's the point of a transopsing instrument. Just be aware that, as the others have said, you'll be playing lower and in a different key to the sop. I often use tenor music for alto and bari, just for exercises.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Café Supporter
Messages
3,581
Locality
The Malverns, Worcs
Hmmm so basically, it's not recommended?

When I started playing sax, I played my daughter's violin music of straightforward Christmas Carols.
Because I knew the tunes, it meant I just had to concentrate on getting the fingers and mouth right.
As others have said, if you are just playing the notes, and not using any backing tracks and not playing with anyone else, then the music will sound just fine.
 

Kath

Member
Messages
119
Locality
South Wales
My understanding is that transposing means changing the notes from concert pitch - ie: strings, to alto pitch. I'm having a real headache with it - my hubby plays guitar and downloads music in concert pitch - which is fine for him in strings, but I have to go through every note moving them down 3 semi-tones to work out what I should play on the alto sax. Still - whoever said we don;t suffer for our art!!!
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Café Supporter
Messages
6,380
Locality
Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
As said above, if you're playing on your own, it's not an issue. If you are playing with others, or using a backing track, then you need to transpose (change key) to get it correctly aligned.

A lot of music will include both Eb and Bb parts, already transposed and in the correct keys so that everyone can play together. Many of the books with CDs such as Jamie Abersold do this. Some are a bit meaner and you have to buy the correct version.
 

maxortensi

Member
Messages
69
Locality
Bologna, Italy
Trying to play while transposing on the fly is surely beyond reach for a beginner.
If you want to play in the right key get the sheet for your instrument or transpose it and write it down (that's a pretty useful exercise)
 

jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
Locality
Helsinki, Finland
The saxophones (usually) transpose in Bb (tenor, sop) or Eb (alto, bari), so you'll be fine playing baritone parts on alto even with accompaniment - you'll just sound an octave higher. Similarly, for tenor playing soprano or Bb trumpet parts, you'll just sound an octave lower. (Of course, the trumpet's regular range goes down to F# on the 3rd ledger line below the staff, so you may run out of low notes on the sax since you can only go down to Bb below the 1st ledger line - but then again the high notes are so much easier on the sax!)
 

Daniel T Jones

New Member
Messages
13
Locality
Stoke on Trent
Trying to play while transposing on the fly is surely beyond reach for a beginner.
If you want to play in the right key get the sheet for your instrument or transpose it and write it down (that's a pretty useful exercise)

So. If i print it and write notes down, like i have. but transpose them. Will they sound like they would, if it was originally written for alto? After having changed the notes up/down keys.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,912
Locality
Just north of Munich
So. If i print it and write notes down, like i have. but transpose them. Will they sound like they would, if it was originally written for alto? After having changed the notes up/down keys.

Yes,
 

Popular Discussions

London
Paris
New York
Los Angeles
Sydney
Moscow
New Delhi
Top Bottom