Side C plays flat when changing from the bis Bb on Alto Sax


Well-Known Member
Durham, NC, USA
When I change from Bb (bis) to C using the side-C key on my YAS62 alto sax, the C is very flat. However, when using the side-C from B, it is only slightly flat (close enough to lip up).

I tested it out and both of my tenors play well in tune when going from bis-Bb to C.

Is this something peculiar to the alto sax?
B to C using the first finger and adding the middle side key is a traditional alternate fingering. Adding the middle side key to Bis Bb is not. I am reasonably certain that the side C was never intended for that purpose. My thinking is why would anyone want to go from Bb to C using the Bis fingering in the first place, since the regular fingering for Bb (1 2 side) to C is a smoother and more natural fingering. That said, the reason the tenor C with this fingering has a higher pitch probably has to do with the added venting provided by a larger key cup that opens with the side key.
"Are they sharp with the normal fingering (B + side C) then? "

No, they're in tune.
The side C is a trill key, from the B. Iit should play in tune, it has no other purpose on the horn. If it's flat check it's opening enough, there should be no reason for it to be out of tune. Bis + side C is not an intended fingering. Don't use it. Of course it's flat, you're covering an extra tonehole. So yeah, what Jbt said.

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