Starting Out Question


New Member
i have been keen to play the sax and at my stage of life with the kids grown up i have more time, i have lost the little finger on my right hand and was hopeing this would not stop me from playing the sax,is there any way round it or will have to look for something else, any advice would be great, thanks
Griff of this board might possibly be able to help as he modified a recorder by producing a special key for a friend with a similar problem.
Good guy and very helpful.
Without the right little finger you will not be able to play any notes below E (in the lower register) with the exception of D. This is not ideal but is not the end of the world because these notes are all available in the higher registers.
The only other note you will not be able to play is Eb in the mid register. This is more of a problem. Some notes have alternative fingerings but I have never heard of one for this note. Maybe other readers can suggest some? An advanced player could probably bend down from the E or up from the D to achieve this but it wouldn't be ideal either.

I could speculate but I suggest that you track down Stephen Howard on this forum. He is a player, instrument technician and author of the Haynes Saxophone Manual. It may well be that it is possible to have a specially adapted sax made for you.

Someone posted a picture on this forum a few weeks ago of a one handed saxophone which apparently never went into production but it just shows what is possible.

Seems to me that you don't have a show stopper here just a issue that can be dealt with if you stick at it - and that's what sax players are good at :)

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The "mid" D, E and Eb can be played with the palm keys without octave key. So D3, Eb3 and E3 palm keys without octave key. The tones comes out even better this way on some saxes.

Maybe the low Eb and C can be run with right thumb? I think some low A baris has this arrangments!

Ok so that solves the mid range and you are right, Baritones use a thumb 'lever' to operate the low A so maybe an adaptation is possible.
i have seen 'one handed' horns so without a doubt it can be done. You need a talented open minded tech who likes a challenge. Best of luck. We would be proud to have you along.
Check out Roland Kirk. He used to play 2 saxes at the same time. Obviously he used his RH on one sax and his LH on the other.
Don't think you'd have much of a problem and if you bought wisely you could sell at the same price. Maybe an idea to hire one for a couple of months.
And as for not being able to play the mid-reg Eb - PLAY ANOTHER NOTE FROM THE CHORD (it's called jazz improvisation). Simples!
Give it a go - and best of luck. You have something precious in your favour - TIME.
And post your experience as I would love to hear how you got on.
Hi Yorkie

Just for clarification - have you lost all 3 joints of it? That's the implication of your original post, but if not there may be other options open to you.


I wonder if a couple of extension levers coming out under the knuckle would do the trick, need to rock the hand to get C & Eb, but could work well - a bit like more protruding versions of the LH palm keys. Even better if they clip on/off for putting the sax in the case...
starting out

thanks very much for the replies,
i have lost the whole of my little finger nothing left, i have managed to play guitar being left handed i have learnt to play the other way round with my right picking and my left fretting the notes.
Hopefullly i can find a way round it and learn the sax either by adaption of the sax or playing different notes.
A miss spent youth riding motorcycles cost me the little finger,anyway thanks again i think the best is to hire a sax and see how i get on.
If I remember right I've read about a modification on th Eb, lowD and lowC keys. The problem I can't recall if it was in a magazine, a book or just copy .... . I can't find the article. A modern sax like Yamaha or Jupiter was rebuilt. (You can order new keys! Good to play a common sax.) They made a cluster for Eb,D and C. They built/used something like the system that Buffet Crampon used on thier S1 models. All three keys was run buy RH ring finger. The pearl on the D key cup was removed and a new touch was soldered on the downside of the keycup. The Eb and C keys was extended so all three touches was close together. If you pushed the C touch the D key went down as well.

If I find the article I sent it to you. I keep searching ....


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