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Transposing bflat to Eflat

BeBopSop

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Hi all, I have 2 play-along books for tenor sax, and now, only have an alto sax.Can I just change the key signature (up one) from the whatever the key signature is for the particular Bflat tune/song?
thanks
 

kevgermany

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Add a sharp. Take away a flat
Should be an 'or' in the middle. And this applies to the key sig.

So G (1 sharp) goes to D (2 sharps) and then you move the notes down the stave by a fourth.

Or type it into audactiy as is, then transpose downuntil you get the right key sig. However transposing down often uses a flat instead of a sharp (e.g. you're expecting to see G# and get Ab instead) so transpose down another semitone, then back up a semitone. Vice versa when you get a sharp instead of a flat.
 

BeBopSop

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Or seeing as it's a playalong, you can put the book away and just play along.

I wish I could Colin, but I am one of those people that was taught to read, if you take the book away from me I stop! I have just got 2 Hal leonard big band play along books,and find it good reading practice to try and play the alto part, (it keeps my old grey matter going)But I would love to play without the book, I met someone recently who said I should learn all the scales ..15, and then all the chords major and minor incl. inversions...well to be honest after getting this far, I find it too daunting to take on all this,I have a friend I see now and then and he has been playing for years (small mainstrem jazz) I have asked him how to go about improvising, he say he just makes up little riffs and tunes within in the key,while keeping an eye on the music sheet for guidence, this works for him, he plays tennor alto soprano and flute.But hey-ho, some of us take a long time to get it!
 

Jamesmac

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I think it will be easier to replace the books, having said that, if I only changed the key signature (without transposing down a 4th) would it I sound ok with the backing music playing, but would I just sound a little higher?

NO. That won't work and it would take an age to explain why. I have a suggestion, go to one of the many sites that offer free printing of sheet music, you can even choose how many staves you want on a sheet, than print tham out on your printer. Then by hand copy the parts for Alto, and just follow all the good advice you have been given. You will learn something in the process.
 

Justin Chune

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I take the Bb parts up a fifth, so a line note goes up two lines and a space note goes up two spaces. So, C E G. E G B etc for line notes and D F A. F A C etc for space notes. The upper note is the one you want and don't forget the new key signature.

Jim.
 

Colin the Bear

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I wish I could Colin, but I am one of those people that was taught to read, if you take the book away from me I stop! I have just got 2 Hal leonard big band play along books,and find it good reading practice to try and play the alto part, (it keeps my old grey matter going)But I would love to play without the book, I met someone recently who said I should learn all the scales ..15, and then all the chords major and minor incl. inversions...well to be honest after getting this far, I find it too daunting to take on all this,I have a friend I see now and then and he has been playing for years (small mainstrem jazz) I have asked him how to go about improvising, he say he just makes up little riffs and tunes within in the key,while keeping an eye on the music sheet for guidence, this works for him, he plays tennor alto soprano and flute.But hey-ho, some of us take a long time to get it!

Yes in theory we should all learn everything there is to know and be fluent in everything. 15? there's 12 major and 12 minor and then there's modes and.....I've been playing music in one form or another for 50 years and I'm not fluent in all of it.

In practice key of C and Am will do just fine. When you feel you've mastered that move on to 1# and 1 b. Keep adding a sharp and a flat and if you live long enough....meanwhile you can have a bit of fun in C

You only need one key to play by ear. The thing with reading everything is, it puts another interface between fingers and sound. Start with very simple tunes and add very simple twiddles. Take one tune you like, learn it with the dots, then shut your eyes and only open them when you're stuck. Do this often and eventually you'll be able to play it. More you do it easier it gets.

It still takes me a day to make sense of a tune, a week to learn it and who knows to master it. I think it's the old school report syndrome , must do better.

C on the sop/tenor is G on the alto/bari. So change the key sig to one with another sharp or minus one flat. C goes to G, Bb goes to F etc Same with all the notes. Just pencil them in on the page. Do the song you like best first then when you get fed up of playing it do another one.

Never mind Giant steps, little steps will do.
 

Jamesmac

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I take the Bb parts up a fifth, so a line note goes up two lines and a space note goes up two spaces. So, C E G. E G B etc for line notes and D F A. F A C etc for space notes. The upper note is the one you want and don't forget the new key signature.

Jim.

Jim don't you mean. C E G for Bb = G B D for Alto & D F A for B b = A C E :)

PS. I get it goes up two lines/spaces, but the notes may confuse the op. well it confused me. Some may say that's not hard.:)
 
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kernewegor

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Yes in theory we should all learn everything there is to know and be fluent in everything. 15? there's 12 major and 12 minor and then there's modes and.....I've been playing music in one form or another for 50 years and I'm not fluent in all of it.

In practice key of C and Am will do just fine. When you feel you've mastered that move on to 1# and 1 b. Keep adding a sharp and a flat and if you live long enough....meanwhile you can have a bit of fun in C

You only need one key to play by ear. The thing with reading everything is, it puts another interface between fingers and sound. Start with very simple tunes and add very simple twiddles. Take one tune you like, learn it with the dots, then shut your eyes and only open them when you're stuck. Do this often and eventually you'll be able to play it. More you do it easier it gets.

It still takes me a day to make sense of a tune, a week to learn it and who knows to master it. I think it's the old school report syndrome , must do better.

C on the sop/tenor is G on the alto/bari. So change the key sig to one with another sharp or minus one flat. C goes to G, Bb goes to F etc Same with all the notes. Just pencil them in on the page. Do the song you like best first then when you get fed up of playing it do another one.

Never mind Giant steps, little steps will do.

Colin, as always, gives very sound advice here. Beog is beog, tamm ha tamm, poco a poco, little by little - sound advice, whatever language.

If you really want to frighten yourself look up Jamie Aebersold's free online book (the link is on this site somewhere) and you will find something like thirty (if my memory serves me right) "common (!?!) jazz scales". Stick that into 12 keys and your are up to 360...

BUT - before you fill your saxophone with cement, tighten the strap securely around your neck and look for a suitable bridge with deep water under it (tho', except for the cement, Sonny Rollins did that for four years) DINNAE PANIC!

By all means look up Aebersold and others - but don't think you need to know everything before you can improvise. Download, stow it away, refer to it when you need to see how another scale goes. But don't start learning scale after scale without spending regular practice time noodling, playing with riffs, doing little variations on a melody, exploring any and all the noises and sounds you can get out of your horn AND BEING MELODIC. Memorise melodies. Get good at playing rhythymically and let the notes look after themselves. Gradually build your repertoire of scales, work towards getting familiar with the circle of fourths (fifths if you want to go around the other way) and being able to play all major scales around the circle. Then minor... then the blues scales and bebop scales... but make this only PART of your practice, and whatever you do don't try to "understand" everything. Theory schmeory - it's not really theory at all, but custom and practice, wot people usually do...wot people have found works (probably by accident!).

Above all - HAVE FUN. make it ENJOYABLE. It's the big secret to learning anything.

There are any amount of ideas on improvisation on the web, many quite subjective. No harm at all in reading them - there are many different ways of looking at it, if it strikes a chord (!) and is helpful, great. If it's too confusing, leave it. You may find it helps later on. Some sites seem to assume that you have already got a PhD in music...

A lot of the time when I improvise I haven't the faintest idea what scale I'm using or what key, chord or anything else I've wandered into. It's all going too fast to work it out (even when not playing fast!) and what the hell. I'm probably playing bits of some of the 360 odd scales I never got round to actually learning... plus some Indian ragas he doesn't even mention (now there is a field to explore!)

Look at Pete's stuff on his Taming the Saxophone site - it is very accessible, very sound, and you don't really need to look any further to get you improvising with confidence.

And print off Colin's advice above and pin it to your wall...
 
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kevgermany

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I think it will be easier to replace the books, having said that, if I only changed the key signature (without transposing down a 4th) would it I sound ok with the backing music playing, but would I just sound a little higher?

If you want to play the sop music on alto, use it as is, don't change key sigs. It'll be low and won't match the backing tracks.
But it'll sound fine.
 

Reed Warbler

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A couple of new books wont break the bank. Learning to improvise is probably more useful and certainly more fun than learning to transpose. I bet you learned to speak before you learned to read, words that is.
 

jbtsax

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I think it will be easier to replace the books, having said that, if I only changed the key signature (without transposing down a 4th) would it I sound ok with the backing music playing, but would I just sound a little higher?

If you played the melody a 4th higher with the backing tracks you would sound like a vocalist searching for the key or a trombone player on the wrong partial. It could be pretty hip on some tunes.
 

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