Re: Second Year Teacher/ Teaching Beginner Sax
Posted by saxer on 9/26/2020, 9:05 am, in reply to "Second Year Teacher/ Teaching Beginner Sax"
Someone alluded to it, but you are avoiding flipping first and second fingers. Most woodwinds are built diatonically, so you use regular fingerings in diatonic scales and alternates in chromatics (oboe is built chromatically, so it is the opposite - regular fingerings on chromatic scales). A good way to isolate the primary alternates on sax is to just run from F to C# up and down. Covers forked F#, side Bb (which is actually the regular fingering), and side C. |
To get really technical, the reason you are avoiding the flip has to do with opening and closing tone holes and how that makes coordination problematic. When you lift a finger, the pitch changes as soon as the seal of the pad breaks. When you lower a finger, the pitch changes when the seal is completed. So if the fingers move absolutely together, there will be an intermediary note. Yes, between the ear, brain, muscle memory and practice you can get the timing down, but why expend that effort - with the potential that it will still break down - when there is a mechanical fix? Ask any oboe player if they would use a mechanical alternate fingering to play an F major arpeggio!
The alternates on sax are really pretty few compared to other ww's. Side C, forked F#, the three (or four) Bbs, and forked high F/E are the main ones. Learn where and why, practice them, and use them and it makes the technique easier.