Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / F# with no F# key

stevew
User ID: 1662364
Oct 24th 8:40 AM
I have a Couesnon alto which I have just had refurbished and repadded. Killer horn, but I am unable to get a high F# with the usual LH2, front F and side Bb key. The Front F LH2 works for F ok, as does the E with LH 2+3. Any ideas where to look - I usually manage to blow this note OK on the other horns including another alto I own. On this one, though, that note just squawks as soon as I open the Bb key. Is there another fingering or am I looking at a leak - the horn plays freely across the rest of its range. Oh, and no, it doesn't have a top F# key...
Thomas
User ID: 9279843
Oct 24th 10:51 AM
try-front F-L2/sBb--RH1&2+Eb
MojoBari
User ID: 1320554
Oct 24th 3:04 PM
Steve Goodson has some variations on his sight.
Gary Hartle
User ID: 9579203
Oct 24th 3:59 PM
I don't use the F# key on the two horns of mine which have it, except for trills. Most of my fingerings came out of the 'Top Tones' book (still available from WW&BW), and seem to work on all kinds of different saxes. F#3 is LH 1-2, RH 1-2-D#. This puts you in position to go to G#3 by adding the side C. It sounds awkward, but it really positions your hands for a lot of possibilities.
Kevin Oct 24th 9:17 PM
I like this fingering for F#: 123/1 side Bb. To move up to G, simply life LH 2.
Gary Hartle
User ID: 1529574
Oct 25th 8:31 PM
Geez - I shouldn't try to give out fingerings when I can't get to a horn - the 'Top Tones' F#3 is LH 1-3, RH 1-D#. Sorry 'bout that.
stevew
User ID: 1662364
Oct 29th 8:21 AM
Thanks guys, tried some of these on another horn, and also chanced on a nice top G - front F, LH1, bis key, with or without RH Bb. We forget the little bis key sometimes.
stevew
User ID: 9704903
Nov 15th 11:43 AM
I inadvertently found a solution; my top E (with front F and LH 2&3) was a bit flat and applying the G# key helped; this also allows the top F# to speak, front F, LH2, G#, side Bb.

Sounds like a lot of keys but it falls OK under the fingers, and the best players have to manufacture fingerings to get accurate intonation out of their horns!
madav
User ID: 9892733
Nov 16th 2:31 AM
strange that sounds suspiciously like my (tenor) G fingering !, while F# is the aforementioned LH1-3, RH1-D#
stevew
User ID: 9704903
Nov 16th 3:54 AM
Well its a good job we aren't playing one another's horns! As I say the front F and E variants are flat on this horn and the G# does just enogh to get it into tune, and also makes the F# work.
madav
User ID: 9892733
Nov 16th 4:11 AM
right - it's actually strange how much difference there is in these harmonic fingerings between the different horns. Favoured fingerings on the tenor cannot simply be applied to the alto, although they generally work well on different tenors.

This has led me to the revolutionary conclusion that the alto is not simply a toy tenor but actually an instrument unto itself !!