Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / low A

User ID: 1516194
Jun 18th 6:13 PM
is it possible to play a low A on alto sax?
User ID: 8185963
Jun 18th 6:16 PM
sure, if it's played on a low A alto, which are somewhat uncommon.
User ID: 9760743
Jun 18th 6:16 PM
Partially cover the bell with your knee while playing a low Bb.
User ID: 7001743
Jun 20th 7:56 PM
With a basson, you can take a sheet of paper and roll it up at the end to extend the instrument to make it lower. I have tried it with the sax and think it did do something. I used a book on tenor and bari. Try something metallic or thick and roll it up in the bell to make the sound wave lower frequency.
User ID: 2114994
Jun 21st 12:49 PM
yeah you have a friend put their fist in the bell, while you're playing Low B flat.
User ID: 8890073
Jun 21st 1:08 PM
....or if you are low enough, you can find one of the truly rare low A Mk VI altos...good luck=) (seriously though, a few do exist)
User ID: 1098134
Jun 21st 1:42 PM

Here is one of those low a MK VI's. I found it on ebay a couple of weeks ago.
User ID: 2442714
Jul 5th 11:46 PM
I had a 1972 low-A Mark VI alto. El-Stinko.

On the other hand, I've heard from people that had 'em and love 'em. To my ear, it does not sound like a Mark VI. It's brighter, brassier, not as sweet.

Finally sold it for a decent price, but early on, I was getting offers of less than $1000 for it. (This was 1996!) And it was near-mint. Dealers reacted as if I were offering them a bag of doggie-doo.

Now I hear they are coveted by collectors. Whoop de doo. May be. But I now have a 1971 low Bb VI that plays like a VI is supposed to.
Steve Cars
User ID: 2386864
Jul 6th 9:17 AM
Surprisingly I've seen some swing era music written for tenor that goes to low A. The tenor player crosses his left leg across his knee and puts his heel in the bell, no joke. Weird... Alto though would make that tough...

I auditioned a Low A/high F# Mk VI alto in 1970 before I bought my Bb/F Mark VI. I didn't think the intonation was a good with the Low A horn...