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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to break out of some ingrained fingering habits, particularly trying to make more use of the Side C, which I use rarely. I have a couple of little exercieses I am trying and attempting to work up speed and uniformity, but the problem is the exercises don't necessarily translate to my playing. Certain phrases and patterns that I have played for a long time are just habitally learned by my fingers in a certain way, and it's hard to break out despite working on the exercises. Now I am wondering about the following choices or combination thereof:

1. Should I continue with the exercises themselves

2. Should I keep my usual manner of fingering side C on phrases and patterns that are already ingrained and begin all new ones with side C where applicable/preferred?

3. Should I always use the side C where preferable, and work my already learned scales and patterns with the side C? (If 3, this will slow me down and my question is will I ever catch up?)

I only have one exercise for side C presently, by the way, a chromtic exercise and am looking for more.
 

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could also just practice your scales and select which alternate fingering you want to use, and switch them. stop if you don't do it right.

or just grab some sheet music and tell yourself to use the 2nd finger. and if you don't start from the top and do it again.

It's just a matter of breaking the habit. it will take time.
 

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Alternate keys are there to make you're life easier (at least that's how I like to think about them). If you can effectively make music without using side C, side Bb, fork F# etc. then by all means I don't see there being a problem!

I used to use the side C almost exclusively for anything that looks even remotely chromatic. While I wasn't taught this by a private teacher, this seemed to be the most automatic case to use this and the only one that I was comfortable with while site reading.

After study some pieces with awkward passages, that make MUCH better use of the side C I've added those to my fingering repertoire (if I may call it that). Long story short, it's all about muscle memory, and hand eye coordination. When you see that familiar lick that you use side C for, you finger (muscle) memory should go into auto-pilot.

The best way to learn this is just by forcing it into you. I think it also only makes sense to only use it in context of a particular lick.
 

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The side C is really a trill key. If you play a little Bach, Telemann, or LLoillet along with your pop stuff you'll find good use for the key.
Besides, it's fun to see how fast you can play scales using the 2nd-finger C.
ATJ
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the feedback. I really like the way the side c lays - that is why I am writing this, and working the exercises.
 

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If you're using the "regular" C key and making music with it--playing every passage involving the middle C evenly and musically--then there is no problem. If you're experiencing difficulty where the side C would serve you better, then you're doing the right thing.

FYI: Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull didn't know the "right" fingerings on the flute until his daughter started flute lessons and showed him the fingerings she was learning. By then he was already a living legend. It's all about the music. There are no rules in music; technique is merely a means to that end.
 

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FWIW I've noticed on a few vintage horns like basses that side C is much more in tune than 'regular' C.

On other vintage horns I've also noticed a slight "quality of sound" difference that made side C a better sounding note for sustained passages.

I never used side C often until this year my instructor encouraged me to use it more often in excersizes. I have found it is smoother and fasterto reach smoothly when running chromatics.

Not a necessity - but the more I get used to it- the more natural it seems.
 

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Two Larry Teal books address the side C issue, as well as other alternate fingerings: The Art of Saxophone Playing, and, The Saxophonist's Workbook. Both books are great.
 
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