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Bought a new book of etudes, and there is one there that requires me to trill a C2 note, so I'm just wondering what's the 'right' way of doing it. At present I'm just using the D palm key, and it seems to be right awkward to do it that way. Tried all the other side keys that might be relevant but none of them work.
The alternate way I could think of would be to use the C1 fingering with the octave key, but then the intonation of the C2 gets quite wonky.
 

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The alternate way I could think of would be to use the C1 fingering with the octave key, but then the intonation of the C2 gets quite wonky.

Well, ideally that note should be quite in tune, if not then maybe it's a good reason to look at tuning differently and adjusting your embouchure, or thinking about a saxophone that has a better scale, ie more in tune with itself at the pitch you play at.

I agree that it may not actually be perfect, but should be good enough for a trill.
 

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trill to what note? C2 to C#2? I must not be understanding the problem.
 

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trill to what note? C2 to C#2? I must not be understanding the problem.
Actually C2 to D2. C2 to C#2 thrill would not be a problem. Well, Pete Thomas already confirmed my suspicions about how to do it i.e. do the trill like C1 to D1, except with the octave key on. But if you have some other workable alternative, I'd be most grateful to learn about it. Thanks Pete for the your answer - helpful as always!

I've not been a very thrilling guy on sax, but I'm trying to change that.. :)
 

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On alto, you can leave 2nd finger on C and trill the high Eb key (D is usually too flat) with your index finger.
+1

C to C# would be my first choice if a diatonic trill isn't required by the music. Otherwise...my experience is the same as drakesaxprof. The Eb side key is usually more effective because the D (without the octave key) is commonly on the flat side. I'm not sure why you would want to use the C1 fingering with the octave key in this situation. You can trill much easier and faster with your index finger on the Eb side key than you can with your pinkie finger on the C1 key. Usually sounds better too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
On alto, you can leave 2nd finger on C and trill the high Eb key (D is usually too flat) with your index finger.
Thanks a lot for the tip Drakesaxprof - the answer is spot on. I think this is the best way to thrill C2/D2 - it's much easier to finger, and sounds much better than using the C1/D1/octave method for sure, which sounds bad by comparison. Even so, the Eb side key (alone) gives me a note that is pretty sharp (it's actually somewhere between D and Eb), so I find I have to compensate by pulling back a bit on the embrochure to flatten the D2 (played with the Eb side key) a little, so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. As I don't believe one can change their embrochure that quickly (between two thrill notes), then the solution is a compromise, where the C2 might go fractionally flat, so that the D2 thrill note doesn't sound that sharp. I play primarily tenor and soprano, but will one day get back to alto when I tackle the Glazunov, Creston and other sax concertos. May be a long while till that happens though lol..

Anyway, I'm grateful to everyone for their generous advice on this elementary question. As to the question from others, why not thrill to C#2 (i.e. the easy way out) - according to my few years spent in legit piano and clarinet playing, in a classical style piece, if it (i.e. a non-diatonic thrill note) is not indicated on the score, then it is understood that the thrill should be with the diatonic note above it. So as I am currently playing through a classical etude, then I should do it the right way, AFAIK. And thanks to everybody who chipped in here on this thread!
 

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Zorro, just checking - you're using the Eb left hand palm key, right?
 

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Zorro, just checking - you're using the Eb left hand palm key, right?
Yes of course. I;m definitely not using the right hand Eb key, if that's what you're wondering. I do find the intonation problem on the D2 note being sharp, played that way - is that unusual? I spent some time on it today, and this note is definitely sharp for a D2. And yes, I am using just the Eb left hand palm key alone (wthout the D palm key) - just for clarity.
This fingering works very well for the hands, and is the best sounding way to make this thrill that I have tried so far, above comments notwithstanding.
 

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I have to play that Eb (false D) down.

It's tricky getting the C and the "D" in tune with each other. But I'm a great believer in the body following the mind, so for some reason, it seems that my awareness and hearing of the problem somehow makes my body adapt and puts the "D" fairly well in tune.

Esoterica vs scientific technique, I suppose. :hippy2:
 

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Have you tried leaving the 2nd finger on the C and trilling the palm D instead of the Eb? That will obviously be lower in pitch. You can use your LH thumb to trill it, since it falls in an awkward position on the hand.
 

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I have found that either D or Eb palm keys work, it depends on whether you prefer the sharpness of the Eb or the flatness of the D. much of this will be dictated by context of course so it's hard to make a rule. My preference is still for the overtone fingering, ie finger low C1 to D1 and play up the octave.

When using this however I would start and end on the regular C2 fingering, not as awkward as you might think at first.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Have you tried leaving the 2nd finger on the C and trilling the palm D instead of the Eb? That will obviously be lower in pitch. You can use your LH thumb to trill it, since it falls in an awkward position on the hand.
In either case, using your suggestion, I do leave my 2nd finger on the C. Thrilling the palm D sounds worse to my ears - as you pointed out correctly, the D2 is very flat. The Eb key definitely sounds better. I also find it much much more difficult to thrill the palm D key physically, so on that front, the Eb key is a much better choice as well.

Like Gary, I have to flatten that D2 with the Eb key down in order to get it to sound acceptable. I can quickly get it to sound quite ok, where the C2 is quite in tune, while the D2 is not horrible sharp, but I can't get them completely in tune (and I suspect that it may not be possible, but I could be wrong). It's an acceptable compromise and seems the best way to make this thrill.

As for Pete's suggestion to thrill using a regular D2 (I take that to mean C2 played with octave key and 2nd finger, and D2 with both hands down on the horn plus octave key), my knee jerk reaction is that is seems very hard to execute, as you are alternating from one finger down to 6 fingers down in rapid alternation. But anything Pete says is usually worth checking out, so I will give that a try as well over the next few days.

Well, that's one thing that is good about playing legit sax - you have to learn how execute all the ornaments properly, and with precision and accuracy, and this will carry over to jazz and improv very well also IMO.

Thanks for all the advice, you learned gents. People like you that are generous and unstinting with your advice to your fellow forumers is what makes SOTW a great place to hang around.. I wish that more forumers will adopt your mature and sincere attitudes.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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As for Pete's suggestion to thrill using a regular D2 (I take that to mean C2 played with octave key and 2nd finger, and D2 with both hands down on the horn plus octave key), my knee jerk reaction is that is seems very hard to execute, as you are alternating from one finger down to 6 fingers down in rapid alternation.
No, I don't mean that. I would find that impossible.

I mean C2 regular fingering only for the very 1st note not before the trill.

For the trill I mean C1 overtone to D1 overtones (which is of course the regular D2 fingering), ie fingering low C to D but sounding them up an octave. Which is easy because you use the octave key to hep with the C overtone)

If there is time (ie assuming that the first note of a trill is often extend anyway), I would precede this with a regular C2, and if the trill was ending on a straight note I would make this a regular C2.

If the first and last C notes are just trilling then it would all be C1 overtone to D1 overtone (aka regular D2).

xxx|xxx|x + 8va to xxx|xxx|0 +8va

Hope that clarifies it
 

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No, I don't mean that. I would find that impossible.

I mean C2 regular fingering only for the very 1st note not before the trill.

For the trill I mean C1 to D1 1st overtones, ie fingering low C to D but sounding them up an octave.

If there is time (ie assuming that the fist note of a trill is often extend anyway), I would precede this with a regular C2, and if the trill was ending on a straight note I would make this a regular C2.

If the first and last C notes are just trilling then it would all be C1 - D1 overtone.

Hope that clarifies it
Ah I finally get you. You mean 1) start the first note with regular D2 fingering so as to create a good quality note 2) go to normal D2 fingering for the thrill note, but instead of going to the original C2 fingering, finger it as C1 with the octave key engaged, and use this for the duration of the thrill
3) if the piece permits, then end with a regular C2 fingering in order to finish on a high quality note
4) if it is not possible to start and end on a regular C2, then use C1/D1 fingering with octave key engaged throughout

This sounds reasonable, but I'll have to try it to see if it works for me (can't do it now - its 2am here and my neighbours would kill me). But anyway, have you tried Drakesaxprof's fingering of using the palm Eb or D key to make this thrill, and what would be your comments on that vs the fingering that you recommend? Tks!
 

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Have you tried leaving the 2nd finger on the C and trilling the palm D instead of the Eb? That will obviously be lower in pitch. You can use your LH thumb to trill it, since it falls in an awkward position on the hand.
Sorry prof, I missed out the detail on using the LH thumb to thrill the palm D key on my previous read of your post. It sounds like it would be workable that way - I found it impossible to keep my left thumb on the thumb plate, my left hand 2nd finger on the C key, and thrill the palm D with the side of my index/first finger of the left hand.

I'll try it, and see but I suspect the D2 would still be quite flat, and since you recommended using the Eb palm key instead, and Gary and others also endorse that method, then I suspect that would still be the better way to do it.

Will find out for myself - many thanks!
 

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Ah I finally get you. You mean 1) start the first note with regular D2 fingering
I think you mean C2. If so, then yes, that's what I mean.

Try it, it's much easier than trying to imagine it.

EDIT: I edited my post to make it clearer.

Of course the D1 overtone is just a regular D2, the 8ve key makes it an overtone of D1. I should have said that
 

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I think you mean C2. If so, then yes, that's what I mean.

Try it, it's much easier than trying to imagine it.

EDIT: I edited my post to make it clearer.

Of course the D1 overtone is just a regular D2, the 8ve key makes it an overtone of D1. I should have said that
Yes I did mean regular C2 (not D2), and I will certainly try it out on my horn tomorrow or the day after. But in your opinion, do you find this way of thrilling C2/D2 to be more to your preference compared to the fingering described by Drakesaxprof, Gary and the other forumers who do it that way? Thanks!!
 

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But in your opinion, do you find this way of thrilling C2/D2 to be more to your preference compared to the fingering described by Drakesaxprof, Gary and the other forumers who do it that way? Thanks!!
So much depends on context. I would do it all of those ways depending on context and horn. On some horns the Eb palm is too sharp, on others the D palm is too flat. The overtone version is probably more in tune on most horns but tonally may be wrong in a classical context.

If I was in a section situation, then I'd probably use the Eb palm as sharpness wouldn't be so much of a problem. For a classical solo, then the palm might be best, but whether I go for D or Eb would depend on that particular horn. Or I may go for the overytone version.
 
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