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Discussion Starter #1
Hi I just registered here because I'm in need of tips. A problem I'm having at the moment is that I'm rather new to the sax (and it's my first wind instrument) and I don't know if it's normal to have difficulties moving fluidly between the first and second octaves. It's the sound, and particularly when I'm moving between C#5 (open keys) and D5 (all three principal keys in both hands plus octave key) and especially when I'm doing so in a passing flurry; without tonguing the notes. I play alto, by the way.

Anyone have any advice?
 

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I suppose my quick advice is to not go from C# to D in a passing flurry until you've developed the octave transition at a slower tempo and with more control. You might try working it at a slow, measured pace and play C# to D repeatedly to train not only your embouchure/throat but your hands as well. It can be a tough jump to make at first -- just make sure all your keys are coming down at the same time when moving to D. If any fingers are late coming down the result could be the overtone or squeak you're probably getting.
 

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Welcome Lloydy,

I'll jump in with the recommendation to use the search function before someone beats me to it :D ;) Seriously, this is one of the most common beginner problems and you can find a wealth of advice from all the past threads asking the same question.

Good luck and keep practicing
 

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You might try this exercise to build finger coordination. Slur back and forth slowly at first and then gradually pick up the tempo:

G - D - G - D etc., then A - D - A - D , then B - D - B - D, then C - D - C - D, and finally C# - D - C# - D

Each time you are adding just one more finger to the change. It is very important that you "rock" the thumb on and off the octave key and not pick it up and put it down each time. Work on "slow and smooth" at first keeping the fingers relaxed and close to the keys, the speed and accuracy will come eventually with practice.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi thanks for all the advice. thejoyofsax - I'm not really doing it in a rapid flurry so much. It's just a matter of moving from one note to the other without tonguing the second note, if you see what I mean. I don't know the terminology for sax really. In guitar terms, it would be a hammer-on/ pull-off. A slur between the two notes, in notation.

The sound I experience is not a 'squeak' but more that it's not so smooth - it can be almost like a cutting off of the sound so that it feels like I'm jumping from one note to the next, rather than moving smoothly between them with one breath, as I can with two notes within the same octave.

cleger - yes I know what you mean but sometimes I find it's better if I describe my own personal experience with this problem and get more specific answers through conversation.

jbt sax - thanks for that. I'll give it a go. The whole thing about rocking the octave thumb rather than dropping it could be part of the problem with my playing. The excercise seems like a good idea. Cheers.
 
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