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Hi guys, I have now learnt b,a,g,c and d on my alto and I have been trying to play the the little tune when the saints go marching in with out tonguing ever note, but I am finding that when I change from b to c I here a little note before I here the c note, which from the fingering chart I have is a c#.

Am I just note fingering fast enough or do you have to tongue between a b and the c.

Tony
 

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It's just something that you have to practice. Remember, slow playing, fast fingers.
 

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practice playing b to c to b to c to b to c to b to c without tonguing. Close your eyes and concentrate on moving your fingers very very precisely. Start slow and very gradually increase the speed - OR - look at your fingering chart and learn how to use the alternate fingering for c (called "side c") - makes it kind of diffiicult to get to d next - but just keep practicing - you'll get it
 

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Side C Key

tonyh said:
Hi guys, I have now learnt b,a,g,c and d on my alto and I have been trying to play the the little tune when the saints go marching in with out tonguing ever note, but I am finding that when I change from b to c I here a little note before I here the c note, which from the fingering chart I have is a c#.

Am I just note fingering fast enough or do you have to tongue between a b and the c.

Tony
Yes the fingering is slow so it produces the extra note. Don't worrying about tongueing or not. This is not the problem.

Why not use the side C key when going from B to C. Hold the B key down and just press on the side C key. No flip/flop allowed on the L/H index and middle fingers when playing from B to C or from C to B.

When you get to playing from F to F# someday, a simular thing applies. No flip/flop of the R/H index and middle fingers. Use the F# key while holding the F key.
 

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The "flip flop" fingerings B to C and F to F# require speed and coordination of the first two fingers of each hand. If the player thinks of the fingers rapidly trading places one up, one down and then the reverse it can help. Also visualizing a spring board or teeter totter where the finger going down propels the other finger up can be helpful.

My advice to inexperienced players is to develop the "regular" fingerings first before substituting the alternates, because in many cases the alternates make the fingering more difficult depending on which notes follow and the regular fingering has to be used. In the book "The Art of Saxophone Playing" by Larry Teal ($11.53 at Amazon.com) there is an excellent chapter on the best use of alternate fingerings.

John
 

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Regular Fingerings

Don't use the "flip/flop" fingering!

This method should not be considered the "regular finger" as it will cause problems in the future. Use the side C key and F# trill key when your beginning so that you don't have to break a bad habit (the "flip/flop" of B to C and F to F#) in the future. It is really a pain in the [email protected]@ to break this habit and will really set you back a few months.
 

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speyman said:
Don't worrying about tongueing or not. This is not the problem.

Why not use the side C key when going from B to C. Hold the B key down and just press on the side C key. No flip/flop allowed on the L/H index and middle fingers when playing from B to C or from C to B.
Tonguing may not be the problem but it masks a problem that needs to be fixed. You'll need to be able to play b to c without tonguing it at some point.

The side keys are NOT always the correct keys. Our friend here has learned the fingerings in the normal order that is generally taught. There are reasons for this, like the fact that beginning saxophonists need to get comfortable with the stack keys before they move on to the side keys. All that extra movement will contribute to sloppy finger technique later that'll need to be unlearned. They shouldn't be moving their fingers from the regular position until they're comfortable with them.
Plus side F#, C and Bb on student horns often have less than optimal placement and intonation.
These fingerings are not a "habit" that needs to be broken, they're one of a number of possible alternate fingerings that are part and parcel of learning the saxophone. Any student eventually needs to learn all of them and when to use and not use them.
The "flip-flop" fingerings will only cause a problem if (like any other fingering) they're not practiced. I'm currently working on a whole new set of bass clarinet altissimo fingerings. They're very sloppy right now because I'm not comfortable with them yet. But they have both better tone and pitch.
The only way for them to become useful is to practice them and accept that they won't always be the right fingering for that note depending on the speed of the passage and the surrounding notes.
Sorry Speyman, I think your advise is possible quite damaging. The "flip-flop" fingerings are the accepted beginner fingerings for good reason.
 

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Sorry to disagree Speyman, but with practice, using the regular fingerings works fine.
 

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I use the side C only for thrills...
 

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I like to use and instruct my students to use the side C when the right hand stack is not the following note. (ie B to C and back to B or G or A or G#, but NOT D or E or F) There are instances where I break this rule, that's what rule are for after all, but I think it's a decent approach. I know others who never use side C and those who think like speyman - I suppose it's all what you're comfortable with. But one should know it's there and practice using it, while at the same time practice the "flip-flop" so that it becomes a non-issue.
Just my take.
 

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The teeter-totter method is a good analogy for these fingerings, or driving a stick shift car, when one goes down, the other has to come up. I agree with the not teaching alternate fingerings quite yet, for two reasons, one, the addition of extra keys at an early stage, but more importantly later on for the fact that these "side" or "rear" keys drastically change the airflow escape from the horn which changes timbre, intonation, and tone, which later on with more experience are much more important than the ease of flipping your two fingers.

-Pat
 

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The side C is one that I can mostly live without. It's inconvenient if you need to continue going up.

The fork F# is a fingering that everyone should get comfortable with. It makes chromatic passages easier, and, especially if you're going up after it, is really the easiest and fastest way of getting from an F to an F#. I may be biased towards it because my clarinet training strictly dictates "NO FLIPPING, EVER (except sometimes)," though.

Side C is only good if you need to get quickly from B or bis Bb to C and then back down to B/bis Bb.
 

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Flip / Flop

Take or leave it!​

This is the way my 75 year old teacher has taught me. I feel that he is more qualified on this subject than anyone that I've seen post on SOTW. He has been playing for 60 years, grew up with Dexter Gordon, played with Freddie Hubbard, Carlos Santana and taught for 20 years at an arts college in the Seattle area. He has been making his living in the music business for 60 years and is currently playing Tenor. I'll listen to this teacher and suggest that you do the same.​
 

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Bunk

Migraine777 said:
The teeter-totter method is a good analogy for these fingerings, or driving a stick shift car, when one goes down, the other has to come up. I agree with the not teaching alternate fingerings quite yet, for two reasons, one, the addition of extra keys at an early stage, but more importantly later on for the fact that these "side" or "rear" keys drastically change the airflow escape from the horn which changes timbre, intonation, and tone, which later on with more experience are much more important than the ease of flipping your two fingers.

-Pat
This is pure BUNK! What kind of horn are you playing? My Tenor has no timbre differences or intonation problem when using the side key fingerings vs. other fingerings. What are you playing, some cheap Chinnese horn? Maybe a Goodson SuperThrowDown complete line of BS Tenor?
 

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speyman said:
This is pure BUNK! What kind of horn are you playing? My Tenor has no timbre differences or intonation problem when using the side key fingerings vs. other fingerings. What are you playing, some cheap Chinnese horn? Maybe a Goodson SuperThrowDown complete line of BS Tenor?
Speyman, please keep it civil. Your shouting is hurting my tender ears.
 

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speyman said:
Take or leave it!​
I don't think the point of all these posts is for the sake of argument man. We're just saying how we like to do things (as are you)
Technique is a means to an end.
The fact is that different folks use side C in different ways, if at all. Your way of thinking (your teacher's) is 100% valid. What we're failing to consider is (once again) type of saxophone, make of saxophone, hand size (yes, hand size!) of the player playing said saxophone, etc. Every player, when s/he gets to a point of development/acheivement MUST have a right way of doing things in his/her head - otherwise they'd get nowhere and spend hours on a forum asking for advise or reading advise from other cats instead of just learning the music. Keep playing your side C dude - it ain't wrong.
 

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Fingering

littlemanbighorn said:
Tonguing may not be the problem but it masks a problem that needs to be fixed. You'll need to be able to play b to c without tonguing it at some point.

The side keys are NOT always the correct keys. Our friend here has learned the fingerings in the normal order that is generally taught. There are reasons for this, like the fact that beginning saxophonists need to get comfortable with the stack keys before they move on to the side keys. All that extra movement will contribute to sloppy finger technique later that'll need to be unlearned. They shouldn't be moving their fingers from the regular position until they're comfortable with them.
Plus side F#, C and Bb on student horns often have less than optimal placement and intonation.
These fingerings are not a "habit" that needs to be broken, they're one of a number of possible alternate fingerings that are part and parcel of learning the saxophone. Any student eventually needs to learn all of them and when to use and not use them.
The "flip-flop" fingerings will only cause a problem if (like any other fingering) they're not practiced. I'm currently working on a whole new set of bass clarinet altissimo fingerings. They're very sloppy right now because I'm not comfortable with them yet. But they have both better tone and pitch.
The only way for them to become useful is to practice them and accept that they won't always be the right fingering for that note depending on the speed of the passage and the surrounding notes.
Sorry Speyman, I think your advise is possible quite damaging. The "flip-flop" fingerings are the accepted beginner fingerings for good reason.
I know that the side fingerings are not ALWAYS used. Tony's question was regarding hearing a note (C#) when he was moving from B to C or C to B. I'm ONLY addressing the fingering for movement between these 2 notes. Why teach a beginner something they will have to change in the future. They can just as easily learn the BEST way. Afterall, they are starting to learn so they can learn one way or another, so why not the BEST way. I guess it's because that was the way you were taught.....why pass it on? Your saying that they shouldn't be moving their fingers from the "regular position". I say keep your finger tips on the "regular key position" and then play the side keys with the side of your R/H index finger. WOW, really complicated!! Get a life!!
 

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speyman said:
I say keep your finger tips on the "regular key position" and then play the side keys with the side of your R/H index finger. WOW, really complicated!! Get a life!!
Are you saying don't use front F or Bis Bb or the other keys which have other fingerings available? I taught my students to use them all in practicing scales and let common sense dictate what fingering is used in playing music.

Lose some of the attitude. You are starting to annoy more people than just me.:twisted:
 
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