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Please Help my Problem!!!!

1734 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  littlemanbighorn
i'm 17 years old and about 10 years ago i discovered that i had perfect pitch. My 1st instrument is piano so naturally my perfect picth was in concert C.

i then began learning the saxophone about 4 years ago as a second instrument and started learning on a Bb tenor. Anyone who has perfect pitch will now completely understand the problem i have. when i read music for the saxophone i am hearing a different note in my head than what i am supposed to be playing. if you asked me to play a piece of music in concert on the saxophone i could do it straight away as an A on the saxophone is a G to me. This is fine if i'm playing solo, but when i come to play in ensembles at college and i am given a part in Bb it means that i have to constantly transpose everything i am playing down a tone. it means that i am concentrating so hard on the notes i am playing which means that my rhythm, articulation and all other parts of playing falls apart.

Is there anyone who has managed to overcome this problem or knows a way of overcoming it or can give me any advice at all?
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C Melody Saxophone?

Patti Wicks, the great jazz pianist/vocalist said she had the same problem in high school trying to play trumpet. She solved the problem. She dropped out of band, gave up the trumpet, and concentrated on piano, for which those of us who love her playing shall be forever grateful.

I think the problem is that you aren't switching mental gears. To me, there's C on the piano, C on the alto, and C on the tenor. Three different notes. But as I play each one and, more specifically, read for each one, I think C. Not the tone, but the name. Mental gymnastics at first, but later it becomes second nature. Quicker than you think.

Use the same part of your brain that you use to recognize that C in the bass clef and C in the treble clef are in two different staff positions.

We have a lot of these kinds of challenges. I read Bb trumpet and C valve trombone, two different clefs, two different everything for the same relative valve fingerings.

Be glad you aren't a clarinet player. I'm glad I'm not. :D
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bandmommy said:
Thanks alot Al. I am a clarinet player. :evil: :D
I'm glad you are. Somebody has to do it. :)
You might have been born knowing what a C sounds like. The gift of perfect pitch. But you weren't born knowing its name or what it looks like on paper. You had to learn to associate the tone with its abstract representations. You should now learn to recognize different abstractions for that tone depending on what's in or under your hands.
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