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Quartet Tuning...

1726 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Agent27
Why do some players insist in tuning to a concert A in a sax quartet when there are many other notes to choose from (apart from open C# or upper D)?

I prefer to tune with all the players playing written G :line2: regardless of size as it's a stable note and we can tune to the intervals, and the fact any adjustments can be done easily as it leaves the right hand free to do adjust the mouthpiece (though saxes are only in tune with themselves with a certain amount of cork showing - the rest is done with the chops).

But even in some big bands some sax players insist on a concert A being given to tune to, when a Bb is much better as all the brass can tune much easier to their unstopped concert Bb than a stopped A.

Though in quartet playing everyone should be listening to each other anyway, and making adjustments as they go along to get the intervals and chords in tune with their chops - rather than tuning up to one note at the beginning and then carrying on with the belief they're still in tune at the end.
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I see why a written F would be better for every player due to it being a stable (with more fingers down) and well vented note.

But I don't honestly see why some people insist there should be a binding need for concert A to be the tuning note in sax quartets or wind ensembles when there are no stringed instruments present (though bass players in big bands usually tune to an electronic tuner), and also the need to tune to 440Hz as there's no piano. So long as the ensemble is in tune with itself and plays in tune with itself is what matters most even if the general pitch is all 438Hz to 442Hz among all the players (and not a mix of these pitches!), depending on the temperature.

And concert A on an alto and bari sax is a forked note in that there's a tonehole closed below the one the note issues from, so it's not the most ideal one to use.
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