no more thinking on stage trying to transpose keys, I just think and play concert. LOL! Because when an Eb saxophone plays it’s written C it sounds Eb on the piano. Bis Key for Vintage Conn Tenor. So Bb is the actual pitch it is playing. That’s simple math. When playing with the piano or guitar, I say “What key are you in?” And WHATEVER they say if I’m on the Alto, I subtract 3, and if I’m on the tenor, I add 2. This makes alot more sense to me. Just the tone directly left – so for F you add one flat and this is Bb. was a reply to Mr. MFDWD and that I have done the same as MFDWD to learn the horn fingerings in concert pitches. This afternoon I discovered that I was pressing the reed and mouthpiece too tightly on the Tenor. Hi Rainer, you should take into account the octave too. I have found it the easiest to think of my key is a minor 3’rd from concert, whats easier to play Tenor or Alto?? Right? Why not call them by the same name? FInd the C. What do you see left and right to the C??? So when a Bb tenor sax plays it’s written C it sounds Bb on a piano. If they’re in E you need to play in F#. You’re not the first person to wonder about this question that’s for sure! told you it was crazy…. Because it just didn’t sound as good as the other transposing saxes. Now back to the circle: Counting from C to the right, you add one sharp. If an Eb saxophone such as the alto or bari, plays it’s written C it sounds Eb on the piano. We don’t see or hear any known saxophonists today (or over the last several decades) using a C melody sax as their primary instrument of choice. Jeff, good observation… on the same thought I can also add that when you start putting a little more of the mouthpiece in your mouth your sound will open up more too. The next station after C# would be G#, but that can be played as Ab, so you would play Ab with four flats instead of G# with 6 simple and one double sharp . yes Michael, you got it right. I put my guitar in the closet and learned to make some nice tones on this old alto sax. or NO ? on tenor we are one whole tone above concert. For alto, you have to subtract 3 semitones (add 3 #s) resulting in E. If you look at the circle of fiths – here in a flat notation: (the circle closes as Db = C#, Gb = F# ) two of these semi-tones equals a whole tone, thats why when you count up 2 semitones you end up playing in the right key when on tenor, tenor is one whole tone above concert pitch. so important to know all the scales and chords, when you do this stuff becomes pretty easy. played there. Why? • Tenor (left) and soprano saxophones, showing their comparative sizes doing this will feel slightly strange or uncomfortable at first (and so it should) but keep doing it every day and it will feel right and if you actually start playing with more of the mp in your mouth you will notice your tone improving. For alto (Eb): it sounds 3 semitones higher, to compensate, you hav to play one and a half tone deeper. and when on stage we’re not transposing, we are simply playing in the key we are in. If I see a Bb in C Major, which tells me right away I’m dealing with a flat 7, I would play that note as G natural in A Major because it’s the flat 7 in the key of, it’s perfectly acceptable to transpose from 1 key to another like this, right? Played the songs I’d purchased from Johnny’s site. as far as I learned, Adolphe Sax build his first instruments in C-tune, because he first wanted his instrument played in an orchestra, so concert tune was the natural choice. Look at an F, you can easily see that the G is one whole tone above it. The only problem i still have on the alto is remembering if i’m 3 semitones below or above the piano note. What Johnny is showing here is not rocket-science or anything, it’s very straight-forward. Yes, everything in harmony is based on the 5. The system is faulty, and confusing, there’s no reason for it to be this way, I play the alto in concert pitch, I think in concert pitch, I don’t even know the “correct” alto key names, it doesn’t matter, it will never matter. LOL!! Best thing you can do is practice all the keys on your own and then you’ll be prepared for any situation. One whole tone means going up two semi-tones which are the smallest increments we have: C, C#, D, D#, E etc. Your pointer finger goes on 1, your middle finger goes on 2, and your ring finger goes on 3.

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