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Saxophone/First notes

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Holding the SaxophoneEdit

The saxophone should be held as follows. Place your left thumb on the thumb rest under the octave key (the key that's facing towards you and controls the pad on the neck of the saxophone). You should be able to easily slide your thumb upwards and press the octave key. Place your first three fingers on the B, A, and G keys (respectively). In the right hand, place your thumb under the thumb rest so that some of the weight of the instrument rests on your thumb. Then place your first three fingers on the F, E and D keys (respectively).

Playing a BEdit

A saxophone fingering chart (click to expand).

The common first note on any woodwind is a B, which is fingered by pressing down the second pearl key finger of the left hand (note that the first key is not where the first finger goes). Practice long tones on this note. Or not!

Playing an AEdit

The next logical move from B is A, which is fingered by pressing down the second and fourth pearl note (the "little button" is skipped). Practice long tones on this note, then practice moving between B and A and vice versa.

Playing a GEdit

A G is fingered by pressing down the second, fourth,and fifth fingers. Practice long tones, moving between B, A, and G in all combinations, then become proficient at the following:  

Playing a CEdit

In order to play a C, first place your thumb on the back button,then go two keys down and press.

Playing a DEdit

This is a tricky note on saxophone. To play a D, hold down the octave key (which is just above your thumb on your left hand) and push down the first three fingers of your left hand and the first three of your right hand. The note will probably not come out on the first try. Keep trying until it works. It takes a more focused air stream. Once you can consistently get the D out, practice long tones and moving from C to D. This is a fairly difficult jump. Once you have mastered this, play the following until you are proficient:  

Playing an EEdit

Once you have mastered the D, the E should be simple. Finger a D and lift the third finger of the right hand. The same type of air stream is required. Again, practice long tones and moving to E from the other notes.

Playing an FEdit

To play an F, hold the octave key and finger an E, removing the second finger on the right hand. Again, the air stream should be focused. Practice long tones and moving between all of the notes. Practice the following exercise: