of 18 /18
Fingering Fundamentals Dr. Mark Watkins, BYU–Idaho The following photos provide information that may not be obvious on a fingering chart. Note considerations proceed from low B‐flat through high F‐sharp. CONTACT POINTS Octave Key The thumb contacts the button on the first knuckle and pivots. Palm Keys Depress palm keys at these contact points for upper register and pivot notes.

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Page 1: CONTACT POINTS - Brigham Young University–Idahoemp.byui.edu/WatkinsM/applied/Fingerings/0... · at these contact points for upper ... FINGERINGS Chromatic F ... Use of this fingering

FingeringFundamentalsDr.MarkWatkins,BYU–Idaho

Thefollowingphotosprovideinformationthatmaynotbeobviousonafingeringchart.NoteconsiderationsproceedfromlowB‐flatthroughhighF‐sharp.

CONTACTPOINTSOctaveKeyThethumbcontactsthebuttononthefirstknuckleandpivots.

PalmKeysDepresspalmkeysatthesecontactpointsforupperregisterandpivotnotes.

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SideEContactclosetothelargeknuckleoftheindexfingerwhilekeepingthefingertipsangleddowntowardthepearls.

HighF‐sharpKeyDepressthehighF‐sharpkeywiththerighthandmiddlefinger.

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LOWNOTES

LowBtoA‐sharpPivotWhilefingeringBtiltthelittlefingertowardstheB‐flatkey.

LowBtoC‐sharpKeeplittlefingercurved.

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LowC‐sharptoBAnglelittlefingersothattiphitstheBrollerlikethefrontofaski.

LowC‐sharptoA‐sharpThelittlefingerstayscurvedandslidesontoA‐sharp/B‐flatkey(unlikemovingfromBtoA‐sharp/B‐flatandback).

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LowE‐flattoCAvoidstraighteninglittlefinger;keepitcurvedandanglemiddleknuckledown.

LowCtoE‐flatThefingertipslidesacrossrollerskeepinglittlefingercurved.

CROSSFINGERINGSChromaticF‐sharpInthekeysofC‐sharpandF‐sharpandforthechromaticscale,oneshoulddevelopproficiencywithboththestandardfingeringsforE‐sharptoF‐sharpandthechromaticfingering.Withtheadditionoftheoctavekey,thesefingeringsaresuccessfulinbothoctaves.

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FtoF‐sharpCrossFingering(onefingerliftswhiletheotherdepressesthuscrossingeachother)

ChromaticF‐sharp:Thekeyisdepressedbytherighthandringfinger.

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C‐sharpandF‐sharpMajor

SideCAnotherlocationonthesaxophonerequiringcrossfingeringskillisontheupperstackforthenotesBandC.Whencontinuingintotheupperregister,itismostcommontousethecrossfingering;however,iftheCisapivotnotewithsubsequentnotesreturningdownward,orforatrill,thesideCmechanismisoftenpreferred.Asabove,withtheadditionoftheoctavekeythesideCworks.BtoCCrossFingering

SideC:Depresskeywithindexfingermakingcontactclosetothelargeknuckle.Keepfingertipsangleddownandclosetopearls.

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CMajor

GMajor

B‐FLATTherearefourfundamentalfingeringsforB‐flat.Withtheadditionoftheoctavekey,allworkintheupperoctave.

1. Thebiskey:Manysaxophonistsconsiderthebiskeyfingeringtheirfirstchoiceanduseit

primarilyinflatkeys.Thekeyisdepressedwiththelefthandindexfingerbetweenthetwokeys.

WhenpivotingonCinflatkeys,thesideCfingeringmaybeusedtofacilitatespeedbuttheCwillbeflatandshouldnotbesustained.

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FandB‐flatMajor

Anotheroptioninthissituation,andfortrills,istousethesideB­flat(#2below)andliftfinger1fortheC.

E‐flatMajortriad,ascendinganddescending(bisfingering)

2. SideB‐flat:ThisisoftenthefirstB‐flatfingeringtaught.Likethebiskeyfingering,itiswellin

tuneandhasatonethatmatchesotherpitchesinthemidregister.DepressthesideB‐flatkeywiththelargeknuckleoftherighthandindexfinger.

ItisoftenusedwhenprecededorfollowedbyBnaturalasinthekeysofBandF‐sharpMajor.

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3. Left1,Right1(1&4):UseofthisfingeringshouldbelimitedtotheB‐flatMajortriadarpeggio(seeAdditiveTriadExercisebelow).Itislowinpitchanditstoneisnotasfocusedasthebisandsidefingerings.

B‐flatMajortriad,ascendinganddescending(1&1fingering)

4. Left1,Right2(1&5):TherearesituationssuchastrillsfromA‐sharptoBorpassagesthatdescendthroughBtoA‐sharpandreturnupwardthatthisfingeringwillfacilitatewell.Itisnotasfocusedasthebisandsideoptionsandisslightlylowinpitchbutitisbetterthan1&5.

5‐notePatterns:The1&2(1&5)fingeringapplieswhenthepatternstartsonA‐sharp.Althoughthedeffinitionaboveexplainsthatthe1&2(1&5)fingeringismostcommonwhendescending,pivotingonA‐sharp,andretruning;whenrepitionofthe5‐notepatternoccurstheA‐sharpbecomesapivotnoteandthepatternentersthescenario.OnemaystartonSideB‐flat(A‐sharp)andusethe1&2(1&5)uponsubsequentrepetitins.

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BMajor

F‐sharp

CROSSINGTHEBREAKCrossingthebreakpresentsparticularproblemsincludingmovingfromfewfingersonkeystomanyandmovingfromfundamentaltofirstovertoneharmonically.Therearespecialfingeringsthatsaxophonistsusetofacilitatecertainsituations.Playersmustpracticestandardandspecialfingeringswhenplayingpatternsthusaidingtheperformersflexibilityforbothwrittenandimprovisedlines.Thechallengesareamplifiedwhenonlyonenotecrossesthebreak,eitherascendingordescending.PalmkeypivotfingeringsfacilitateupwardcrossingsandtheLongC‐sharpfingeringhelpswithdescendingcrossings.Whencontinuingineitherdirection,standardfingeringsshouldbeused.PalmKeyPivotFingeringsTherearethreecombinationstoconsiderforstepwisemotion:CtoD,C‐sharptoD,andC‐sharp(D‐flat)toD‐sharp(E‐flat).

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1. CtoDPivot:Thisfingeringisflatinpitchbutoftenpreferredinlieuofthecumbersomequalityofcrossingthebreakandimmediatelyreturning.ThealternateDfingeringcarriesasomewhatunfocussedtoneatmezzopianoandlouderdynamiclevelsandshouldnotbesustained.Whenusedasasoftfingering,forpianoandpianissimolevels,tonecanbematchedtostandardfingeringsandthefingeringfacilitatesmoreaccurateintonation.Seethephotoaboveforcontactpointandhandposition.

5‐notePatterns:CandGMajor

FandB‐flatMajor

E‐flatMajor

2. C‐sharptoDPivot:Thisfingeringissharpbutmaybepreferableforasmoothertechnique.

Notably,thestandardDfingeringissharponmostsaxophonessocompensationisnecessaryregardless.Itshouldnotbesustained,asitisnotacceptablysonorous.

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DMajor

AMajor

3. C‐sharp(D‐flat)toD‐sharp(E‐flat)Pivot:LiketheC‐sharptoDpivot(ortrill)fingering,this

noteissharpbutmaybepreferableforasmootherfingertechnique.Thisfingeringshouldnotbesustained,asitisnotacceptablysonorous.LiketheDPivotfingering,thestandardD‐sharp/E‐flatfingeringisalsosharponmostsaxophonessocompensationisnecessaryregardless.

5‐notePatterns:EMajor

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A‐flatandD‐flat(C‐sharp)Major

F‐sharpandBMajor

LongC‐sharpMostoftenusedwhendescendingfromthesecondoctave,pivotingonC‐sharp(D‐flat)andreturning,thisfingeringcreatesasmoothtechnicalflowandsustainsthetimbreoftheupperregister.SomesaxophonistspreferthelongC­sharpfingeringinothersituationsforitstoneandintonation.FundamentalLongC‐sharpFingeringThelongC­sharpwillworkwithanyfingersdepressingrighthandkeys(fornotesincludingD,E‐flat,E,F,andF‐sharp).

5‐notePatterns:TheLongC‐sharpfingeringapplieswhenthepatternstartsonC‐sharp.AlthoughthedeffinitionaboveexplainsthattheLongC‐sharpfingeringismostcommonwhendescending,pivotingonC‐sharp,andretruning;whenrepitionofthe5‐notepatternoccurstheC‐sharpbecomesapivotnoteandthepatternentersthescenario.OnemaystartonOpenC‐sharpandusetheLongC‐sharpuponsubsequentrepetitins.DMajor

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AMajor

EandBMajor

F‐sharpandC‐sharpMajor

AMajor,pivotonC‐sharp(LongC‐sharpfingering)

D‐flat/C‐sharpMajor,pivotonD‐flat/C‐sharp(LongC‐sharp)

FRONTFINGERINGS

Frontfingeringsserveasalternatesforpalmkeystofacilitatetechnique.Theyalsofunctionasthebridgetothealtissimoregister.ByuseoftheFrontFKey,onecanplayhighE,F,F‐sharp,G,andG‐sharp(onaltonottenor).Theekeysareconsideredthebridgetothealtissimo.Theirfundamentaltimbreandtoneproductioncharacteristicshavethequalityofaltissimo.Itisreasonabletoconsiderthemthefirstaltissimopitches.

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PivotindexfingeratthelargeknuckletodepressfrontFkey.

SopranoandAlto

Tenor

Baritone

Whenmatchingtonewiththenormal(non‐altissimo)rangeofthesaxophone,thepalmkeyfingeringsshouldbeusedifthefingertechniqueisfeasible.However,therearesituationsthatwarranttheuseoffrontfingerings.Theseconsiderationsincludetheflowofmelodiclineor

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enteringintothealtissimorange.Likethecrossingthebreakpivotfingeringsabove,asmooth,easysoundingtechniquemayover‐ridetimbre.Oneshouldpracticefrontfingeringsbyfirstmatchingwithpalmkeys.EPalmtoEFront

FPalmtoFFront

F‐sharpPalmtoF‐sharpFront

Soprano/Alto

Tenor/Baritone

Oneshouldpracticeallexerciseswiththestandardpalmkeyfingeringthroughoutandthenrepeatwiththefrontfingering.

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Whenprogressingfromapalmkeyfingeringtoalefthandpearlfingering,onecanoverlapthepearltomaintainamoresmoothtransition.Subsequentfingeringscanreturnthelefthandfingercontacttothepearls.

ExamplesCMajor

AMajor

FMajor

D‐flat/C‐sharpMajor

F‐sharp/G‐flatMajor