The Meaning of a Baritone Sax

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The baritone saxophone is just below the tenor saxophone in terms of range. Learn the meaning of a baritone sax with help from a saxophonist in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: How to Play the Saxophone
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Video Transcript

My name is Mike Eyia. I am a freelance saxophonist in Los Angeles. I gig around LA as well as on the road, and in the studio. Today, we're going to talk a little bit about the meaning of the baritone sax. The order of the saxophones from high to low would be sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass. So actually the baritone saxophone is just below the tenor saxophone in terms of the range of the sax. The key of the sax is an E flat, just like the alto. When you see a G on a piece of paper on your music on an alto sax, you play a G, it comes out as a B flat concert. When you play a G on the baritone sax, it also comes out as a B flat concert, but it's an octave lower. The baritone sax can go a fifth below a tenor saxophone. The lowest note on a tenor sax sounds like this. The lowers note on the baritone sax one actually is five notes lower than that and some baritone saxophones have a low A key which enables them to go even a half step lower. So the baritone sax is a very low sounding saxophone. It's used it big bands and big horn sections as the bottom voice of the horn section. It plays a lot of the big bass notes. My name is Mike Eyia, and that is the meaning of the baritone saxophone.

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