Alto Saxophone Fingering

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Maintaining Your Alto Saxophone....5

Saxophone fingering is as important as breathing to play different notes on a sax and learn how from our expert sax player in this free sax video music lesson.

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

Today I’m going to talk about the alto saxophone and the proper hand and finger placement. The main thing is to keep your hands very relaxed. What you want to actually do is you want to have your hand in kind of a curved position, both hands actually. The left hand always goes on top, if you just drop your hand down to your side, you will see that it kind of forms a curved position. That is exactly what you want to do with both hands, because then you take that curved hand and you put it right over the keys. Same thing with your right hand, just going to drop it, bring it over and then you are going to be in the right position. The right hand is actually pretty easy to figure out where to put your hand. Your thumb is going to go underneath, the thumb rest, that is what helps hold the saxophone in addition to the neck strap. Then you are going to just put your first three fingers right on these keys here, your pinkie will eventually operate these keys at the bottom. The left hand is a little bit tricker, the thumb, there is a button in the back here this doesn’t move, that’s where you are going to be playing for your lower octave notes. Then you’ll have the octave key here, so the thumb will operate the octave key. Then in the front, this is a little confusing here because the best thing is to start at the bottom of this hand, the pinkie again will be operating all of these keys eventually. You have your third finger here, second here, you are going to skip this little key, put your first finger here, and you’ll not be using this key for a while that’s an unalternate fingering. So again you have one, two, three, one, two, three and your thumbs in the back, and again keep your hands relaxed and that is the proper hand position for alto sax.

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