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I am looking for an easy fingering for C6-D6-E6 on the tenor saxophone.

I know there are different fingerings for each not possible on the sax and I did study the ultimate fingering chart, which is an excellent resource.

Yet, a friend recommended me to avoid using the palm keys because they kind of slow you down, to which I agree. I also kind of feel like the sax is slipping from my hands when I play the D6, there is no "frontal support". Therefore I am trying to find another grip for D6 without a palm key, so not like this:

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I do prefer to use this fingering for E6 because it is easy and fast to continue up the register this way: enter image description here

So my main question is: is there any grip for D6 without using the palm key?

  • As a clarification, the octave numbers refer to absolute (midi) octaves. – dorien Apr 26 '14 at 11:34
  • Have you tried adding palm key risers to your instrument? I have big hands and they make the palm keys much easier to play for me. – Tab Alleman Mar 24 '15 at 17:31
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I know this question already has an accepted answer, but it's actually lacking in substance, in my opinion.

Also, your reference manual is a good one but it's incomplete as well. I only use it for multiphonics personally. In my opinion, this is a much better resource of alternate fingerings. My teacher recommended playing C + palm D for quick switches between C6 and D6, claiming that it's a bit off but won't be noticed in a quick progression. On my horn it's way off, so I don't do it. Personally, I just play the first harmonic on D5 (which is D6), just like LS97 suggested to you. That is subject to how large the opening on your mouthpiece is, how hard the reed is and so on. I doubt you would be able to get the first harmonic on D5 if your mouthpiece has a small baffle and your reed is below 3.5 strength.

All common fingerings feature at least 1 palm key.

P.S. It would be funny if you were struggling with this progression because you were learning to play a certain passage from Pink Panther at 120BPM (that's when I first had to deal with this problem myself).

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I think what your asking for is an alternative fingering for the palm D. Unfortunately, that's a discomfort you'll need to learn to overcome.

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    Wouldn't fingering a low D, Bb, or A produce a high D as an overtone? Not exactly what a beginner is looking for, and no guarantee on the tone, but shouldn't it work? – LS97 Jul 31 '14 at 8:58
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Playing D with the correct fingering should be easy enough. If you think this is awkward or slow you should try the clarinet, or for some real fun, the bassoon. :) Trying to get it some other way is going to not be worth the effort and not sound right and probably be out of tune.

Using the alternate fingering for E (with the jump key) should be used judiciously in my opinion as well, basically I think of it as a bridge between the altissimo register and the "normal" register. If I'm not going to or coming from altissimo, I'm using "palm" E every time.

  • It's almost impossible to play C6->D6->E6 at 120BPM without using an alternate fingering for D6 (according to my teacher). – Pyromonk Sep 2 at 1:56

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