Some time ago, I picked up tenor saxophone and I'm learning to play in my (very scarce) free time. Recently, I've noticed that the top A sounds fuzzy compared to other notes. It's quite pronounced. G# and Bb seems to be unaffected. A is the note on which octave pip is changed.

Is this a common problem? Is there something I can do with my technique to remedy this, or might this be a problem with the instrument?

  • I'm confused...are you letting up the octave key, or pressing it down? Wouldn't you have the octave key pressed for the G# below and the Bb above?
    – evamvid
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 21:45
  • 1
    @evamvid The octave key opens two different holes depending on the note you’re playing, one is open for C to G#, the other one for A and higher.
    – Édouard
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 23:09
  • Which B♭ fingering have you tried? Left hand or side? How long since the latest maintenance?
    – Édouard
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 23:13
  • @Édouard I understand now...I thought OP was talking about the octave key as in the part you press with your thumb =)
    – evamvid
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 3:08
  • 1
    MusicMedic.com involves using pantyhose.Have a look.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 6:33

2 Answers 2


This is probably caused by interference with one of the tone hole covers, but it might just be caused by the construction of your particular model. I'd recommend getting it serviced and point out the issue to the repair-person.


Try using a pipe-cleaner to clean out the air hole in your top octave key.

Also watch the mechanism when you hold the octave key and raise and lower the G-key. Is the pad fully lifting above the top octave key?

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