I've always been intrigued/annoyed/interested by the nature of transposing instruments, and specifically, recently I've been getting into discussions with my saxophonist friends. Lately, I've found that I have trouble converting notes from their respective transposed versions to concert pitch and back.
Does anyone have an efficient way to do these conversions mentally?
Mainly, I've been having problems remembering whether to go up or down the necessary amount, and whether the octave changes or not. For example, a high concert G♭ being translated to what a(n alto) saxophonist would actually read. I thought it was the A♮ above the G♭, but I was wrong. Also, I know some of you have your switch-clefs methods, but that doesn't really help me because since I'm not actually a saxophonist, I don't have the sheet music, and mostly the conversions have to occur in my head.
Having read some of the other questions about transposing instruments, I don't think they solve my problem.