48 votes
Accepted

Why is the saxophone not common in classical repertoire?

This question has been asked many times and various reason have been proposed: The saxophone is too loud or doesn't blend There are numerous recordings proving that the saxophone in the hands of a ...
  • 15.7k
16 votes
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N.V. Meaning in Jazz

The "N.V" just means No Vibrato.
  • 81.2k
14 votes
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Is "horns" a common term to describe saxophones?

Yes, you did. But you shouldn't feel bad about it — the term "horns" is commonly used to mean a variety of overlapping things. For example: Horns, meaning wind instruments, as opposed to the rhythm ...
  • 34.6k
13 votes
Accepted

Why is this tremolo here instead of a trill?

The distinction here is presumably one between a measured tremolo and a trill open to your interpretation. With the trill, you can determine how quickly you play it (16ths, 32nds, triplets, or ...
  • 80.2k
13 votes
Accepted

Why does C# sound extremely flat when saxophone is tuned to G?

The all-open C# is a tricky note on all saxophones. It tends to be very flat compared to the other notes, but it is also very sensitive to changes in embouchure. Personally, I don't think it is a ...
  • 6,433
11 votes
Accepted

Switch to Clarinet or Saxophone, which one is easier for an oboist?

I play all 3 instruments. Saxophone is simply an easier instrument than clarinet overall, and is more commonly used in rock music. It's the natural choice. That being said, oboists often find ...
  • 21.4k
11 votes
Accepted

Why is the key signature completely different from the actual notes?

That seems just a poorly written arrangement, with wrong keys, chords, notes and transposition. The song is indeed in F minor, so it should have 4 flats, and since the melody is written for Alto sax, ...
  • 5,800
10 votes
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Playing the saxophone in the rain

I've run into this situation before. Long story, but I was playing in a marching band, in the middle of Shanghai, in the rain, with my tenor, for about four hours. I think the reed is the least of ...
  • 9,509
10 votes
Accepted

What's the Standard pitch for a Saxophone and its frequency?

C4 as 440Hz (1) seems highly unlikely. Tuning standards have changed a lot over the years but it is fairly fixed today (outside period ensembles). The saxophone is a relatively new instrument and won'...
  • 4,123
9 votes

Why is the saxophone not common in classical repertoire?

I think the reasons are economic rather than musical. I don't really buy the argument that it was "invented too late", because it's just 11 years younger than the tuba (1846 vs 1835). And composers ...
  • 4,737
9 votes
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What's the difference between EWI fingering and saxophone fingering?

There are different EWI fingerings but the general idea is that standard saxophone fingerings will work, and some other that are not working on a real sax will also work. In my experience, palm keys ...
  • 4,327
9 votes
Accepted

I have to loosen my jaw to play the lowest notes on my Bari. Is that normal?

If you have to loosen up to play the low notes then your embouchure is too tight and you need loosen up over the whole range of the instrument. Start by working on just the low notes, and then when ...
  • 15.7k
8 votes

Switch to Clarinet or Saxophone, which one is easier for an oboist?

Disclaimer: former clarinet and sax player, never double reed. As Edouard points out, the sax goes in octaves just as an oboe does. However, it doesn't take long to get the "feel" of the octave+...
8 votes

Meaning of a Notation Symbol (

It's a "scoop" or "slide". It means you bend into the note, starting a bit flat and then bending the note upward until it's in tune. Typically, the symbol looks like ")" ...
  • 62.3k
8 votes
Accepted

In what key signature is singing written in, and how do I adapt for alto saxophone?

TL;DR (the specific answer) Your voice part's key signature has one flat. The corresponding alto saxophone key signature will have two sharps. The general answer Voice is written in what is called &...
  • 62.3k
7 votes
Accepted

Single reed mouthpieces: How do Facing Lengths, Tip Openings, and Chamber Sizes affect playing?

What makes this complicated is that different brands of mouthpiece makers use different labeling methods for these characteristics. Generally speaking though, you can make the following deductions: ...
  • 141
7 votes

What are some ways to improve my embouchure stamina besides regular practice?

Breath control, breath control, breath control! I recall one of the top University Marching Band directors talking to us (Midwestern Music & Art Camp circa 1970 :-) ) about his "aha" moment. He ...
7 votes

Why don't we see jazz music played on the church organ?

There is so much jazz music written for pipe organ it'll make your head spin. (Just last month I played a nice toccata on O when the saints for my congregation.) In general, at least some ...
  • 6,963
7 votes

Eighth rest, quarter rest, eighth+quarter notes dotted

In my example, play A and B. C should then be easy.
  • 81.2k
7 votes
Accepted

What is this sax technique called and how is it done?

This effect is usually called a "growl". There are two techniques (as explained in the linked video). The one in "Shotgun" is most likely the "'growl' in the back of your ...
  • 62.3k
7 votes

In what key signature is singing written in, and how do I adapt for alto saxophone?

The alto sax part needs to be written in the key of D Major (2 sharps). The alto transposes, and It's sounding pitch is a major sixth below its written pitch. When the vocals sing do-re-mi in F (...
  • 2,117
6 votes
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Changing from bass to saxophone

It is important to remember that you are a human being first, a musician second, and a bassist third. Musical instruments are not monogamous. As a musician, you feel a need (on some level) to ...
  • 25.2k
6 votes
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How do I go about playing 32nd notes?

I'm going to suggest two primary techniques for working up a line of fast passagework like this, but in the end I would suggest combining the two processes into one. Also, I'm changing the 32nd notes ...
6 votes

How to articulate on a Saxophone with the mouthpiece upside down?

First, I strongly recommend that you find a teacher who has experience working with people with physical ailments like this. This is highly nonstandard and trying to make recommendations based on ...
  • 21.4k
6 votes
Accepted

Xaphoon: Which key, C or Bb?

If you are going to play from dots, there are two options. The C xaphoon (like any C instrument) will play in the correct key for any music written for piano, guitar and such like. So if there's a ...
  • 178k
6 votes

Buying a saxophone online as a beginner

Buy the instrument AFTER the first lesson. The teacher will doubtless have advice to offer. Maybe he'll have good second-hand instruments available. At the very least, don't ask OUR advice, ask HIS.
  • 81.2k
6 votes
Accepted

Saxophone articulation - interpreting symbols

∧ (Italian "martellato") is a symbol used to denote a strong accent, usually a rhythmic thrust followed by a decay of the sound. > (Italian "marcato") is a "lighter" version of the same accent. In ...
  • 1,480

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