Skip to main content
49 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 ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
16 votes
Accepted

N.V. Meaning in Jazz

The "N.V" just means No Vibrato.
Laurence's user avatar
  • 94.2k
14 votes
Accepted

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 ...
NReilingh's user avatar
  • 35.3k
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 ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.8k
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 ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 6,506
12 votes

Can saxophones be in orchestras, not just like the symphonic jazz orchestras/big band?

Yes, there is a body of classical, non-jazz music for saxophone, including works for orchestra. Although not a standard part of most orchestras, saxophones are added when needed.1 A 2014 article in ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 90.9k
11 votes
Accepted

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 ...
endorph's user avatar
  • 9,649
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, ...
musicamante's user avatar
  • 6,996
11 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 5,137
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'...
badjohn's user avatar
  • 4,243
10 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 ...
Tom Serb's user avatar
  • 4,827
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 ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
8 votes
Accepted

Not-quite-beginner beginner alto sax, how to select an instrument?

I'd like to pick it up again, but I don't have a sax. Any recommendations on what I should look for? Twenty four years ago I emigrated to a country which kinda, sorta, not-really recognized my ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 5,630
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 ")" ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 90.9k
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 &...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 90.9k
8 votes
Accepted

Unknown Notation with a sharp, curved line

It's called a "flip" or a "turn", and in jazz charts, that's a standard notation for it. It's played by adding two "grace notes" just before the following "main"...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 90.9k
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 ...
Kilian Foth's user avatar
  • 7,793
7 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 ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
7 votes

Eighth rest, quarter rest, eighth+quarter notes dotted

In my example, play A and B. C should then be easy.
Laurence's user avatar
  • 94.2k
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 ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 90.9k
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 (...
nuggethead's user avatar
  • 5,630
6 votes
Accepted

What does "sax loco" mean?

"Loco" means "in the written octave", as opposed to shifted by some number of octaves. Such a shift could be due to 8va/8vb marks, or in this case, because of instrument transpositions. Tenor sax ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
  • 22.4k
6 votes

Playing the saxophone in the rain

I've gonethru this in the past. First: the lacquer is not water-soluble, so unless you live in Beijing or New Delhi :-(, the lacquer won't care. What I did was to take a stack of soft paper towels ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Pat Muchmore's user avatar
  • 18.3k
6 votes
Accepted

Are bass clarinet and tenor sax notations played an octave lower?

Yes, bass clarinet and tenor sax are notated a ninth higher than they sound. So the written middle C (C4) sounds the B♭ a 9th below (B♭2). The point is not to make life difficult for transcribers, but ...
Kilian Foth's user avatar
  • 7,793
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 ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
  • 22.4k
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.
Laurence's user avatar
  • 94.2k
6 votes
Accepted

How to play super high G on alto sax

Yes, it is most definitely possible. These are called altissimo notes. A very thorough resource for woodwind fingerings is the Woodwind Fingering Guide. However, to play these pitches, you need to do ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
  • 22.4k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible