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Alto saxophone is from Bb below middle C to high F.
To avoid needless confusion Fig. 78 is highly simplified. It
shows, on the saxophone itself, only the pads and keys that
you press down with your fingers and the inner part of your
hands in order to make the notes. The pads on which your fin-
gers operate are numbered 1, 2, 2j/2, 3 and so on up to 13.
The keys, which are used chiefly when you are playing high
notes, are lettered A, B, C, D, E, F, plus the octave key.
The pads and keys that are used to make each note are indi-
cated in the column under each note. Thus, to make the first
note, Bb, you press down pads 1, 2, and 3 and 7 with the first,
second, third and fourth fingers of your left hand, and pads
8, 9, 10 and 12, with the first, second, third and fourth fingers
of your right hand.
In the left hand the first, second and third fingers always
rest on the same pads, except when you shift the second finger
to the little pad numbered Wi to make A# or Bb. The left
little finger must be more versatile, for it plays pad 4 to make
G# or Ab, and must also shift to pads 5, 6 and 7 to make the
three lowest notes.
Much the same thing is true of the right hand. The second
finger has to shift to pad 13 to make F# or Gb, and the little
finger has to press two pads, 11 and 12, for some of the low
All of this sounds harder on paper than it is to make the
actual notes when you have a saxophone in your hands.
When you need to press on the keys A, B and C, you do so
with the inner part of your left hand. In the same way, you
press down the keys D, E and F with the inner part of your
Please be sure to notice that the higher notes of the scale
(except the very highest) are shown at the bottom of the
columns. The fingering for them is the same as for the notes
shown at the top except that you have to press down the octave
key with your left thumb. This opens the key.