Me and friend are both learning the Saxophone he has a Tenor and I have Alto. I know the Tenor Sax is in Bb and the Alto is in Eb and the fingering shapes for both are the same, but of course the note that comes out of each are different based on their different tunings.
However when playing down either sax its says both are BAG FED on most of the fingering charts I have seen. Which applies to both tenor and alto yet the sax is not playing BAG FED it’s something else.
So why is it called BAG FED if that’s not what is coming out of the Sax?
I know the tenor is in Bb and the Alto is in Eb but if we both play a B we both get a different notes.
So why is it BAG FED on both fingering charts ?
And does this apply to scales for example if I was playing the C scale on a alto would the tenor be playing a different scale to me to be in tune to my alto sax ?
Very confused about this 🙂
You are correct with some of the things you noticed, all saxophones basically have the same fingering system. That makes it easier to switch between them without relearning a new system. However, since they are different sizes and not all saxophones are exactly octaves apart, the notes are different.
There were some saxophones made in the key of C (concert) like the C melody, but they ended up not being as popular as the Eb and Bb saxophones. For whatever reasons, people seem to like the tenor, alto, soprano, and baritone saxophones more than the other saxophone types.
If a saxophone is in Bb or Eb, none of the notes are the same as the notes for piano/guitar/flute/trombone/other ‘concert’ instruments’.
And the notes for alto and tenor saxophones even if written the same are not really the same. This system does make it easy to read music even if you switch between types of saxophone.
If you play a C scale on alto, you’re really playing an Eb concert scale which is an F scale for tenor. C and F are a fourth apart. All scales if you play the same note names on an alto and a tenor will be a fourth apart. So you could think in terms of concert pitch and determine what they are.