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Thread: Is the F# trill key necessary?

  1. #121
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Beeflat View Post
    No harm perhaps....except that they add weigh, complexity, initial cost, with the risk of potential problems....& alternatives are already built in.
    Correct, there are alternatives, unlike for the F# trill key which has no alternative I can find.

  2. #122
    Distinguished SOTW Member kymarto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Beeflat View Post
    No harm perhaps....except that they add weigh, complexity, initial cost, with the risk of potential problems....& alternatives are already built in.
    So go pass a law banning the alt F#. Really, this is beyond absurd. You've now heard many players weigh in here on their use of this key. What's not to understand? Just because you and those you know don't use it it should not exist?

  3. #123
    Distinguished SOTW Member Captain Beeflat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    Correct, there are alternatives, unlike for the F# trill key which has no alternative I can find.
    R/H 1&2....& practise....exactly as trumpet players and keyboard players.
    Athletes were taught, for thousands of years, that the "straddle" method of high-jumping was the only way...this method was taught by all the teachers.
    Then along came Dick Fosbury.
    Experience is an excellent school....but the fees are high.

  4. #124
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Beeflat View Post
    R/H 1&2....& practise....
    Why waste time practising something difficult, when there is an easy way to achieve the same thing (or better)?

    I could light a fire with two sticks, but I prefer to use matches.

  5. #125
    Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor Merlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Beeflat View Post
    Athletes were taught, for thousands of years, that the "straddle" method of high-jumping was the only way...this method was taught by all the teachers.
    Then along came Dick Fosbury.
    Ah, so it was Dick Fosbury who invented the F# trill key!

  6. #126
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Beeflat View Post
    Athletes were taught, for thousands of years, that the "straddle" method of high-jumping was the only way...this method was taught by all the teachers.
    Then along came Dick Fosbury.
    Yes! Now you get it! The Fosbury Flop revolutionized high jumping, providing a means for athletes to shatter records and efficiently reach new heights on a consistent basis -- much like the F# trill key does for saxophone players.

    So why are you still flipping your fingers like a straddle method high jumper?

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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    You know I always wondered why high jumpers don't just run directly at the bar very fast, take a massive dive at it, and throw themselves over head first with a kind of somersault. Their approach would generate more momentum (compared to the Fosbury flop) and the heaviest part (the head and trunk) would go over first. Then all they have to do is kick their heels up a bit at the back.

    edit: surely tumblers can go higher than high jumpers (??) might be part of the high jump athletics rules (??)

    I suppose it's too late for me to enter for the London Olympics..

    I'm also going to avoid F# fingering entirely in my "concert repertoire" () from now on. I'll just lip my Fs up a bit. Then everyone's happy.
    "The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions."

  8. #128
    Distinguished SOTW member daigle65's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    I'm using my F# trill key a lot more ever since this thread started.
    " M'enfin ! " ....Gaston Lagaffe

  9. #129

    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Beeflat View Post
    R/H 1&2....& practise....exactly as trumpet players and keyboard players.
    Athletes were taught, for thousands of years, that the "straddle" method of high-jumping was the only way...this method was taught by all the teachers.
    Then along came Dick Fosbury.
    Yes, practice all of the fingerings that are available to you. And for the last time, please stop comparing the saxophone to trumpets and keyboards. I'm not a trumpet player so I can't speak to their experience but I am a keyboard player (and a guitarist FWIW) and can promise you that saxophones and keyboards are completely different instruments. A piano has one and only one key for each note. There are no alternate keys because none are necessary. However, you do not always strike the same key with the same finger every time. Sometimes I play an F with my index finger and an F# with my middle finger. Sometimes I play an F with my ring finger and an F# with my pinky. It all depends on where I've been and where I'm going. I have 5 fingers on each hand and each one is available to play a particular note as the music dictates. The saxophone does not offer that level of flexibility. I don't know any sax player, for example, who fingers an F with his thumb. OTOH, I play F on piano with my thumb all the time. I can play it with my right thumb or my left thumb depending on which direction I'm going. Piano players don't have to think about which key to use for a particular note but we do have to be constantly thinking about hand position and which finger to use on which key in a given situation. Again, AND FOR THE LAST TIME, saxophones and pianos are apples and oranges.

    As for your Dick Fosbury quote, you seem to be derailing your own argument. Athletes were taught one method of high jumping and you, apparently, were taught only one method of fingering an F#. Time for you to take a page from Fosbury's book and admit that there is more than one way of skinning this cat.

  10. #130
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaysne View Post
    It's used mostly as a chromatic fingering. Chromatic scales are generally used by guys who have studied some legit music, so I am guessing that you and the guys you know don't have legit backgrounds.

    For those of us who do, and who practice our scales regularly, the alternate F# key is a must. I guarantee you that every sax player (as opposed to your 1.27% estimate) who has studied with a sax teacher who really knows the instrument has learned how to use that key. It is part of a basic sax player's technique. It makes going from F to F# so much easier and more fluid.
    I've heard it so many ways (many much more subtle) that I also don't play the "legit", that I've taken to just telling people I play JnB music, when asked "what kind of music do you like?" or "Do you play legit?". Like I've been trying to figure out what those people mean by "legit", they can all go figure out what I'm sayin. The B is there to address the "legit" inverse pejorative. Beyond that they can figure it out for themselves since they so smart. And it ain't about scotch. However, when asked what wine goes well with my music, I do usually recommend a good Islay.
    By the way, I do use a lot of chomatic scales, despite not being "legit".

  11. #131
    Distinguished SOTW Member Captain Beeflat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Typically, this thread has degenerated into a miasma.

    I simply proposed that, similar to buying a car, where an option list is provided...a similar system could perhaps be adopted with saxophones.
    In the car world I do not need ABS, Traction Control or many of the options available.....therefore I am not forced to buy them.
    Similarly, with a sax. I do not require trill F#, side Bb, aux F or high F#...so why should I pay for them....simple as that.....just a proposal, using trill F# as an example only.
    Responses came from:-
    a/ Those who use, and need, this key.....and fully understand my question.
    b/ Those who seem not to understand.
    c/ Those who pick a fight at the drop-of-a-hat.

    Why does a simple question get so heavy, twisted, & opposed aggressively & vehemently by some? :tsk:
    Experience is an excellent school....but the fees are high.

  12. #132
    Distinguished SOTW member daigle65's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Beeflat View Post
    ...Why does a simple question get so heavy, twisted, & opposed aggressively & vehemently by some?....
    Psychologists call this projection.
    " M'enfin ! " ....Gaston Lagaffe

  13. #133
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Beeflat View Post
    Typically, this thread has degenerated into a miasma.

    I simply proposed that, similar to buying a car, where an option list is provided...a similar system could perhaps be adopted with saxophones.
    In the car world I do not need ABS, Traction Control or many of the options available.....therefore I am not forced to buy them.
    Similarly, with a sax. I do not require trill F#, side Bb, aux F or high F#...so why should I pay for them....simple as that.....just a proposal, using trill F# as an example only.
    Responses came from:-
    a/ Those who use, and need, this key.....and fully understand my question.
    b/ Those who seem not to understand.
    c/ Those who pick a fight at the drop-of-a-hat.

    Why does a simple question get so heavy, twisted, & opposed aggressively & vehemently by some? :tsk:
    In the immortal words of Shemp Howard: "put 'em up! put em up!!!"
    (I'm a type-c personality)

  14. #134
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    In all seriousness, someone recently stated here that "this is beyond absurd" or something like that.
    No. "This" was a simple question: Does anyone use this?
    What's absurd is people answering a different question, such as "Do we all need this?" or "Do you need it?" or "Do I need it?", and then arguing about the answers to those other questions.

  15. #135
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Beeflat View Post
    Typically, this thread has degenerated into a miasma.

    I simply proposed that, similar to buying a car, where an option list is provided...a similar system could perhaps be adopted with saxophones.

    Why does a simple question get so heavy, twisted, & opposed aggressively & vehemently by some? :tsk:
    -Offering a base model with no options IS indeed the most economical choice for a manufacturer. That base model has to include features deemed "minimal essential features before I'll buy" to achieve the broad purchaser base it's aimed at.

    Cars all have heaters. "No heater" isn't generally an option. The small market that doesn't want or need one can be either catered to with upscale custom options for a heaterless car or, if they don't want to buy it because of the cost/weight/reliability associated with a heater core and the associated piping and air duct requirements they can go elsewhere. The manufacturer's cost per vehicle of installing a heater on every car is less than what it would cost them to change the line to accomodate removing the heater and mechanism on a few vehicles. A greater number of disgruntled "d%%% the heaters" buyers would change the equation, of course.

    I believe the F# falls in the same category- to include the "not enough disgruntled potential buyers" to make it pay.

    I personally play both the trumpet and piano and have reasonably dexterous RH 2,3,4 fingers but even so I can certainly go back and forth more cleanly with the chromatic F# than with the flop. Could I live without the extra key? Sure. Would I pay extra- or even the same for an otherwise identical horn without it? Nope. That is personal, not a matter of dogma, though.

    In the end I think it's a simple business decision. Some horns do have some keywork elimination as an option. The "no high F#" on the Yamaha Custom horns is a feature elimination on a high end quasi custom horn. They believe it'll appeal to some "discriminating" high end purists and that the cost is outweighed by the small pool of potential purist buyers. At that model level a much smaller number of potential buyers is needed for the decision to make sense and the profit margin per horn is far higher than on the base models. (There are, of course, "prestige" models made just to prop up the marque.)

    That's a different market than the stripper model you seem to be espousing though.

    And if no one- however over-passionately- took opposing positions on the most trivial of issues there'd be a shrinkage of about 95.2374% in site postings. I note that you weren't exactly a shrinking violet yourself...

  16. #136
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Beeflat View Post
    I simply proposed that, similar to buying a car, where an option list is provided...a similar system could perhaps be adopted with saxophones.
    The easy answer to that is saxophone players in general would hate it it.

    Dealers would need to either keep each option in stock (thus price increases across the board) or they would need to be special order and you would wait two or three months and not get the horn you tried out in the shop. And again, probably more expensive due to the different tooling at the factory, bodies with and without the F# tone hole.

    I don't think so.

  17. #137
    Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor Merlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    Dealers would need to either keep each option in stock (thus price increases across the board) or they would need to be special order and you would wait two or three months and not get the horn you tried out in the shop. And again, probably more expensive due to the different tooling at the factory, bodies with and without the F# tone hole.

    I don't think so.
    And in addition, presuming that elimination of the alt F# key would mean not forming the tonehole for said key in the body - the acoustic design of the instrument would be compromised. Take out the alt F#, side Bb, side C and I'm pretty sure that would have a significant effect on the tuning of the instrument.

  18. #138
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry D View Post
    -
    That's a different market than the stripper model you seem to be espousing though.

    ...
    I once knew a stripper model...

  19. #139
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    But seriously folks:
    At the rate we're going, we will soon have a Sax Product Safety, Health, and Fairness Commission, and will all be mandated to have horns equipped with key work similar to the LeBlanc System, key guards on every key (so as not to catch a finger in there), and a big-a** MUFFLER on the bell!
    Not to mention no engraving (there will be too many caution stickers on the body to make the horn idiot-proof.).
    The ultimate federally-engineereed sax will make it fair for all players by forcing us to play equally badly. Anything more advanced than Mary Had a Little Lamp will be rendered unplayable by "intelligent keywork".
    Tone "quality" will be governed (at ppp level, of course) to something resembling the sound of Rudy Vallee playing on a Bundy II with an S80 C* inside of a plasic garbage can.

  20. #140
    Distinguished SOTW Member Captain Beeflat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the F# trill key necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    The easy answer to that is saxophone players in general would hate it it.

    Dealers would need to either keep each option in stock (thus price increases across the board) or they would need to be special order and you would wait two or three months and not get the horn you tried out in the shop. And again, probably more expensive due to the different tooling at the factory, bodies with and without the F# tone hole.

    I don't think so.
    Good points, if exaggerated slightly.
    The base model car was discontinued for the reasons given...and, importantly, for two other reasons...the Company made more money from the options than the car itself, plus the fact that the car was so reliable without all the troublesome add-ons...it lasted too long & was cheap to service.
    Experience is an excellent school....but the fees are high.

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