Banner: Fanfare for two trumpets and organ

Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Learning correct fingering vs transposing by default when playing a 2nd instrument

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    260
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Learning correct fingering vs transposing by default when playing a 2nd instrument

    I have been playing the Soprano recorder for sometime now, and also the Alto for a while as well.

    Thing is, I never bothered learning the correct fingering for the Alto, that is, the fingering is the same, but only a 5th down.

    So whenever I sight read music for the alto, I'm playing in a different key that it was written in.

    I realize many instrumentalists do this by tradition, but I would actually like to be able to play in the correct key.

    My concern is if I start playing the concert pitch and learn the correct fingerings by heart, is this going to affect my playing the soprano? Will I get confused, and occasionally play a G instead of a C for example? On the other hand I could simply arrange the score and read from the transcribed music, but that seems too complex and expensive...

    What do other musicians do who play a transposing instrument?
    What do the Pedagologists say on this?


    Thanks in Advance.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I play Eb, CC and BBb tubas. All in bass clef (most bass clef instruments are non-transposing). I don't necessarily think too hard about which fingering to use, I have just learned the fingerings for each tuba. When I play, I don't transpose, but I know which tuba I am holding and I use those fingerings. It's like being (truly) bilingual. One does not translate , one just expresses in the system selected. It also helps each tuba is very different from each other in size and sound.

    Having dabbled lightly in recorders, I did the same thing here. Instead of adding a layer of transformation (ie. transposition), I just "tell myself" that "This is an alto recorder and this is how we play it". I was never fast enough to "transpose" (which goes like this "I see an F which is xxx on the soprano but I am playing an alto so I need to play a fifth lower (or whatever) and that would be a C fingering in the soprano so here goes")

    Granted, practice and a good ear are essential. I think the more one removes calculation and transformational processes ( in the Chomskyan sense) from musical performance, the easier it becomes.

    BTW I also play two row diatonic button accordions, which are like harmonicas. I apply the same method here, as these come in many different keys. My success rate is directly proportional to the amount of time I spend practicing playing in concert pitch on different keyboards.

    I hope this helps

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,536
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by obwan View Post
    I have been playing the Soprano recorder for sometime now, and also the Alto for a while as well.

    What do other musicians do who play a transposing instrument?
    Interesting point here - recorder is the "odd duck" ....you actually learn two different sets of fingerings when you play soprano, and then switch to alto...
    other transposing instruments do not do this - musicians got smart, or lazy!!
    They just use one set of fingerings, and read music which has been transposed to the correct key.
    the fingerings on Eb alto sax, and Bb Tenor are the same - both hands down for C, left hand down for G etc - except, they are producing different pitches...they read music that has been transposed to the correct key, and that compensates for the pitch difference...
    same with clarinets - the pitch names remain constant with the fingerings, the written music adjusts for the different pitch.

    I doubt that you will get confused once you learn the fingerings - I play bassoon, clarinet and sax - and they have different fingering patterns - F and C...I never get them confused, totally separate operations.

  4. Likes arpeggio liked this post

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •