Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Yet Another Sax Change Operation

October 27, 2021

I have two saxophones, an alto and a tenor. The tenor is newer (circa 1965) and has a feature that the 1923 Buescher alto lacks: left-pinky-pushing the Bb/B/C# key also activates the G# key. On the alto the G# key is completely independent.

The electronic Yamaha YDS-150 acts the same as the tenor.

All I had to do was add some bits and pieces to the G# key in the right places so the other keys would push it down. Sorry, no before-mod shots.

Step 1 - a bit of aluminium* scrap (gutter)
Step 2 - a bit of wood (like a popsicle-stick) glued to the aluminium

Step 3 (not shown) - a bit of cork glued to the wood was needed for the D# key.

*Google says: "The word was first proposed by Davy in the form alumium, and changed by him to aluminum; but was finally made aluminium to conform to the analogy of sodium, potassium, etc. ... And so we land today: with aluminum used by the English speakers of North America, and aluminium used everywhere else."

Above: two clips showing how the Evette Schaeffer tenor keys activate the G# key.
Below: a clip showing my modification allowing the same on the alto.
The discerning viewer will note how the last push takes a bit more effort, and that I'm not even using my pinky finger for the demonstration. 
I may undo the whole thing as I already have difficulty with pinky finger-strength. This mod is completely non-invasive and reversible. On the other hand, as of yet I don't spend much time on those lowest notes as they're hard to hit on that horn.

Lastly, one might ask why did I do this?
1: Because I have a neurosis about kluging things.
2: I think there are occasions when this fix would eliminate the need for the left pinky to move between Bb, B, or C# and the G# key. I discovered one such instance in a passage I was practicing on the tenor. My instructor said something like 'you found a hack'. That was before I noticed that the alto couldn't do the same.

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