Alto Saxophone fingering for B flat and A sharp note

How to play B Flat and A Sharp on Alto Saxophone

🎷 Written by: Greger Hillman, Your friendly saxophone teacher online

This sax lesson covers how to play B flat and A sharp on Alto Saxophone. Two names for the same note. The only difference is how it's written in sheet music. 

The B flat and A sharp note can be played in three octaves on Alto saxophone and you'll learn all three octaves here. There's also two alternate fingerings that I'll cover too, so that you have everything you need when it comes to B flat and A sharp on your sax. Sound good? Alright, let's get started.

Play Middle B Flat and A Sharp on Alto Saxophone

To play middle B flat (A sharp) on Alto Saxophone you only need two fingers in your left hand and a side key in your right hand.

  • With your left hand push down the B and A key on the front of your saxophone. That's the two upper main keys, skipping the absolute top key (also referred to as the fork F key).
  • With your right hand push the bottom side key with the side of your palm.
Play middle B flat and A sharp on Alto Saxophone Fingering keys

Note from the saxophone teacher: Try to keep your fingers in position over the other keys in both your left and right hands. Even if you are not pushing down on them. That way you'll find it much easier to switch between notes and it will help you develop a good technique on your saxophone. 

Play high B flat and A sharp on Alto Saxophone

To play High B flat and A sharp on Alto Saxophone you need three fingers in your left hand and a side key in your right hand.

  • With your left hand, push down two upper main keys, skipping the absolute top key (also referred to as the fork F key). These are the B and A keys.
  • Also in your left hand, add the octave key with your thumb
  • With your right hand push the bottom side key with the side of your palm
Play High B flat and A sharp on Alto saxophone Fingering keys

Note from the Saxophone Teacher: Use a steady air flow to play the note and keep it in tune. A common beginner mistake is to put more pressure around the mouthpiece as you play higher notes. Simply by loosening your jaw slightly and opening up your throat (like yawning) will make a huge difference to your saxophone sound. 

Play Low B flat and A sharp on Alto Saxophone

To play Low B flat and A sharp on Alto Saxophone you need all your fingers except the octave key in your left hand. So this one can take some practice to play.

  • With your left hand, push down the three main keys on the front of the saxophone. That's the B, A, G keys, while skipping the absolute top key (also referred to as the fork F key).
  • Also in your left hand, add your pinky to the lowest and biggest plate key (This can take some getting used to). 
  • With your right hand, push the main three keys on the front of the saxophone. That's the F, E, D keys
  • Also in your right hand, add your pinky to the lower keys in order to complete the fingering
Play Low B flat and A sharp on Alto Saxophone Fingering keys

Alternate fingerings for B flat and A sharp on Saxophone

There are two alternate fingerings that is useful to know about. The first one only requires one finger and the second one only use one key in your left hand and one key in your right hand.

Alternate B flat fingering on Alto Sax nr1

  • With your left hand, push down the B key AND the small Bis key just below it. Use your index finger and position it right between the keys which will make it possible for you to push down both keys with just one finger. Pretty cool, right?!
Alternate fingerings for B flat on Alto Saxophone using just the left hand index finger

Alternate B flat fingering on Alto Sax nr2

This alternate fingering only requires you to use both your index fingers.

  • With your left hand, press down the B key with your index finger on the front of your saxophone. That's the first pearl “main key” from the top, skipping the forked F key.
  • With your right hand, press down the F key with your index finger. 

Now you have another alternate B flat fingering that's useful when doing jumps between B flat and F among other combinations of notes. You can actually use either the F, the E or the D key in your right hand which makes it useful jumping between B flat and E, B flat and D too.

Alternate fingerings for B flat on Alto Saxophone using two index fingers

Final note on B flat and A sharp on Sax

  • The B flat note can also be written as Bb. That means B flat = Bb
  • The A sharp note can also be written as A#. That means A sharp = A#

Want to learn all the Saxophone fingerings?

Great! Make sure to download the free Saxophone fingering chart PDF to keep as a reference when you practice your saxophone.

About the author

Hi there. I’m Greger Hillman, your friendly saxophone teacher online with a passion for playing and teaching the saxophone. It’s been over 35 years since I picked up the sax for the first time and it was love at first sight.

If you are just getting started playing saxophone I’m really excited for you and I’m looking forward to helping you become a better sax player starting rigt now. Check out the articles below.