Alto Saxophone fingering for C sharp and D flat note

How to play C sharp and D flat on Alto Saxophone

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

This Sax lesson covers how to play C sharp and D flat on Alto Saxophone. Even if the note have two different names it is actually just one note and we'll cover how to play this note in all three octaves on your saxophone. 

Play C sharp and D flat on Alto Saxophone

Instructions: The fingerings for C sharp (D flat) on sax differs depending on what octave you are playing in.  While the middle C sharp requires no keys (!) and high C sharp just one key, fingering the low c sharp on saxophone tend to be a bit tricky. Especially as a sax beginner.

You'll learn them all here, but let's begin with the middle C, so that you can get going fast. This is probably also the first C sharp fingering you'll be using as a saxophone beginner. 

Middle C sharp and D flat fingering on Alto Saxophone

Here's the thing. Middle C sharp on sax is probably the easiest note tho learn. It requires….*drumroll* No keys! 

Yes That's right.

As long as you hold the saxophone correctly using both hands and neck strap distributing the weight of the sax about 80% on your shoulders and the remaing 20% divided between your left and right thumbs on the thumb grips you are golden. 

Simply blow into the saxophone mouthpiece with good embouchure will give you a great sounding C sharp (D flat)note.

Middle C sharp and D flat fingering on alto saxophone

High C sharp and D flat fingering on Alto Saxophone

If you already have learned how to play middle C sharp (see above) playing High C sharp on your saxophone will be super easy.

To play high C sharp (D flat) on your saxophone simply add the octave key. That's it no other keys are required.

Note from the saxophone teacher: Once you've learned middle and high C sharp you can start developing more tone control on your saxophone by doing an octave jump excercis  practice switch between the octaves to develop more control over those octave jumps. 

Low C sharp and D flat fingering on Alto Saxophone

Fingering low C sharp (D flat) on saxophone requires 4 + 4 fingers and the easiest way to get started is to use the low C fingering and adding the left pinky to the C# plate key.

Let's break it down a bit more:

  • Left hand: Use 3 fingers (Fingering the G note) and add your pinky to the C sharp (D flat) plate key.
  • Right hand: Use 3 fingers (fingering the low D) and add your pinky to the low C key
Low C sharp and D flat fingering on alto saxophone

Notes from the saxophone teacher: Playing low C sharp (D flat) can be a bit of a challenge as a saxophone beginner. If you find it hard to play low C on your sax you could try breaking it down like this:

  • Focus on getting the fingering right first – without playing
  • “Build” the fingering by adding the fingers for B › A › G › F › E › D › C (right pinky) and finally the C sharp key (left pinky)
  • After getting comfortable finding the right fingering start playing the note a few times.
  • If you find it hard to hit the low C sharp and all you get is a squeaking sound instead of that low note it probably has to do with you pressing too hard around your mouthpiece with your saxophone embouchure. Try loosing the embouchure a bit while maintaining good air support can help you get the low C# note on your sax.
  • If you get no sound or plenty of resistance trying to play any note on your saxophone it's a sign that you need to adjust the reed on your saxophone so that it can vibrate freely.
  • If you are fingering the low C sharp (D flat) correctly on your saxophone and still do not get the note it could be that you are pressing down the B-flat side key by accident. Also a common issue on the saxophone when you are starting out on the saxophone.

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.