Fork E on Saxophone. The fingering for alternate high E, Front E on all saxophones

How to Play Fork E on Saxophone

Written by Greger Hillman, Saxophone teacher and music educator

The Fork E on Saxophone is an alternate way of fingering the high E on saxophone. It can really speed up your fingerings and technique moving between high A and F, C and F as well as D, E and F#..

The Front E ( aka “Fork E”) is most useful when playing certain note combinations on your saxophone.

I always teach my students the regular high E fingering first, as it flows naturally when moving chromatically from high D, E flat and E as well as from high F chromatically downwards using the palm keys in your left hand on the side of the sax.

Differences between Front E and regular E on saxophone

Both fingerings let you play the same note, the high E. Based on my experience it's easier to maintain an open and full sound with the “regular” palm fingering for E on the saxophone compared to the fork E fingering.

However, you can achieve the same “openness” in your sound with a bit of practice. It ultimately comes down to your embouchure and keeping the throat open while playing with good air support without squeezing the mouthpiece.

The Fork E (Front E) Fingering

The way you finger Fork E is pretty simple. You only need three fingers on the front and the octave key on the back. It's played like a high G but with the Fork E key added on the front instead of the B key.

Here's an easy way to find the Front E on you Saxophone:

  1. Finger a high G on your sax using the B, A and G keys with the octave key on the back
  2. Next, move the B finger up to the front fork key directly above it on your sax. That's it!
Fork E on Saxophone illustration with text explanation.

This fingering makes it easier moving between High C and E in the upper register on the saxophone.

Comparing Fork E to Regular E on Saxophone

Comparing the Fork E to the regular high E on Saxophone shows how different the fingerings are as you can see on the two images here.

While the regular E fingering is most useful moving between D, Eb, E and F the Fork E fingering is more useful doing note jumps between High E and C or A.

How to play high E on Saxophone. The complete fingering chart guide and illustration.

Practicing Front E arpeggios on saxophone

To get comfortable playing Front F in different combinations I recommend that you practice arpeggios incorporating the Fork F.

Here's an example for doing arpeggios over a E Minor Chord on Saxophone:

Starting from Low E › G › Middle B › Middle E › High G › High B› High E (Fork E fingering)

Make sure to practice this slowly to get familiar with the alternate Fork E fingering as well as listening to the intonation of each note to make sure you are playing in tune.

The arpeggio exercises are great both for developing your saxophone technique and musical understanding. So, if you are not already practicing arpeggios I recommend that you make it part of your practice routine.

It will make a huge difference as you progress to learn more chord arpeggio variations on your saxophone.

In conclusion

Learning Fork F on Saxophone is really useful. However, it will not replace the importance of learning all the basic saxophone fingerings.

In some musical situations the Front E will make it much easier to make a passage or jump between notes like High C to High E and High E to High F.

You should look at Fork E as another fingering to put in your musical toolbox that will help you become a more complete saxophone player.

There are a total of 3 Fork fingerings on Saxophone. You've already learned about Fork E here, but there's also the Fork F and Fork F# (F sharp) on 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.

Saxophone teacher online Greger Hillman

Written by Greger Hillman

Greger Hillman is a saxophone teacher with +36 years of experience playing saxophone. 

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