18
Jan
11

Quick conversion for bass instruments

Do you have a bari-sax player, but no music for him to play?
Here is a simple and easy method to teach to your Eb Baritone sax players (and trombone players) how to convert trombone/bass trombone music (and even tuba music sometimes) AT SIGHT, which might keep you from having to write them a transposed part:

 

1) Baritone sax players can use a Bass Trombone (usually a 3rd or 4th trombone) part…all they have to do is change the clef sign from bass clef to treble clef and add 3 sharps to the key signature.

Ex: for a piece in concert G (one sharp in the key signature) they just imaginarily change the clef sign to treble clef and add 3 #s (to 4 #s total). If the trombone part is in a flat key, just subtract 3 flats (ex: concert Eb = 3 flats-subtract 3 flats will put the resulting sax part in C). For “crossovers,” subtract flats and add sharps. Ex: trombone part in F (one flat), the first added sharp cancels out the flat in the key of F, then add two more sharps for the sax. So trombone part in F (1 flat) = sax part in D (2 sharps).

Also remember that the lowest written note that a bari sax can play is a Bb (two spaces below the treble clef). EXCEPT, some bari saxes have a low A key that permits them to play the note 2 ledger lines below the staff in the treble clef (this note corresponds to the low C two ledger lines below the bass clef).
NOW, here’s the other side of the coin: Using the above procedure IN REVERSE will enable a bass trombone player to play (at sight) using a baritone sax part.

So: if the bari sax part is written in one sharp, the trombone player should change the clef sign to bass clef, and SUBTRACT 3 #’s from the key signature. Ex: sax part written in one sharp would mean the trombone player plays in 2 flats. A sax part in 4 sharps would be a trombone part in 1 sharp, etc….
TRY THIS OUT…it gets a lot easier after you do it several times, but it works and should save you some time!


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