The horizontal center is the key to the harmonic sound of a saxophone. It is located between the frets, just above the fingerboard. To open your saxophone for playing, touch the vertical part of the horizontal center to the horizontal string at its beginning and end positions. Place the thumb on the top, bottom and back parts of the horizontal center and gently bend it upward and downward.
If you are still unsure of how to correctly open your saxophone, watch some professional saxophone players play and note their style. You can also try to trace their arm movements with a pen and compare the lines that connect their fingers.
When you have acquired the technique to open your saxophone and transfer it to your left hand, touch the horizontal center over the G and D strings on your right hand. Perform the same process for each string to get accustomed to the various openings and closings required for each position.
In addition to the two-octave keys on the fingerboard, there are another three rows of 12 horizontal keys. These keys are found at the root (for the octave keys), the half-root (the fifth and the octave keys) and the twelve-hundredth (the treble and the bass keys). The horizontal center can be used to manipulate the strings as required by moving it from one position to another.
To make the horizontal center mute any of the other keys in the orchestra, you can use the open and close keys on the left hand and the two-octave keys on the right hand. To work the horizontal center, put the two-octave keys and the open keys on both hands and place the center in between them. After this, start moving the middle finger to the center of the staff.
To move the horizontal center upward or move it forward to mute the upper strings, slide the first and second fingers of your right hand to the two-octave keys on the left hand. Begin by sliding your fingers to the open and closed position by moving the fingers upward and down. After this, repeat the process for the other strings to get familiar with the horizontal center.
The third step involves placing the middle finger over the half-root and tuning the lower strings using this finger to move the horizontal center upward or down. It’s easy to do; just put the center between the first and second fingers of your right hand and slide the fingers to the upper and lower positions using the center for your reference.
At this point, you may move the horizontal center upward or to the side to avoid leaving spaces between the open and closed keys. It is not necessary to engage in moving your fingers very fast or very slow when playing the saxophone. Simply observe the positions of the keys and how you are using the horizontal center to provide a wide range of sound changes.