Saxophone Forum


by saxbob
(13 posts)
9 years ago

Buescher 400 left pinky finger keys

I recently purchased a Buescher 400 tenor sax made in 1963. It has a big, awesome sound and mechanically very solid. NICE instrument! It is really a standout - soundwise. I like everything about this instrument EXCEPT I have difficulties with the left pinky keys - very awkward to use. I am used to playing a Selmer which has those keys oriented in a much more playable position (in my opinion). I assume that this is the typical arrangement and orientation of the Bueschers. Does anyone have any opinions about this? How does one easily make the transition? I guess the obvious answer is through a lot of playing. Any good suggestions are welcomed.

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  1. by sardonic_z
    (8 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Buescher 400 left pinky finger keys

    Play a loooot of stuff on the left pinky keys. One good thing, if you can remember to do it, is whenever you hit a nice lick an octave up, practice it transposed down an octave, and make sure you get it is fast n smooth at the bottom as you do higher up (this is also good for palm keys.) Another thing is to try and find as many different combinations of notes from Eb down to Bb as you can, then just work them until they're smooth. Hope that helps. -Z

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    1. by chiamac
      (586 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Buescher 400 left pinky finger keys

      "I guess the obvious answer is through a lot of playing." DING DING DING!!!! we have a winner! I never really had a problem with switching to different horns. I could alwase keep things seperate and tell where everything is. Sure things fealt a bit odd at first, but I got used to it.

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      1. by johnsonfromwisconsin
        (767 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Buescher 400 left pinky finger keys

        The selmer layout has typically a much nicer C# mechanism. The Buescher's Bb is much more managable to reach, I find. It looks like several other French manufacturers make a hybrid of the two that might be better than either.

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      2. by johnsonfromwisconsin
        (767 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Buescher 400 left pinky finger keys

        The selmer layout has typically a much nicer C# mechanism. The Buescher's Bb is much more managable to reach, I find. It looks like several other French manufacturers make a hybrid of the two that might be better than either.

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      3. by johnsonfromwisconsin
        (767 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Buescher 400 left pinky finger keys

        The selmer layout has typically a much nicer C# mechanism. The Buescher's Bb is much more managable to reach, I find. It looks like several other French manufacturers make a hybrid of the two that might be better than either.

        Reply To Post


      4. by johnsonfromwisconsin
        (767 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Buescher 400 left pinky finger keys

        The selmer layout has typically a much nicer C# mechanism. The Buescher's Bb is much more managable to reach, I find. It looks like several other French manufacturers make a hybrid of the two that might be better than either.

        Reply To Post


        1. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Buescher 400 left pinky finger keys

          I have a Buescher 400 alto. I just bought it back this summer at a pawn shop for $300 and it needs a little work but it plays decent. Mine is a 1953. The action feels very similar to my Conn, which is very different from the Selmer. I usually play a Conn tenor, so the Conn key configuration is comfortable to me. When you get used to the horn though, it won't seem so cumbersome to you. Tenor madness can even change the configuration around so that it's more comfortable to you also, but that can be kind of expensive.

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        2. by saxbob
          (13 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Buescher 400 left pinky finger keys

          Thanks to Sardonic Z, JohnsonfromWisconsin, and Connsaxman. And chiamac - well, there seems to be one like you in every crowd. I assume that the key orientation is typical of the Buescher saxes? I'm confident that, given time, the cumbersome factor will diminish. BUT, I like the Selmer orientation much better.

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