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I've been practising overtones a lot recently.:compress: I told myself a week of only overtones but...:faceinpalm:
When I first started practising I could play the Bb and F:popcorn:but not the Bb2. I practised a lot and then finaly got the hang of it.:toothy7:
I have been working hard on Bb3 but it's been rough. when I really exaggerate and hiss eeee I can get it 1/5 of the time.
So here is my Q. :help: If I raise the back of my tungue to get the F...and I raise it has high as I can get it to get Bb3. HOW DO PEOPLE EVER GET ALTISSIMO!?!?:banghead:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh, yeah. I could do some altissimo a year ago. I realized I was biting too much rather than using my facial muscles. So I stopped altissimo, switched to super soft reeds, killed my muscles until they got strong, and of course, overtones.
 

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You shouldn't have to raise it that high. It's not just the position of the back of the tongue, it's also thinking 'ahhh' in the back of the throat, like you're saying 'ihh' with your tongue and 'ahh' with your throat.

I would suggest you try playing the regular fingering, and then try to add fingers as if you're going down to low Bb, but staying on the same pitch via voicing.
 

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I would suggest you try playing the regular fingering, and then try to add fingers as if you're going down to low Bb, but staying on the same pitch via voicing.
That switching exercise is a great suggestion. Finger high Bb using bis, then very quickly switch all fingers down to the low Bb fingering, so that the horn remains on the same pitch. Another trick is to finger low Bb and slightly crack open your side Bb key to pop out the harmonic, then release the key. All of these simply get you used to the oral cavity that is needed for those notes, but very difficult to describe in print.
 

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Try getting it chromatically from A or B (with low B fingering), or from the altissimo A below (A3 is usually about the easiest to get. Use octave key+ 0xxl000, or 0xxlxxx. these fingerings work well on most horns).

My first sax teacher told me that practicing overtones is like weightlifting: Some days you feel (sound) great, others you feel (sound) horrible, but if you keep putting in the work, you will get results.

I like to practice overtone scales too: use your low note fingerings to play the higher tones you are looking for. Bb scale starting at Bb 2 spaces above the staff of course would be spelled: Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb. You would finger: (all bell notes) Bb, C, Bb, B, Bb, C, B, Bb to get it.

Good luck! Overtones have helped me improve my tone a lot since I started playing as an adult beginner about 7 years ago.
 

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When I first started practising I could play the Bb and F:popcorn:but not the Bb2.
I think I jumped WAY ahead...Sorry, when I read that you could get the Bb and F, then you got the hang of "Bb2," I though you were mistakenly referring to octave Bb as Bb2 instead of Bb3. You can still do the overtone scale thing...I think it is a cool way to get them down. Going from Bb2-Bb3 you can finger: (again, all low notes) Bb, C, D, Eb, Bb, C, D, Bb. All that stuff in my other post will apply when you get to the next octave up.

As mentioned before, fingering the note you want, then adding the extra keys without changing the pitch is a great way. Singing the note prior to playing it (with your mouth and fingers already in place...just sing/ hum, then increase the air speed to voice the note) works great too.
 

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Check out the above advice. Also, I'm sure you've tried it, but try flicking the octave key - sometimes it will help the overtone to pop out.
 

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That switching exercise is a great suggestion. Finger high Bb using bis, then very quickly switch all fingers down to the low Bb fingering, so that the horn remains on the same pitch. Another trick is to finger low Bb and slightly crack open your side Bb key to pop out the harmonic, then release the key. All of these simply get you used to the oral cavity that is needed for those notes, but very difficult to describe in print.
There's a more gradual way to get to the long fingering which may work for some people.

Start by playing Bb using the 1 + 1 fingering (first finger on each hand, B key in the left, F key in the right) XOO|XOO

Add other 2 fingers on the right hand - XOO|XXX

Add the low C key - XOO|XXX + low C

Add the Low Bb key - XOO|XXX + low C, Bb

Add the G key in the left hand - XOX|XXX + low C, Bb

Add the C key in the left hand - XXX|XXX + low C, Bb

This works for middle Bb. I haven't tried it on high Bb but I assume it'd work just as well. Just add the octave key and take it back off as the last step.
 
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