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My experience in playing the altsissimo tones is that on the tenor and bariton this is much easier to do than on the alto (I am not playing soprano/nino) . I wonder if this is also what you find. I have used and am using several makes: tenor Selmer MVII/SAI, Bauhaus-Walstein M2S; bariton Dolnet, System'54 Sup.Class; alto Selmer SAII, Buffet 400 series, Bauhaus-Walstein M2S, Buescher TH&C. For years I am using Lawton BB mouthpieces although on the alto I tried also JJ DV, Lebayle Studio metal and wood merely trying to solve the altissimo "problem". Could you please let me know what your experience is?
 

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Yes, I agree. It's more difficult on the smaller horns, and less important. I don't really want to hear altissimo on soprano! On alto maybe the high G & A, but only very sparingly, if at all...
 

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It's all about voicing on any of the horns. I don't know if I would say "easier" on the larger horns. You might want to experiment with over-blowing palm key notes as a starting point rather than worrying about G3. G3 is one of the tougher altissimo notes to nail...at first.
 

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Funny, guess it's just me but I always found alto was the easiest of my horns to blow altissimo on. Probably just 'cause I've been playing that one the longest...
 

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Usually my Alto limit is Eb4 but I can go higher up to at least G4 or Ab4 but then it depends a lot on the mouthpiece and reed.

I looked at some Rascher videos on Youtube and Rascher really gets up there on Alto and his book goes up to C5 and Zorroperro can play up to a C5 on Alto.

It depends on the player and how they do it.

It does seem to be easier to hit the really high notes on Tenor, I can easily get up to a Ab4 on Tenor using a standard Yamaha 4C for instance but it's harder on Alto and I usually have to have a high baffle piece to get up really high on Alto otherwise I stick to around Eb4 as my limit and most of my Alto Altissimo playing would be between F#3 and D4 with most Altissimo being from F#3 up to B4.

The Tenor lower Altissimo notes around G3 to A3, are often harder than the higher Tenor Altissimo notes, especially with a low baffle piece and require some voicing adaptation.
 

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For me it is, but I play tenor alot more than alto. Maybe if I had a better alto I would play it more. Strange thing for me is that I don't have very much trouble with G3,G#3 and A3, which most struggle with. Any ideas why this might be. I can get up to G4( Although shaky) on tenor and D4 on alto. I also don't have trouble with G3, G#3 and A# on alto BTW.
 

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Seems strange, I hit any note up to C4 on Alto using almost any mouthpiece, although I don't play Alto anymore these days. I've been playing only Tenor for at least 2 years now, but still cannot get the altissimo notes (maybe a C4 sometimes). Does that mean I'm an Alto player? [rolleyes]
 

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If you are using a Ponzol M1 and it matches your horn then lower Tenor Altissimo might be fairly easy.

In my experience a low baffle mouthpiece on Tenor makes the lower Altissimo harder to voice.

The trouble is the mouthpiece/horn match and also reeds but the mouthpiece/horn match varies and some mouthpiece/horn combos accentuate or detract certain strengths of various overtones resulting in different overall tones and certain overtone strengths and seeing that Altissimo is just overtones then the strength of the overtones plays an important part in how easy some Altissimo notes are to play.

The really high overtones are weaker in strength on just about every mouthpiece/horn combo and so get harder and harder to play and players like Lenny Pickett really know what gear works best for them for really high overtones and of course technique and the player play a big part as well.

If anyone has say 5 different horns and 10 different mouthpieces and then they mix and match between them, they will find out that the Atissimo response varies all over the place depending mostly on the mouthpiece/horn/player match.
 

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I don't think being an alto or tenor player applies to your altissmo range. It has more to do with your tone and chops on the given instrument.
 

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Not in my experience. It's easier to go higher on Tenor than Alto for me but maybe I'm kinky or something.
 

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I was just referring to whether it makes you better at tenor than alto. Not the difficulty of it.
 

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Rascher went up to a C5 on Alto with a low baffle mouthpiece and the Buescher but Rascher had great technique and a lot of other players peak out on Alto at around D4, including me, but on Tenor I peak out at around Ab4, this is all on a low baffle mouthpiece and using a high baffle mouthpiece I can get up to Ab4 on Alto and I can also go higher than Ab4 on Tenor.

I think it requires more precise technique the higher anyone goes on any sax.
It's really a feel sort of thing, how to voice Altissimo notes, and some players are probably just naturally better at voicing feel than others but practice helps.

Some players might be more naturally suited to one of the sax ranges (Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Soprano) for Altissimo voicing as well.
 

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I think physics principles come into play here. If you take into consideration the wavelength that you are creating and the spacing of the overtones in the wavelength spectrum...that generally speaking gives one more 'space' in the spectrum to create or focus on the higher overtones when starting on a lower pitched instrument. If you consider the wavelength you are focusing on to produce the given overtone...and therefore the altissimo note, that wavelength for D4 (for example) on Tenor is going to be somewhat easier to focus on than the wavelength of D4 on Alto. Also why you will almost never see a D4 on Soprano...NOR SHOULD YOU!!!!!!!

Maybe this is all just my perspective...but it works in my mind to help make sense of it all.
 

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One thing that has been on my mind is, does the deepness of ones voice affect their ability to produce altissimo? I'm a bass and certainly can't sing very high. So this has to effect the oral cavity in some way.
 

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One thing that has been on my mind is, does the deepness of ones voice affect their ability to produce altissimo? I'm a bass and certainly can't sing very high. So this has to effect the oral cavity in some way.
I'd say the answer to that is no. If I'm not mistaken, the deepness of your voice has to do mostly with vocal cords. And you don't use your vocal cords to 'voice' notes on the sax. Also I know plenty of sax players that aren't "high talkers" who can play altissimo.
 

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I remember reading that Pharoh Sanders on baritone had a range of five octaves.
My experience indicates that that the lower pitched horns have the advantage in terms of altissimo.
Who would require altissimo on a soprano anyway?
 

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For me it is, but I play tenor alot more than alto. Maybe if I had a better alto I would play it more. Strange thing for me is that I don't have very much trouble with G3,G#3 and A3, which most struggle with. Any ideas why this might be.
I have been spending a lot of time working on my altissimo range over the last few months and it is now really starting to produce some results. I can play up to D4. I see from your signature that you play a Selmer SA80 SII and you say that you mainly play tenor; well it's the same for me. I mainly play tenor SA80 SII (I play a JodyJazz HR 8* mouthpiece with RSJ 3M reeds currently) and have found certain fingerings that allow me to produce G3, G#3 and A3 with very little difficulty. Maybve it's one of the many positives I have found with the SII? I've also found that using this mouthpiece has really helped me develop a strong air support and big and full sound, also probably could be attributed to a lot of overtone practice too.
 

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Some time ago, I suddenly discovered that altissimo on baritone was very easy. I promptly took it to a technician and he managed to put it right again...
 
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