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Discussion Starter #1
I really like what I would describe as a "screaming" sound in the altissimo register, which would be typified by Coltrane, Brecker, Pharoah Sanders, Kenny Garrett, etc.

I have tried to vary the timbre a bit when I practice but I'm not having much success. My altissimo notes pop out fine, and more or less in tune, but the tone is not gritty/raw enough for my liking. What effects are these guys using? I suspect it is multiphonics (especially Brecker) and some singing of notes when playing the altissimo. Maybe just "growling" the note? Am I on the right track? What are some things I can practice to develop this sound? Thanks.
 

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I've been trying to nail that as well - no success yet.

Have a look at the Rico website under lessons, I think. Someone is demonstrating just what you are after, I can't remember his name off hand (he was unknown to me!) and it is not Jerry Bergonzi.

Hope this helps
 

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This sound is aided somewhat by mouthpiece choice. It's much easier to get the split A and 'screaming' altissimo with a high baffle piece. That being said, it can be done also with fingering and voicing the note so that it splits.

...Or you can growl, or sing into the horn.
 

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dstack79 said:
Try not only humming while playing the altissimo, but actually scream into the horn at varying pitch levels...
I thought that was the trick as well. But if you watch the video I referred to on the Rico website, the sax player (still can't remember his name) says that singing whilst playing is what the old R n R's used to do and what he advocates is the modern way of doing it.

Have a look and let us know what everyone thinks.
 

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Nobby Keys said:
I thought that was the trick as well. But if you watch the video I referred to on the Rico website, the sax player (still can't remember his name) says that singing whilst playing is what the old R n R's used to do and what he advocates is the modern way of doing it.

Have a look and let us know what everyone thinks.
Sing, hum,scream, some combination... the idea is that the clash between the vocalized pitch and the saxophone sound creates the gargly/raspy "scream", as opposed to a clean altissimo note. Of course, there is also the possibility of several altissimo multiphonics - the altissimo A seems to be the most susceptible to this phenomenon.
 

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Another thing you can do is take in an absurd amnt of mpc and blow the altissimo not as loud as you can...once you reach a certain threshold, the note will split into a multiphonic. Try it
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the answers. I was on the right track with the singing and humming, I guess. I wonder if this makes sense: I have tried to sing or hum while playing but my vocal chords seemed to be "occupied" like I have trouble getting a vocal sound simultaneously with the normal tone. Is there a trick to it? I'll keep working at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
He appears to be doing it all with his air stream and an open throat. I don't think it would be easy to reproduce that effect just given his verbal description, though. Seems like he is using an open throat and a fast air stream.

Supposedly, the Mark VI is known for that nasty split tone on first altissimo G.
 

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Here's how I do it.

I found a couple of excercises here on SOTW that were helpful in achieving this Multiphonic Altissimo "scream a la David Sanborn". Do a search and you might come up with them.

Basically you need to practice controlling the your throat and air stream which in turn controls the register of your instrument. i.e. practice playing from c2 downward with the octave keys depressed, then practice the upper register d2 and above without the octave key. The former being most important. You need to learn to override the need for the upper register to speak with your throat and airstream (as Frank Catalano mentioned).

Bare in mind this (particularly on alto) will produce an ugly tone, but tone is not the goal for this excercise.

Once you're comfortable, try an altissimo note you want to be able to "scream", and see if you can (using the same throat and airstream "settings") include the lower harmonic in the tone.

It will also help to have a set of alternate/multiphonic fingerings. The Michael Brecker Transcription book has some, and Jason DuMars has posted some here on SOTW (mainly for alto).

This worked really well for me. I hope it is helpful for you.

Good luck,
Dan
 

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IDK why but I just "Can't" scream and play into my sax at the same time. I have the same problem where I try to hum and play to produce a growl, but I very rarely get it right. I can do all sorts of different kinds of flutter tongues though. Anyway does someone have an exercise or something I could use to train this? Or should I be taking a different approach. I am currently playing the not then trying to add the hum/scream. Thank you :)
 

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TooSaxy said:
IDK why but I just "Can't" scream and play into my sax at the same time. I have the same problem where I try to hum and play to produce a growl, but I very rarely get it right. I can do all sorts of different kinds of flutter tongues though. Anyway does someone have an exercise or something I could use to train this? Or should I be taking a different approach. I am currently playing the not then trying to add the hum/scream. Thank you :)
Remove the sax variable to practice. Can you whistle? Try whistleing any particular pitch. While maintaining the pitch, add a hum. At first, you won't be able to turn on the "hum" without turning off the "whistle". Keep pratcing until you can do both at same time. Keep at it. Once you got it, pick up your sax and the hum will be easy. Try it in the upper register of the horn at 1st, as it's easiest.
 

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TooSaxy said:
IDK why but I just "Can't" scream and play into my sax at the same time. I have the same problem where I try to hum and play to produce a growl, but I very rarely get it right. I can do all sorts of different kinds of flutter tongues though. Anyway does someone have an exercise or something I could use to train this? Or should I be taking a different approach. I am currently playing the not then trying to add the hum/scream. Thank you :)
Think of it as singing, not screaming or humming, since the pitch you produce is very important to the sound you will create. So, put down your horn and sing! Not just kind of half-singing, half-humming along to the radio. Sing a song you like, with a (relatively) full voice. You might feel a little dumb at first, but it gets you used to producing pitches and sustaining them. Once you can do that, try matching the pitch you are playing (obviously withing your voice range), then, try different notes. This will give you a lot more control over your growl sounds.

Singing while playing is the most fun, IMO, on bass clarinet. The range is very similar to my own voice (baritone-bass) and the instrument is quiet enough that my voice, when I really get into it, is almost as loud as the tone I am producing. If you really want to rock out, you can play power chords on the bass clarinet by playing a note and singing the fifth above it.

I was inspired to try singing harmonies with my bass clarinet by Evan Ziporyn. On the track "Partial Truths" off of his album This is Not a Clarinet, there are parts where he sings counter melodies while playing bass clarinet. Unbelievable!
 

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Thanks for the tips guys, I'm sure glad I turned to SOTW. I have a lot of trouble with a lot of jazz things since my teacher plays mostly classical and can't do any of the "tricks" on the sax, she isn't able to teach me. I like singing Bohemain Rhapsody BTW, :)
 

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dstack79 said:
:treble: Oh mama mia, mama mia.....
Mama mia, Figaro, magnifico!!!
 
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