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Ok, I may not be using the correct terminology here but will give it a shot. I can play my altissimo, along with "sliding" in it if you know what I mean. I can slide from the g on up etc, BUT I have heard many players though do this type of sound in the "normal" register. However I cannot figure out how. Can anyone help me out??

Thanks!!


**note the title really should'nt have said "lower register"...I just meant "non-altissimo". sorry for any confusion.
 

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I think what you may be referring to is a portamento -- functionally a trombonesque "glissando" on a reed instrument. Remember Rhapsody in Blue? There is one on clarinet in the beginning. In the classical sax world, the composer Ryo Noda puts them in his unaccompanied solos.

They're performed by gradually lifting the keys in painfully accurate succession so that a beginning note and end note are heard clearly, with a little slide in between. Pretty tricky.

Any help? Or not what you were looking for?
 

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The higher note in the "normal register" can be played in glissando the same way you do with the altissimo notes. ex: you can play a C3 or B3 while fingering high F or E and then just slide up to that note. I don't know how to do it in the lower register, but I think thejoyofsax explained that.

good luck!
 

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thanks guys, funny I didnt think of that, as soon as you said clarinet, the lightbulb went on. I just dint think of it that way. I guess I can slide my fingers off the tone holes w/ the clarinet. I will work on this and give it a try. Thanks for the help!
 

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I dont really understand how this is possible on a saxophone

A clarinet has holes which can be partially covered by the fingers... but a sax has pads which are either open or closed right?
 

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JoeyG said:
I dont really understand how this is possible on a saxophone

A clarinet has holes which can be partially covered by the fingers... but a sax has pads which are either open or closed right?
Yep, that's true. It's a hard technique to get down and is usually only performed over small intervals (a fifth or sixth max, typically).
 

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One thing you might want to try as you work on this technique is to play a pitch and try to slide down from it using your throat moving from an "ee" to an "ah" position. Try it first in the palm keys so you can get a feel for it. The more tone holes that are closed, the less you can manipulate the pitch. After experimenting with that, you can try taking small intervals (2nds and 3rds) and trying to do the portamento between them and then increase the intervals as you get more comfortable. Good luck and have fun!
 

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This is a technique I've been trying to work on myself. I referred to Nobuya Sugawa's technique book, which unfortunately is in Japanese. I had a friend who knows Japanese help me translate parts of it. Anyhow, in it, I can't remember exactly, as I've only seen it once, it says something about playing a note, such as a palm key D, and then try to use your voicing, tongue, and embouchure placement to get it to sound a C#, then try playing the D fingering, and C# fingering, alternately, but trying to always sound a C#. I know this probably sounds somewhat confusing, I'm not the greatest at explaining. However, then try doing it fingering a D and sounding a C, alternate, and keep going down. Try it with different notes, and then eventually, you can get a feel of what the feeling of portamento is like. Then, I tried doing intervals. For instance, I usually started with a G->A in the low register, for some reason worked for me. I'd try to manipulate the 3 controls I talked about above to achieve a slide between the notes. Next I went G->Bb, then G-B, and continued the pattern chromatically all the way as high as I could go. (Including altissimo). I'm still not the greatest at portamento, but I hope this might help for you, it did for me.
 

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thanks guys, funny I didnt think of that, as soon as you said clarinet, the lightbulb went on. I just dint think of it that way. I guess I can slide my fingers off the tone holes w/ the clarinet. I will work on this and give it a try. Thanks for the help!
Actually, a proper portamento on a clarinet is done with the oral cavity, not the fingers. What most have said is correct - oral cavity, not fingers.

I sound like a dying chicken pulling off that stuff in a sax, though. Better stay with glissandi and scoops.
 

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sorry for "resurrecting" this topic but yes, clarinet players should use air flow and their lips to do this type of glissando. for instance, i can finger a c above the staff on clarinet but change air flow so much (while keeping the tone, mind you!) that i can play a g above the staff. on sax this technique can still be used but often depends on mp and sax, especially with bore size, etc. please note that i suck at these glissandos no sax ^.^
 

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If you greatly loosen your embouchure you'll notice there's less distinction between individual notes. As you start to go up loosen up at the same time. The same technique is used on the so called "Cannonball Adderley trill" where the trills seem to blend into each other as you go up the scale.
 
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