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Discussion Starter #1
Hey chaps,

I've been struggling with getting altissimo comfortably for a good few years now. I must admit I've not put as much practice time into overtones and multiphonics as I should have been, but certain elements have come quicker than others and I find myself easily deflated..

I'm running a Selmer Series II with a Lawton 6* mouthpiece and Rico Plasticover 2 1/2 reeds. It's a new setup I'm using to get a more powerful sound as I'm mostly playing funk.

Now I can switch octaves without the key on all notes and get the 3rd overtone above that on low notes (Bb, B, C), also I can get altissimo F and F# with that awesome breaking tone and then D to F# above that with a thinner scream sound, but the notes in between are stumping me.

I've managed to break a G on the odd occasion and pull the 5th overtone from low C now and again, but never twice in the same practice and it's driving me mad.

I'm trying to restrict air flow with my tongue on my palette, pinching, singing the note and plain old pinching but nothing seems to get consistant results.

It's driving me crazy and putting a big downer on my progress as I think it's my main downfall currently and I can't break through. It's not as if I can't do any of it, I've consistantly got the other notes and sometimes get the ones I struggle with, so I don't know how to approach fixing this!

(Also, I'm getting a severe amount of squeaking when I miss the notes, never used to on my Selmer C*, any reasons for that?)

Any thoughts or tips would be massively useful!

Peace and tooting,

D.
 

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Hi Dan,

I've been in the overtone/altissimo frustration corner myself and only recently found a solution, partly because I've been experiencing some throat pain for several mouth that made me rethink my overtone/altissimo/sound work.

My advise would be to work on your overtones and play them as softly as possible.For me it's becoming a real meditative exercise actually. By forcing you won't get anywhere, at least this is what I had to experience. I'm also doing mouthpiece exercises, that might help too.

Just give yourself time and relax.
 

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I've been struggling with getting altissimo comfortably for a good few years now. I must admit I've not put as much practice time into overtones and multiphonics as I should have been, but certain elements have come quicker than others and I find myself easily deflated..
Hello,

I can only say that I can relate to this sentence 100%.

I'm running a Selmer Series II
My setup also includes Selmer Series II and sometimes I wonder if it can be related with that. However, everytime I borrow the horn to someone else, they can make it work and show me that I am the noob on that area.

As far as I know, there are people who can make altissimo work far more easily than others. Probably, we just should try to accept that we're not those people and like SiB told

Just give yourself time and relax.
 

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Try working on altissimo A for a while. I think it's one of the easier alt notes and is in the range you're having problems with. Best fingering I've found for that note is:

octave key, O X X / X X X

Don't overblow too much. You have to find just the right airstream, if that makes any sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cheers guys, I've seen a few threads on this that end up with some poor saxer going 'well try this or that and if it doesn't work just blow as hard as you can' and I figured it might be the way!

I feels like I've tried every way so far and still can't find that bloody airstream! Thanks though, I'll head up the studio today and work on some quiet overtones and As. Feel sorry for the neighbours!

The biggest irritation is that I can get some of them.....sometimes, so it's not as if it's competely beyond me. If I'd never hit an alt in my life it wouldn't be quite as bad!

OH and erbuncho, I think perhaps the Series II might make it harder for beginners, but not impossible and once you've got it. I've not given up yet and I've managed to get SOME out of it, let's do as we're told and get practicing!

I'll keep you posted, thanks for your help!

D
 

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It seems to be a common trait of Selmer Series II saxes. Like you, I had some success with altissimo,but not with all of them. The ones I can get; G3-E4 with no breaks, I really have to work on the intonation. My G3, which is one the easier ones for me sounded almost like f#3 when I first hit it. It no longer sounds like that though.

One thing I found is that the vast majority of my fingerings were never the ones that someone "highly recommend". Some of them I just stumbled onto by complete accident. Is this the cases for other series II players or just a few isolated cases?
 
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