Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, I got up to a D# an octave above the two palm keys one the other day (the first time I seriously set out to learn altissimo). However, I haven't been able to get that high since. How exactly do I practice to improve my consistency in getting the notes out? Some days I get up to a C or so, and some days I can barely get out the F# a half step above the 3 palm keys :/ Scales? Arpeggios?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,567 Posts
The same answer that can be applied to most questions on this forum:
Long Tones

Play the note and hold it, repeat. Play up to it slowly in octaves, arpeggios and long tones; holding each one and repeating the altissimo and holding them for 8 slow counts(ca.60bpm).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
553 Posts
Also try repeating the note while increasing the rhythmic speed. i.e crotchets, quavers, triplets, semiquavers e.t.c At first you will start cracking the notes at the faster repetitions, but if you can start producing the notes in triplets, you'll start to get them straight out for crotchets. I'll second the long note suggestion too. Try arpeggios slowly.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2007
Joined
·
1,142 Posts
British/Aussie/NZ English to American English translation...
crotchet = quarter note
quaver = eighth note
semiquaver = sixteenth note

I know most everybody probably knows this stuff, but for those who don't, there it is.

I'll throw in overtone exercises. Going up and down the overtone series as well as pitch matching exercises. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
One solution...

A National Acrobat said:
So, I got up to a D# an octave above the two palm keys one the other day (the first time I seriously set out to learn altissimo). However, I haven't been able to get that high since. How exactly do I practice to improve my consistency in getting the notes out? Some days I get up to a C or so, and some days I can barely get out the F# a half step above the 3 palm keys :/ Scales? Arpeggios?
There is a book out that can help with that. It's called Saxophone High Tones (2nd ed.), by Eugene Rousseau. It has exercises and fingerings for all kinds of altissimo playing. It teaches up to two octaves above reg. high G :space5: . It is a great book and is only around $25. It also has things that apply all SATB saxes. You should be able to get it wherever sheet music is sold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
I have this book called Saxophone High Tones (2nd ed.) by Eugene Rousseau. It covers altissimo ranges for soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones. It also gives scale and arpeggio exercises to develop that consistency. It teaches ways to get two whole octaves above regular G :space5: . I just bought this book about 5 days ago. It was around $25. You should look in to it. It should be sold wherever you find sheet music/method books.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2008/Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,295 Posts
Top Tones by Sigurd Rascher and Ted Nash's "Studies in High Harmonics" can also be helpful. I would suggest also doing scale exercises into the range. Starting in the standard range and slowly expanding into the higher range. Do slow chromatic exercises as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Is it possible that I am overblowing lower altissimo notes? On the F# and G just above the normal range of the horn I get this awful cracking extremely high squeak more often than I get the note. I'm not sure, but I think it might be a higher overtone? I don't have the problem on G# and higher (just tuning up there, heh). Or maybe it's related to my use of the front F? I dunno. I know that G is supposed to be one of the hardest notes to get, but I never had a problem with the F# until I started reaching for higher notes. Kind of a strange problem. :/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,831 Posts
I had that problem till I realized I'm biting to get those super high notes out. After I realized the correct way and practiced overtones I can play all the way up to D with ease.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
Check out Larry Teal: The Art of Saxophone Playing, Sigurd Rascher: Top-Tones for the Saxophone, Donald Sinta: Voicing. Good luck, this is not a short-term subject, but a lifetime pursuit!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
Grumps said:
Just play something you know an octave or two higher; until you drive everyone in the house nuts.

Why stop there? :twisted:


OT: I have some trouble with the overtones (overtones are like this, right? : I finger a low Bb and get a Bb1 and then an F2 and so on...). I get to the first F but then I can't get anything out. If I listen very careful I hear it (so the Bb3) is there, but I just can't get it any louder... Also: I can get a high G altissimo easy out of my tenor, and the way I do this is by moving the lower jaw towards the sax (so away from you :p). On alto I nearly have to take my jaw nearly out of its joint to get a G. And I can't play it with attack (so that you do a "Tuh" movement with your tongue.) When I try this technique on my overtones, it starts squeeking awfully... I know it takes a lot of practice, but am I doing something wrong?
 

·
E-mail address problem
Joined
·
129 Posts
you shouldn't be moving your jaw that much. Altissimo comes mostly from the shape of your oral cavity. so experiment with your oral cavity shape.

-mwhaa
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
575 Posts
I second Mwhaa.
There are many different approaches to the altissimo. So as not to get into a dogma discussion, I would say none is "right" over another-- though each will yield a very different kind of sound color. Personally, I find that practicing altissimo at very low volumes cues me in on what must happen in the oral cavity for the note to be there. Rather than thinking of filling the horn with air (perhaps a good way to discover the note, but not so much a good way to master the note) I think of backing way off. If my oral cavity directs the air properly I can use a very small amount of air.
That said, in jazz there isn't much use for the ppp altissimo range so, depends on the intent I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Check out the 2 little videos of Gerald Albright talking about how to work up your altissimo chops on the Cannonball website:

http://cannonballmusic.com/gerald1.php

They also have a really cool altissimo fingering chart on their site. I imagine it's the fingerings that work best on CB horns, but it's still cool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
A National Acrobat said:
Is it possible that I am overblowing lower altissimo notes? On the F# and G just above the normal range of the horn I get this awful cracking extremely high squeak more often than I get the note. I'm not sure, but I think it might be a higher overtone? I don't have the problem on G# and higher (just tuning up there, heh). Or maybe it's related to my use of the front F? I dunno. I know that G is supposed to be one of the hardest notes to get, but I never had a problem with the F# until I started reaching for higher notes. Kind of a strange problem. :/
Try this thread:

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=67411&highlight=Front+Key
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Just a mental thing that helps me...try to pitch the note in your head first, or sing it out loud so you know what note you're trying to get to. I don't know if it works for anyone else? But as I said, it's just a purely mental thing that helps me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I have been through altissimo fingerings on Eb instruments, both alto and baritone. I recently added a tenor to my instruments and the same fingering does not work. Sigurd Rascher in his book "Top Tones" claims that the fingering he suggests is good for any size of saxophone. Is is possible to use one altissimo fingering on all saxes?
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top