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Hi,

I recently(about a month) started looking into altissimo because I have a piece in my school band which has a improve solo in the key of Gmin and I'd like to be able to hit that top G in it. I am having some problems, however. I can hit the G maybe 50% of the time when im using my rico metalite M7 mpc but 1. whenever I go above about F2 on this Mpc, it blows very sharp, about halfway between the tone im playing and the semitone above and 2. I prefer playing my Yamaha custom 6C mpc but I cant hit the G3 at all on that mpc.
I have tried taking the mpc off the neck further, even to the point it was barely hanging on, but then it is still too sharp and/or doesn't speak properly at all

Im playing a Trevor James Sr tenor with 2.5 vandoren reeds and the mpc's above

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
thanks
 

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Hi Mootin

One month into altissimo? And you expect to hit G3 consistently?
How long have you been playing in general?

Most (tenor) sax players say that G3 is the most difficult one to grasp, especially when you are beginning to explore the altissimo range. Let alone speak of control during an improvised solo.
Fingering the note is easy, it’s knowing how to blow (support, airspeed, embouchure, tongue position, throat, etc…) that is difficult, because in order to feel and understand, you need to concentrate on blowing overtones first, starting from low Bb and upwards.
Once you get the hang of the concept, it’s much easier to apply it to G3 and above.
Then, for tuning purposes, use a tuner! And/or play G, G2 and G3 consecutively and try to keep the intonation the same, by ear.
Always keep in mind, the higher the notes, the less air they require. So blowing hard is not a good idea. Try to build it up before you try to sound louder.

I’m sure someone else can point you to much better things to try…
 

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I recently(about a month) started looking into altissimo because I have a piece in my school band which has a improve solo in the key of Gmin and I'd like to be able to hit that top G in it.
As Soulmate pointed out, that altissimo G is one of the more difficult notes in the altissimo range on tenor. It will take a lot of time and practice to hit it consistently and play it in tune. There are plenty of theads here on dealing with that note, but here are a couple of suggestions:

First of all, just because you are improvising in G minor doesn't mean you have to play an altissimo G. If you want to play something in the altissimo range in that key, then there's no reason you couldn't hit the A (a much easier altissimo note), which is the 9th of a G min chord and a very tasteful note in G min. It will also have a bit more 'bite' (harmonically) than the G. That of course is assuming you can play it.

Secondly, if you prefer playing the Yamaha 6C mpc and it plays better in tune, then I wouldn't change to a mpc that doesn't play in tune just so you can hit altissimo G '50% of the time.'

Keep working on playing altissimo G in your practice sessions until you can hit it reliably on the mpc you prefer. It's a 'voicing' issue and as Soulmate implied, you have to back off a bit on the airstream; it's a delicate balance in terms of how much air you use, moreso than most other altissimo notes.
 

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The reliable way to develop the altissimo register is to focus on the overtone series, playing the regular fingerings lower down the horn and manipulating them to pop up an octave, an octave and a half, and so on. When you have control of this, you can adjust fingerings according to the characteristics of your particular setup to get the notes better in tune, if needed.

Starting with fingerings and trying to bite hard and make the notes come out is the backwards process from the process that reliably works. However, the overtone process takes considerable time because you are training your embouchure and vocal cavity to do some strange things where tiny subtle adjustments make a big difference in the results.

I would recommend getting a copy of the Top Tones book by Rascher. Also would recommend taking some lessons with a specific focus on altissimo.
 
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