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Discussion Starter #1
I've been able to play altissimo for some years now but for some reason I can't pass the D# (that is an octave higher the normal range D#).
I have 'Top tones' and practice with it the overtones every now and then yet still always stuck on those notes.

Any tips? favorite fingerings? or plainly the lower B/Bb fingering?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Anyone?
 

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You mean one octave higher than the palm key D#? That's stratospheric! I can't help you here. However, if you mean one octave higher than middle D# (low D# fingering with the octave key), that is something different - and not altissimo, strictly speaking. Could you make that clear?

Reine
 

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Assuming you mean D#4, it will take more than practicing it every now and then. Do the overtones daily, and combine it with regular altissimo fingerings. It takes time but you'll get there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You mean one octave higher than the palm key D#? That's stratospheric! I can't help you here. However, if you mean one octave higher than middle D# (low D# fingering with the octave key), that is something different - and not altissimo, strictly speaking. Could you make that clear?

Reine
I'm working on the higher of the above.
And yes, that is extremely high! trying to play Paganini's 24th caprice as demonstrated by Raff Hekkema on YouTube.
I saw, the clip, bought his cd and now try to do it myself, that stuff is just insane!
Though I recall reading somewhere that he had a few modifications to hi sax so he could play easily altissimo and quarter tones...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mmG5qT_kno

...and combine it with regular altissimo fingerings
What do you mean by that?
 

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I use oxo I xoo

Try to keep your embouchure loose when you are in the alt register. The higher you go, the more important the overtone series becomes so shed that stuff regularly.
 

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What do you mean by that?
What I mean is play the note from an overtone (fingering low B for instance) and then switch to altissimo fingerings. It will help you to develop more feel for the note.
 

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What I mean is play the note from an overtone (fingering low B for instance) and then switch to altissimo fingerings. It will help you to develop more feel for the note.
+1 to that.

To get D#4, I use Palm F + XOO I OO + side C. Very stable, very in tune. E4 is OXO I XXO, F4 is Palm D, Eb + OXO I XXO

You can also voice higher altissimo tones by simply blowing it up an octave, i.e. using OXX XXX to voice A3 as well as A4

- J
 

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Which sax was never mentioned. We are all assuming Alto, because the higher partials on Alto are harder than on Tenor (and this is coming from myself, mainly an Atlto guy, who regularly plays up to D4).
 

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Actually I was assuming tenor, but it doesn't make a difference in the practice routine I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the replies. Surprisingly, playing around with the fingering actually worked! not fluent yet, but it's something.
I still would be glad if more people post their preferable fingerings (for alto, forgot to mention it though my signature does show my setup :) )
 

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For D4 I use the front F key (aka Fork F). For a few notes higher (which I can get sometimes, but not consistent enough yet for performance) I add a palm D, and RH palm F to the Front F.
 

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Can you specify on your Berg? What is its opening? What Rovner Lig are you using? Lets start from there. My guess, without knowing that, is that you may need to start thinking in upgrading your reed strength.

Then, we can talk about some fingerings.

Ah, also, is your embouchure Teal's or Allard's kind of.... lip in or lip out.... I ask this because some stuff I have recommended have worked for some, but not for others... depending on all this.

All the best,

JI
 

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Practice overtones up to the 11th (which for low Bb would be E4)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Can you specify on your Berg? What is its opening? What Rovner Lig are you using? Lets start from there. My guess, without knowing that, is that you may need to start thinking in upgrading your reed strength.

Then, we can talk about some fingerings.

Ah, also, is your embouchure Teal's or Allard's kind of.... lip in or lip out.... I ask this because some stuff I have recommended have worked for some, but not for others... depending on all this.
JI
I have a stainless steel 80/2, Berg, dark Rouvner ligature and I would define my embouchure lip out.
At the moment I'm pretty satisfied with my tone and control though I would be glad to hear advice.
 

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I can get up to E4 (alto). I have no desire whatsoever to play that high. I rarely make it up to D4. I generally don't go much higher than C#4 when playing.

I could do with some improvements in tone up there, so maybe learning to play higher would involve some tonal improvements too, but aside from that it's high enough.
 

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Ok. In my point of view, your reed is a little too soft for that Berg, if you want to go all the way to upper altissimo. It is possible, but a harder reed will help. Now, some things may happen if you take this way, like getting used to your new reed.

The most important part of all this is, if you are happy with your all around sound with that reed, keep it and maybe the upper altissimo won't go that good. If you pick the harder reed with an .80 mouthpiece then you may have to work your lower notes for a while.
A number 3 reed may help.


I have a stainless steel 80/2, Berg, dark Rouvner ligature and I would define my embouchure lip out.
At the moment I'm pretty satisfied with my tone and control though I would be glad to hear advice.
 

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IMHO you need to spend a lot of time on harmonic practise in the range you are having difficulty with, at this range in your voice you are approaching (or in) the bell register from the head register (falsetto), your voice is not used to pitching up there so you need to train it, some people find it easier to do than others. Once you are used to playing harmonics every day up to and above the pitch you are having problems with its a case of finding the fingering that suits you, that is in tune and easily facilitated from other notes. I personally would not go the hard reed route as you want to keep everything as relaxed as possible.

Malcolm
 

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favorite fingerings?
E4 - xx3 xx6 + Eb key (pinkie)
F4 - 1x3 4x6 + Eb key

Those are from The Michael Brecker Collection by Carl Coan put out by Hal Leonard. I like the altissimo fingerings in that book, except the Bb4. F4 is actually my top note right now.

This fingering chart has all the way to an octave above the D#4 you mention but it seems to get a bit sketchy/minimal past about C#4. That should keep you busy for awhile.

http://www.wfg.woodwind.org/sax/sax_alt_6.html

Two tips are to keep your throat open and you can use like an underbite to make it easier with a bigger vibration surface exposed on the reed (don't know if that makes sense). I saw this on a Dave Liebman video. He rolls his lower lip forward quite a bit when playing up there, which seems to help.

A harder reed can help too. Right now my tenor setup for funk/rock is Java 3.5s with a Super King, so that's a pretty hard reed with a long, metal, high baffle piece. My altissimo isn't great, because I need to practice a lot more. But it seems like a good setup for it.

--Jeremy
 
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