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i have recently switched from alto to tenor. i hav a buffet 400 series tenor (a classical tenor) with a otto link super tone master 7 mouthpiece and vandoren red box 2.5 or 3 reeds. i am able to play altissimo really well on my alto but i cannot seem to play any altissimo between the F 3rd from the bottom and the C# 4th from the bottom. What am i doing wrong?
 

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Practice your voicings...tenor and alto voicings are very different.

-J
 

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Altissimo fingerings are different on tenor compared to alto. Also, guesswork is quite right about the voicings.
 

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what do you mean be voicings? ive gotten altissimo now on my tenor but it doesnt sound particularly good but that will probably come with practicing it. i cant tongue when i play it. any ideas on why thats not working so well?
 

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By voicings they mean the positioning of the tongue to direct the air stream in a way that favors the high partials of the saxophone's harmonic spectrum. Have you read Sigurd Rascher's "Top Tones for Saxophone" book? If not, it's worth the modest investment (I think it's about $11 USD). Read what he says about tone imagination and eliciting the harmonic partials and practice the exercises on the first 16 pages.

I am of the opinion that altissimo should always be breath articulated rather than tongued, as the tongue's position is so crucial to successfully playing these notes clearly and fully. The tenor is it's own monster when it comes to altissimo. Like the posters before me stated, the voicings are different not to mention the fingerings as well - you won't get the same notes on tenor that you will on alto with the same fingerings (at least not in tune). I have a chart made up by John Moore with tenor specific altissimo fingerings. PM me if you'd like a copy.
 

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By voicings they mean the positioning of the tongue to direct the air stream in a way that favors the high partials of the saxophone's harmonic spectrum. Have you read Sigurd Rascher's "Top Tones for Saxophone" book? If not, it's worth the modest investment (I think it's about $11 USD). Read what he says about tone imagination and eliciting the harmonic partials and practice the exercises on the first 16 pages.

I am of the opinion that altissimo should always be breath articulated rather than tongued, as the tongue's position is so crucial to successfully playing these notes clearly and fully. The tenor is it's own monster when it comes to altissimo. Like the posters before me stated, the voicings are different not to mention the fingerings as well - you won't get the same notes on tenor that you will on alto with the same fingerings (at least not in tune). I have a chart made up by John Moore with tenor specific altissimo fingerings. PM me if you'd like a copy.
I used to only think that altissimo notes should only be throat tongued, and I was very curious as to how you could tongue altissimo notes. You should treat altissimo notes just like any other notes on the saxophone, they are just a little higher sounding :) I am interested in your tenor specific altissimo fingerings though ^.^ If you take a look at Bolcom's Concerto? I think concerto, you will see that there is a demand for tonguing altissimo notes. Even if you are playing the first movement of the Ibert, you will see that tonguing altissimo is necessary.
 

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i have recently switched from alto to tenor. i hav a buffet 400 series tenor (a classical tenor) with a otto link super tone master 7 mouthpiece and vandoren red box 2.5 or 3 reeds. i am able to play altissimo really well on my alto but i cannot seem to play any altissimo between the F 3rd from the bottom and the C# 4th from the bottom. What am i doing wrong?
In my experience, Tenor and Alto are in fact, very different in terms of altissimo as stated above. I do play on a metal piece with about size 3 reeds vandoren ZZ or rico jazz select, whichever I feel like that day. Altissimo with a metal mouthpiece is also different. Metal pieces seem to want to jump up for me, so you have to be very precise or else you will pretty much squeek. Sit in a room, and play altissimo. Start with alternate F#'s, and after you can get those, try a few different fingerings for G (just fork f and octave seems to work but is the toughest). If you cant get G, try A (lh 2 and 3 and octave key only). A seems to be a good starting point on tenor, and then work your way around from there.
 

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I used to only think that altissimo notes should only be throat tongued, and I was very curious as to how you could tongue altissimo notes. You should treat altissimo notes just like any other notes on the saxophone, they are just a little higher sounding :) I am interested in your tenor specific altissimo fingerings though ^.^ If you take a look at Bolcom's Concerto? I think concerto, you will see that there is a demand for tonguing altissimo notes. Even if you are playing the first movement of the Ibert, you will see that tonguing altissimo is necessary.
The only reason that tonguing altissimo appears necessary in the Ibert is because Sigurd Rascher never slurred in the altissimo range, and he's the one who wrote in to articulate those notes. In the full score of the Ibert, you'll see that the composer writes the passage in the 1st movement completely slurred. It should also be mentioned that he didn't tongue them, he breath articulated them, meaning he used the abdominal muscles to push the air out forcefully enough to articulate the notes. This is a technique that should be practiced often and, when done correctly, cannot be discerned from regular tonguing.
 
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