Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
565 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hear this alot more in funk and "smooth jazz" (David Sanborn, Keith McKelly, Karlhos Misajel) than in straight ahead jazz (of course, Michael Brecker comes to mind). When I play an altissimo G, if I overblow the note, it gets this nice gritty multiphonic. I can only do it on that note however, and I'd like to be able to extend this technique throughout the upper range of my horn.

Does anyone know any tips/suggestions? Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
I agree with what Steve said above; some notes/fingerings work particularly well for this, so players probably accentuated those and spent practice time on other things.

I'm sure the heavy contemporary classical players would know a large amount of special fingerings that would tend to "split". I'll check around here at UNT.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
It's actually not done by any fingerings besides normal altissimo fingerings. You actually have to use your throat muscles, and growl into the altissimo note. It's a good technique for smooth jazz or some heavy coltrane or whatever. Not to be over done however. I call it the Coltrane scream. Listen to some Kenny Garrett or people like Steve Slagle, or for tenor Mintzer or semi later Coltrane for an idea of how it's done. You need well developed embouchure with knowing and being ablet o produce full even altissimo notes clearly first ( I can not tell you how many times I have heard this done incorrectly and horrible it sounds :p )

Watch that around 4:20-21ish.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
13,190 Posts
When I used to get those split tones, I called it a "mistake." Now that I've been on SOTW, I call them "multiphonics." Yeah, I meant to play that note. I wanted it to sound that way. Yeah, that's what I was going for.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,287 Posts
A lot of times what sounds like a split multiphonic in the Altissimo register is really a growl.

David Sanborn often uses a small hiss http://www.candydulfer.nl/site/eng/page.php?cat=education probably at a predetermined interval of the Altissimo note ie the Altissimo note is the root note and the growl might be at a fifth so it ends up sounding like a multiphonic ie root and fifth.

So, the growl modulates the Altissimo note with an interval usually based on the chordal harmony ie 5ths or whatever.

It's also more versatile to use a interval growl because the mutiphonic interval can be controlled by the player to a large extent and it can be done on all notes and not just a few that might happen to split into multiphonics and when a note splits into a multiphonic the player has fairly limited control over the interval(s) that the multiphonic splits to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
565 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A lot of times what sounds like a split multiphonic in the Altissimo register is really a growl.

David Sanborn often uses a small hiss http://www.candydulfer.nl/site/eng/page.php?cat=education probably at a predetermined interval of the Altissimo note ie the Altissimo note is the root note and the growl might be at a fifth so it ends up sounding like a multiphonic ie root and fifth.

So, the growl modulates the Altissimo note with an interval usually based on the chordal harmony ie 5ths or whatever.

It's also more versatile to use a interval growl because the mutiphonic interval can be controlled by the player to a large extent and it can be done on all notes and not just a few that might happen to split into multiphonics and when a note splits into a multiphonic the player has fairly limited control over the interval(s) that the multiphonic splits to.
Wow, thanks. That's really interesting.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,287 Posts
"The saxophone growl is made by singing or humming a note at the same time as playing. This note is not necessarily the same note as you are fingering/playing. The ideal note to sing can vary, it could be a harmony note or the same note slightly out of tune.

I find the best way to practice this is to play a note, then hum any old note in the back of your throat. Alter the pitch of this hummed note until the interference with the saxophone note creates a good growl"

http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-growl.html

David Sanborn gets the interval between the Altissimo/high note and the interfering growled interval note just right, creating just the right interference that ends up sounding like a multiphonic.

And there are beat frequencies caused by 2 notes being slightly out of tune to each other http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beat_(acoustics) ie the Altissimo/high note and a growled note slightly out of tune to the Altissimo/high note.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
Joined
·
6,295 Posts
When I used to get those split tones, I called it a "mistake." Now that I've been on SOTW, I call them "multiphonics." Yeah, I meant to play that note. I wanted it to sound that way. Yeah, that's what I was going for.
Funny that. Same for me. Now with my blues band, I push those out on purpose sometimes. There are things to be learned here - even if it's by mistake. :)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
790 Posts
Other multiphonics can be found in the middle of the horn. You often play these when doing overtones when the pitch doesn't settle on one specific overtone, but sounds two of them at once. These are particularly cool multiphonics once you learn to hold the broken pitch, either between octaves or the octave and a 5th, and develop the ability to play passages while maintaining the harmonics. Great for funk playing.

Randy
www.randyhunterjazz.com
Online Jazz Lessons and Books
Lesson Series:
Making Sense of Jazz Improvisation
Introduction to the Blues
The Arpeggio Circle
Through the Keys
and more...
Lessons page: www.beginningsax.com/Jazz Improv Lessons.htm
Rhythm Changes Demo:
Rhythm Changes Lesson:
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/saxtrax
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,287 Posts
Try both and then use both or either one.

A Front F based Altissimo F# voiced for a multiphonic and a Front F based Altissimo F# voiced for a clean sound and played with a slightly growled C# note.

It doesn't have to be an Altissimo note, do the same with high palm D.

Voice high palm D for a multiphonic and then voice palm D clean and slightly growl a A note or any other note.

It's up to the person themselves to experiment and to take it as far as they want.

This stuff never ends and there are so many tricks possible, like what about a Altissimo trill between 2 notes and the slightly growled note is also either one of those notes or another note.

Come down off a Altissimo scream note straight into a lower note with a beat growl ie the growl note is slightly off tune to the the lower note.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
13,190 Posts
Funny that. Same for me. Now with my blues band, I push those out on purpose sometimes. There are things to be learned here - even if it's by mistake. :)
Yup. Even an old dog like me can learn some new tricks.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,686 Posts
In the normal range of the horn, one way to get some multiphonic effects (I think that's what they are), is to play the upper register without the octave key. A lot of the notes will start to split when you do that and it can be a cool effect. Nothing to do with altissimo, though. I try to hit altissimo cleanly, and as MMM pointed out, they will ocassionaly split up by mistake. So I try not to wince and instead pretend that's what I was after.
 

·
Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2008-2017
Joined
·
2,284 Posts
I use them a lot. Altissimo G is on Alto, a very common note to find this multiphonic. No growl. F, and F# are also very common for this, as G#. I am talking of F3, F#3, G#3 and G3. A3 is more difficult to get a multiphonic from, but it is possible, as Bb4. No growls.

What I have noticed is that thinking (now what we need to do, eh...) of the air stream going to the roof of the mouthpiece, produces the multiphonic. Also, the reed has to be already broken in.

If the reed is new, I have used the forked F and F# fingerings and add with the right hand some keys, usually /ooox (this is, only the pinky for C plus the fork and the multiphonic comes out).

I do not recommend to change embouchure or anything like that. Just push the air, push it thinking in the roof of the mouthpiece instead of overblowing it. Then you will be able to do what Brecker did as a master, to multiphonic and not the same note coming and going at will, in a long note.

Now, with the growling, perfectly advised and of course possible, but IMO, is a different way to do it and you get different results, very good ones by the way.

All the best to all,

JI
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,202 Posts
I think the well known players you mentioned can only do it on certain notes also. I think certain notes are more likely to do this than other. It depends on the horn, mouthpiece and the player.
Yep, in my experience and listening to good players I would agree with this. I own 3 tenors and find that even with the same reed and mouthpiece combo I can do them easier on one horn than the other. I won't say which because that will get into a whole other thing. And it's not necessarily the horn I play/practice the most.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,287 Posts
The interval humming or growling is a good backup or alternative to when multiphonics go missing and they do occasionally go missing because they depend on the reed and voicing etc.

I remember hearing David Sanborn's solos on Tin Tin Deo and a Linda Ronstadt tune and I was thinking how does Dave get those high note multiphonic sounding things to go like that (the David Sanborn Blues cry as someone described it) and he was doing them on F and F# and Ab and even open high C# and maybe others but don't quote me on that because it's been a while since I listened to them.

So I searched around the net and really could only find some very general David Sanborn Front F based general multiphonics that supposedly Dave was using and on some forums someone would say they were multiphonics and someone else would say they were growls and I thought he is not getting a multiphonic on open high C#, possible but unlikely, and Dave could repeat these multiphonic sounding notes whenever he wanted and there were just too many notes he was doing them on as far as I was concerned and then I stumbled across the interval hum or growl and that seemed to be the answer as far as I was concerned and Candy Dulfer would know that Dave hums or growls.

The old R&B general growl is not how Dave appears to be doing them.
He seems to balance the high note and the hum or growl at an interval with great precision and balance using a slight whisper like hum.
Dave could also be using multiphonics on some things at various times as well.

Anyway, others will have their take on it and multiphonics or growling are both useful and can be used together, no rules apply.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
13,190 Posts
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top