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I am able to play the altissimo range in tune and clear on Alto and Tenor. I want to know how people crack or split the notes. I hear it all over the place listen to solo's. Here is a good example of what i am talking about, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnLeGoqUAVU If you skip to about 3:00 Cannonball cracks those high F#'s repeatedly. I hear him do it all the time when listen to his solos. Is he just growling or using different fingerings? Maybe both? If anyone can give me some tips or advice it would be greatly appreciated.
 

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You use front F or F# fingering. You're actually producing the F# (or F) and middle Eb at the same time. Sometimes it helps to not use the octave key.
 

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They tend to crack on me when I don't hit them dead on. I just pretend I did it on purpose. :)
 

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They tend to crack on me when I don't hit them dead on. I just pretend I did it on purpose. :)
This is pretty spot on :)

I do it a lot, but I can't explain how I do it, it just happens. You probably spent a lot of time learning how to play altissimo by experimenting with changing your embouchure and airflow, so it's just a question of doing more of that to get the split tones. I don't use any special fingerings, but I can only get it on some notes (F to G are the easiest). The rest, I just growl.
 

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Specifically regarding high F# on altos -- I don't think Cannonball is "doing" anything to make that note crack in the YouTube referenced in the first post here: a cracked high F# is the "default" for a lot of alto players. For me, playing a clean version of that note is what takes a bit of monkey business...

Kenny Garrett does it all the time; check out this video on Daily Motion: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1nc2p_kenny-garrett-saxofon-solo_music

This first gloriously-in-your-face cracked F# happens at 2:28, followed by a nice one at 2:35, and then sporadic sightings after that. Here's the deal: EVERY occurrence of that note, and JUST that note, is cracked!

And the reason for that is because high F# just loves to crack on altos! Here's the preferred fingering for budding alto crackheads: oct key + 123/1 + side Bb -- in other words, the same fingering you'd use fingering the normal F natural on the top line of the staff, with the addition of the side Bb key. (If you haven't done your overtones and voicing homework when attempting this, your results may vary...)

Although you can't see what KG is fingering, I'm guessing it's this fingering, because you CAN see his F palm key pad is not opening while he's playing that note, which it would with most other high F# fingerings out there...

This fingering cracks my Buescher 400 alto, and my 140 alto, and the VI is used to own before I ditched it for the 400. Give it a shot if you're developing a fondness for this particular kind of crack.
 
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