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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a junior in high school, and I can consistently play considerably high up there, usually on a good day hitting a 5th octave D (alto sax) and I was wondering how to incorporate the altissimo into my improv instead of just belting out the notes and getting a quickly diminishing "ooh"
 

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Start practicing songs an octave or two above how they're written to familiarize yourself with the extended range. Preferably when no one else is home...
 

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There are a few things to keep in mind when working to incorporate altissimo. First, you want to do more than just scream high notes, so be sure you're practicing all of the notes for pitch and tone. A lot of folks can blow some high notes really loud, but when you can play them with dynamics, you know you're starting to get control over them- and that's when you can work at playing them with quality tone or even a growl if you want a little ugliness. Also be certain you're working to play them in tune. Another important factor, if you really want to incorporate them in your improvisation, is that you develop some technique. Do this by practicing all of your scales and a number of patterns through the top tones. I like doing patterns based on 3rds.

I'd like to add that I usually don't like working with junior high students on altissimo, because there are so many other important fundamentals that they need to be spending a lot of time on. But any student that has a healthy dose of curiosity should explore the various aspects of sax playing that are interesting to them, so good luck!

Aha, sorry about that- I see now that you are a junior in high school...not in junior high.

Randy
www.randyhunterjazz.com
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Pretty much everything you do in the normal range can be applied to the altissimo range. Personally, i like to take classical etudes and play them up an octave. Some players like a seamless transition between the normal and alt range. Some players like an obvious change when playing altissimo notes.
 
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