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Hi everyone,

Lately i've been trying the different setups for the embouchure: lip in (thats where im familiar with) and lip out (is new for me). In general with the lip out the tone is not yet as nice as with the lip in.
Now when it come to altissimo (on the alt sax) i discovered that when i play the D fingering (3th register) with my lip out i can pop out a high B (also 3th register) by using almost the same technique as i do with the overtones. When i try precisley the same with my lip in the high B doenst want to come out, i dont get it. I dont know if its important to mension the fact that with the overtones i can only go as far as the F (2nd register) starting on the low Bb
Can someone give me some advise about this?

Thanks in advance
 

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My advice: You are barking up the wrong tree! Altissimo is a throat thing. First you need to establish one non changing embouchure that works in the natural range of the horn. Overtones help with this concept. Extend the horn range with practice still trying to establish a non changing embouchure. Support, airstream, relaxed responsive throat should be the focus..... It doesn't happen overnight and may very well take years. Practice positively often.
 

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Any thing at the end of a mouthpiece can influence tone and overtones/Altissimo overtones by changing how the reed vibrates and that includes the lip pressure and shape, the airstream velocity and direction, and the various positions of the tongue and throat that make up an impedance to produce a particular note.
Different types of mouthpieces have different impedances as well and there is also the design of the particular saxophone that can influence the strength of overtones and also reeds and how well some mouthpiece/reed/sax/player voicing combinations match up.

Experienced Altissimo players can usually adapt their voicing and play Altissimo on most gear combinations, even beginner gear but they still usually have gear preferences when playing their own gear.
Altissimo beginners have more success on some gear than on other gear because they have problems adapting their (weak) voicing to the gear to produce Altissimo.

There isn't one combination of lip and airstream and tongue and throat positions that will produce all overtones and each overtone requires different combinations of lip and airstream and tongue and throat positions which make it a bit hard to get the hang of.

The combination of lip and airstream and tongue and throat positions is called voicing.

Players who only play in standard range do not know how to voice a Altissimo overtone because it's all in the voicing of that particular Altissimo overtone.

The idea is technique control to make the reed vibrate in a different way and therefore produce a higher overtone and basically practice and experimenting with various lip pressure and shape, airstream velocities and directions, and various positions of the tongue and throat can make it happen.

The lip out embouchure is what a lot of Jazz players use and even Classical players and it avoids all the lip over the bottom teeth beginner lip problems as well but both embouchure types are valid and Altissimo overtones and overtones can be played with both embouchure types.

In fact some Jazz players use a lip out embouchure for standard range playing and then change (very quickly) to more of a lip over the bottom teeth embouchure for Altissimo notes and this becomes instinct after a while.
 

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My advice: You are barking up the wrong tree! Altissimo is a throat thing. First you need to establish one non changing embouchure that works in the natural range of the horn. Overtones help with this concept. Extend the horn range with practice still trying to establish a non changing embouchure. Support, airstream, relaxed responsive throat should be the focus..... It doesn't happen overnight and may very well take years. Practice positively often.
Just curious- I've heard this response TONS w/regard to altissimo-that it's a "throat thing". I get that, but I'm curious...what exactly IS happening in the throat when one plays altissimo? Can anyone here who is a good altissimo player quantify for me what exactly the feeling in the throat should be to make it work? I've got a decent grip on the normal range, ie, pretty good tone, good intonation from Bb to about G3 but can't seem to break thru that barrier....
 

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Just curious- I've heard this response TONS w/regard to altissimo-that it's a "throat thing". I get that, but I'm curious...what exactly IS happening in the throat when one plays altissimo? Can anyone here who is a good altissimo player quantify for me what exactly the feeling in the throat should be to make it work? I've got a decent grip on the normal range, ie, pretty good tone, good intonation from Bb to about G3 but can't seem to break thru that barrier....
Altough I'm not very experienced, I feel that it is a combination of singing with a falsetto voice and yawning
 

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Read Saxpiece reply..... Great post and more thorough and thought out than my reply. "Singing with a falsetto voice and yawning " seems a good description of the muscles involved with the throat. But as in Saxpiece reply it involves a whole combination of things.

The throat and toungue manipulations that occur in the vowel sounds a, e,i, o ,u feels similiar to what is manipulated in good altissimo.
 

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Can anyone here who is a good altissimo player quantify for me what exactly the feeling in the throat should be to make it work?
I may not qualify as a good altissimo player, but I do it quite frequently, and at one time was booked on account of it!

The throat is no more important in altissimo than in any part of the range, it should be open. There are loads of ways people describe an open throat, to me it is (a) the opposite of coughing and (b) very like yawning and/or panting. On a side note, an open throat is good because it forces you to develop abdominal breathing in order to control the airflow, rather than restricting it with your throat.

On to altissimo. I'm one of those players who advocated a lip out embouchure, though I'm not dogmatic about it. I sometimes use other embouchures, and I very often change my embouchure for altissimo to more lip over the teeth. I know some people say this is wrong, but it's what works for me and I've never known it to be a problem for any students either.

I think you need to find what works for you, what gets good results and go with it.
 

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Biting to get the altissimo notes is probably a bad habit but MOVING the lip back and forth is IMO as important as manipulating you throat to get a good sound on any note, not just the altissimos.
 

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Grab a copy of 'Top Tones' and count on a couple years of practice. Then you'll have it down - no problem. Fingerings become a very personal item which can get complicated but that's step 2.
 

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Just curious- I've heard this response TONS w/regard to altissimo-that it's a "throat thing". I get that, but I'm curious...what exactly IS happening in the throat when one plays altissimo? Can anyone here who is a good altissimo player quantify for me what exactly the feeling in the throat should be to make it work? I've got a decent grip on the normal range, ie, pretty good tone, good intonation from Bb to about G3 but can't seem to break thru that barrier....
Here is an excellent website and a link to a fascinating study:

http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/SaxTract.html
 

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Biting to get the altissimo notes is probably a bad habit but MOVING the lip back and forth is IMO as important as manipulating you throat to get a good sound on any note, not just the altissimos.
Sometimes you have to choke down on the reed, or allow more of it to vibrate, in order to get a certain harmonic. This change can be very subtle, or it can be fairly significant. I don't mean "bite", I mean how much of the reed LENGTH is in play. I find I have to allow quite a bit more length to vibrate to get altissimo G to stabilize, and above that I gradually go back to using less until I'm almost back to a normal-range embouchure. On alto I find I'm biting a little to keep the pitch up, especially as I get to the top of my range, but this is separate from getting the notes out in the first place. On C-mel and tenor, I'm actually having to lip those same notes DOWN.

One of the things I liked about the Drake Custom Jazz alto piece I played at NAMM and ultimately bought is that I was not having to lip up my altissimo notes much until I got to C. From there to Eb (which is as high as I usually go), I was having to lip up almost as much as on any other mouthpiece. From F# to B (I was playing it on an RS Berkeley with no F# key so F# was altissimo) I did not have to fight it much.

Note: while I was not crazy about the RS Berkeley's core sound (it's as bright as all the altos I have and I'd like something a bit darker), that DID make it a good surrogate for my own horns. If a piece sounded good on the RSB, it should work just as well on the Jupiter, Vito, or Orpheo.
 
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