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jazz, rock, funk, fusion and gospel on tenor, alto and soprano
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a book of Michael Brecker solo transcriptions that includes a whole page full of multiphonics fingerings. I am an experienced jazz performer on both alto and tenor. I can play a full chromatic octave of altissimo with ease, and yet I struggle to get most of the multiphonics suggested in the Brecker book to sound. I'm currently using an Otto Link hard rubber Tone Edge mouthpiece (6), and I've tried the regular Vandoren (blue box) reeds, V 16's and the ZZ Jazz reeds (strength 2 1/2 to 3 1/2). Could it be that I need a different mouthpiece to get multiphonics? Perhaps a metal mouthpiece would help? any recommendations? Please do not attempt to help with this question unless you are personally skilled at performing multiphonics, as I believe you can't lead someone to a place you've never been.
 

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No, you dont need a different mouthpiece or reeds. You can play multiphonics on any mouthpiece. First I would suggest that you spend a lot of time checking out the Altissimo and Multiphonics thread, because there is a ton of info that gets repeated often. If you want to do some playing instead of reading, then I would suggest working on the overtone series to help build a base for your multiphonics study. Similar to playing altissimo, just because you push the right buttons for the note/multiphonic you want does not guarantee that it will come out properly. The voicing and oral cavity adjustments are key here.
 

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jazz, rock, funk, fusion and gospel on tenor, alto and soprano
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's how I initially learned to play altissimo, by practicing overtones. I will try applying that approach to practicing multiphonics as well, and read the threads as you suggested. Thanks.
 

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I have a hard time obtaining certain multiphonics on my vintage Conn saxophones. Using the same unsuccessful fingerings on a modern horn (Cannonball, Yamaha, etc.) they all popped out with no problem. Don't really know the reasoning for this but thought it might make more sense than mouthpieces.
 

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Multiphonics respond differently on different instruments and less so between different mouthpieces. I don't know the piece you're referring to, but I can tell you that many multiphonics require some pretty drastic focus shifts in the oral cavity to get to sound properly. The first step is to play the pitches of each multiphonic individually so you know what pitches you are supposed to hear, then try playing them and shift your focus until you can hear all the pitches that should be present. Often there will be one or 2 pitches that really predominate while other pitches can barely be heard at all.
 

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jazz, rock, funk, fusion and gospel on tenor, alto and soprano
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@Carl: Merriville, Indiana? Yeah, you're only a 45 minute drive from my apartment. I'll keep that in mind. I don't have time to take any lessons from you during the school year, but perhaps this summer, if I have the money (these gas prices are killing me with my lengthy weekly commute).
 
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