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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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Perfect, this is what I needed to see…..Grrrrrrrrreat…Thanks
No problem…I didn’t realize when I just laid out the notes early on in the thread that you didn’t understand the connection to the actual notes sounding off the base fingering. It’s a strange concept to grasp if you’re new to it. Like, what’s an overtone series, right?

anyway, I really can’t stress enough how helpful (IMHO important) it is to stay on the lower notes for an extra long time and not really worry about getting up to the level 4 partials (the palm key notes) until you have some flexibility going between the fundamental and the first three (C, C, G, C) pretty fluently. Matching the full tone of the partials when you’re using the standard fingerings opens up your sound a ton…by matching I mean alternating between the long/ fundamental fingering and the traditional/ regular fingering from the chart we all know.

Like play F with the octave key, then play F using the low Bb fingering…now make the standard fingering match the longer/ closed Bb fingering and alternate between the two seamlessly until you can’t hear a difference. Matching F’s is easy and the pitch should be the closest match, so pay attention to the rich and full tone quality and make them sing the same. Other tones will be more pitchy, but things will work out as you progress. When you start matching at the two octaves up level (the 3rd partial…octave Bb-C#) you should really start to notice a “filling in” of your sound/ overall tone. When people sound thin in the palm keys you know they aren’t opened up and probably aren’t getting anything out of their overtone/ long tone work if they’re doing it at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Laughing at myself because I thought i was to play just low C to C middle to C octave and achieving overtones ….yikes…You definitely cleared things up for me and hopefully other. Thanks to all who provided information to help me. YGAG
 

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SDA, SBA. 62ii tenors, Yana, B&S sopranos
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We need a TOTM and lit will be just the harmonic series. The octave key needs to be plugged. I would like to see folks getting up to the 4th octave with no changes to the embouchure. I can do up to Bb4 (3rd octave if low Bb is Bb1) but will probably embarrass myself past C4.

I do think if you can do 2 octaves and the 3rd, Plus at couple of multi phonics/splits - and can lip up/down a minor third, yo can probably play altissimo as well as have a good timbre.
 

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We need a TOTM and lit will be just the harmonic series. The octave key needs to be plugged. I would like to see folks getting up to the 4th octave with no changes to the embouchure. I can do up to Bb4 (3rd octave if low Bb is Bb1) but will probably embarrass myself past C4.

I do think if you can do 2 octaves and the 3rd, Plus at couple of multi phonics/splits - and can lip up/down a minor third, yo can probably play altissimo as well as have a good timbre.
Bragger :)
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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4,824 Posts
We need a TOTM and lit will be just the harmonic series. The octave key needs to be plugged. I would like to see folks getting up to the 4th octave with no changes to the embouchure. I can do up to Bb4 (3rd octave if low Bb is Bb1) but will probably embarrass myself past C4.

I do think if you can do 2 octaves and the 3rd, Plus at couple of multi phonics/splits - and can lip up/down a minor third, yo can probably play altissimo as well as have a good timbre.
One of the TOTM threads this month is Sugar…you could work in a lot of overtone and alternate-fingering funkiness if you wanted to flex over some simple changes… 🤣
 

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Read this whole thread, and did not see enough stress on voicing vs. jaw or lip pressure (AKA biting).

@NO SAX, you’ve been playing only a few months. Please be super-extra-sure that you make these changes to get overtones with your tongue and throat, and don’t depend on embouchure pressure of any kind. I’ve found that a good way to do this is to “slur” between the first overtone and the regular fingering for that note.

Take for instance your B. Play your middle B (LH index finger, no octave key). Aim for a nice full tone, no abnormal embouchure pressure, about a mf level (medium full). Then without stopping the air, change fingering to low B. Keep the pitch (that is, the octave) the same. This will give you the right feeling for playing the first overtone.

Now work on moving back and forth between low B and middle B, all while fingering low B. You should be able to make this change using your vocal tract and tongue only, no embouchure change and no “help” by tonguing the reed. When you can do this easily,, move up to the next overtone (F# in this case). Stay among the first few overtones for a while.

Your goal should be ease of movement in the normal range of the instrument, don’t worry about the altissimo until you can do standard bugle calls (like Reveille) on the bottom four notes of the horn. I know it’s cool to see how high you can go, but try to resist temptation in the interest of developing your voicing technique.

Good luck!
 

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My understanding is if I play a low D, then I play another D an octave higher without the octave key and so on….Bb, C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C……That is my level at this moment. It seems that one note (let’s say C) can play c,d e f g a b but I have not attempted that as yet and doesn’t make sense too me
Hey, I came back to this thread on an alert that someone responded; looking through I re-read this post and realized something…you said you started on low D, then went: D, Bb, C, and up.

This is telling of a few things and why you should stick to the lowest notes and bust it on the first two partials…

1. From low D the first partial is the one you got, “octave” D…the next one should be the A above it: octave A.

-getting Bb means you’re probably already playing too tight to begin with, then you’re biting/ tightening up to get the higher partials. It’s the cheat code, but it’s the worst thing you can do for your development. You’re probably also staring at a tuner, which makes you subconsciously lip up/ down to tune with your eyes.

2. Just a knowledge thing. Octave A/ the second partial is where we stop on the D fundamental fingering. The next in the series would be the D that matches palm D, but at that point all the higher partials are part of the lower fundamental fingerings…palm D is in the low Bb set.

2b. The low C# fingering is only used up to the second octave C#, and notes Eb through A only up one octave.

See why I said in-person lessons are crucial at this stage/ for this purpose? I don’t even know much about it and I’ve given you weeks worth of lessons in information that’s still hard to understand and apply without demonstration and critique.

How old are you? Are you on alto or tenor? Do you have money for lessons? Skype could work, but for this being in the same room is so much better. Just make sure it’s a good player with a good sound who plays music you like to play and want to work on, especially since you already have these ideas and areas of interest to work on.

There’s a sheet of Joe Allard exercises that’s popular with all kinds of players and what I talked about in moving between the partials 1:2:1:3:2:1… is the idea of all of it. You can definitely find it if you search the forum. Maybe someone will share it here, but I don’t have a copy on hand to take a photo of for you. It’s a lot to think about, but honestly when you try to not think about it is when you’re doing the best on it. If you’re hearing and “singing” the note in your head, then all you need to focus on is a well-supported airstream with firm abs, and staying loose using enough lower lip pressure to make the seal. If you think about directing your airstream downward as you go for higher partials is keeps you open. Use the same principles when you’re playing the same notes using the standard fingerings. It’s a long process, and to be honest, most people don’t even work on overtones above the natural range of the horn and we all do just fine. Have fun!
 

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Here is another way of looking at this. Overtones are harmonics of the fundamental note. These are integer multipliers of the fundamental frequency: 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x and so on.

Take this table with frequencies of each note on a keyboard. If your fundamental is C3 = 261.63Hz, your first overtone is 2x C3 = 523.26Hz, which is the exact octave C4 in the table. the next overtone is 3x C3 = 784.89Hz and that's close to G4. Next is 4x C3 = 1,046.52Hz which is C5. Next it 5x C3 = 1,308.15Hz which is close to E5 and so forth. So your overtones sequence is: C3, C4, G4, C5, E5 etc. That's how you play different notes the higher you go. They are not in sequence c,d e f g a b as you spelled. They follow the harmonics frequencies, skipping notes, jumping through octaves, but getting closer to each other the higher you go. As said above most are not exact, except for the "perfect" intervals.

View attachment 127860
Can you explain "half-cycle delay" and what it has to do with the frequencies of musical notes? That is new to me.
 

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When I was first introduced to the concept of overtones my teacher explained to me that it was like playing a bugle, which doesn’t have keys or any other means of producing different notes other than by manipulating the overtones of the instrument. All the melodies we associate with the bugle such as ‘Taps’, ‘The Last Post’, or ‘Reveille’ are made up purely from the overtones of the bugle’s fundamental note.

And it is possible to play these tunes on a saxophone without changing your fingering at all if you are able to manipulate the overtone series well enough.

There has been a lot of excellent advice already posted, some of it very detailed and scientific. I offer this simple analogy from my first teacher if it will help you to grasp the overall concept.

Bill
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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When I was first introduced to the concept of overtones my teacher explained to me that it was like playing a bugle, which doesn’t have keys or any other means of producing different notes other than by manipulating the overtones of the instrument. All the melodies we associate with the bugle such as ‘Taps’, ‘The Last Post’, or ‘Reveille’ are made up purely from the overtones of the bugle’s fundamental note.

And it is possible to play these tunes on a saxophone without changing your fingering at all if you are able to manipulate the overtone series well enough.

There has been a lot of excellent advice already posted, some of it very detailed and scientific. I offer this simple analogy from my first teacher if it will help you to grasp the overall concept.

Bill
Great call! I also have been instructed to play overtone taps.
 
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