Jump to content



Photo

12 Tips for Hitting that Altissimo G Like a Pro

altissimo

  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#1 Ken Ng

Ken Ng

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 478 posts
  • 115 topics
  • My Saxophone:Maxtone Alto
  • My Mouthpiece:Beechler Bellite 8
  • Years Of Playing:7 years
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:37 PM

altissimo2.jpg
We all know that some notes on the saxophone are tougher to hit than others, especially as we begin to delve into the altissimo register. While there is a great deal of information out there about the art of altissimo as a whole, I thought that it would be good to hone in on a specific note in the altissimo register that seems to give folks a bit of a tougher time than some of the others above it.

 

My suggestion is that you read everything here then try the things that you think will enhance your abilities in this area.

 

Keep in mind that different fingerings apply depending on whether you’re on alto or tenor, but similar concepts should apply in either case.

 

1) Make sure you’re always using plenty of air.

 

Some notes allow you to push them through with very little air support. The altissimo G is not one of them, so make sure that you’re blowing a solid stream of air from the diaphragm.

 

2) Make sure your fingers are doing what you think they’re doing.

 

Sometimes our problems occur when fingers lift up slightly or bump other keys. Be deliberate in what you play!

 

3) During your initial practice sessions, walk up to G from “vent” or “front” E.

 

Of course, you must be prepared to hit the altissimo G from any other note on the horn, but this will serve as a sort of “training wheels” since you’re not making the big shift in the throat and mouth as you would were you coming from a bigger interval.

 

The palm key notes lay the foundation for creeping up just a bit higher to the G.

 

4) “Think down”

 

If F# cracks up, simply think of blowing the air downwards with ample diaphragm support and as you move into the G.

 

5) Experiment with a different fingering.

 

As soon as you can play the front G reasonably well, try the other standard G fingering which is 1st and 3rd fingers of both hands plus the thumb/octave key. Note: first finger of left hand is on the B key – not  the vent or fork key. This is a handy fingering that I use about half the time depending on the context. Some students find this one easier as well.

 

Another fingering you can try if F# is fine but G cracks involves adding the first finger of your right hand then releasing the second finger of your left hand.

 

6) Apply dynamics and vibrato.

 

Once you’ve hit the note, hold it as long as you can and crescendo. Eventually, you can try using vibrato to “test the boundaries” of what your control of the altissimo G can withstand.

 

7) Practice hitting the note with a breath attack.

 

Once you’ve achieved a bit of control, walk up to the note as described in step 3, let it go, and try to re-start it with a breath attack. When you let it go, keep your mouth and tongue in the same shape.

 

8) Take rests on the way up.

 

Practice walking up the chromatic scale From E to G but with rests between each note. This is something you can do once you’ve attained some more control over the altissimo register, but a great way to take your high G skills to the next level.

 

9) Hold down the low Bb Key

 

Adding low Bb to the G can stabilize things if you feel like you’re “close” or if you’re getting a noisy sound. This fattens up the sound as well. However, it is a big reach down there with the pinky finger, so you’ll have to give it a try and see how it works for you.

 

10) Try taking in a little bit more mouthpiece.

 

Nearly all beginner and intermediate students tend to play with too little mouthpiece. If you’re having trouble with both high and low notes speaking and projecting, there is a chance you can improve things immediately by taking in just a little more mouthpiece. Never drift towards the tip of the mouthpiece when going after altissimo notes. Sometimes it will seem like it helps or makes things easier, but it is a dead-end road!

 

11) Relax your left shoulder!

 

It’s tense isn’t it? Let it drop.

 

12) Try a chromatic exercise to improve your high G skills.

 

If you’re handy with your chromatic scale I would recommend this quick exercise to get the “feel” of the altissimo notes necessary to consistently achieve the high G.

 

  1. First, overblow low D up an octave. This is easy to do, just play 4th line D but remove your thumb from the fingering.
  2. Then walk up the chromatic scale as high as you can go. Your fingers move up starting on low D with everything coming out an octave up. Start slowly but increase the speed as you get the feel for it.
  3. Go up as high as you possibly can. In order to hang on as you go up, the shape of your mouth and tongue will have to change. This is the shape of altissimo. Remember to use a lot of air, never let up on your air, and don’t bite.

This is a guest post by saxophonist, arranger, and educator Brad Carman of BradCarmanMusic.com.

 

[via: bestsaxophonewebsiteever]


Saxophone Community - Admin

 

One of the best Saxophone Forum out there! - Resources for Saxophonist

 


#2 kimsa127

kimsa127

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • 0 topics
  • My Saxophone:alto
  • My Mouthpiece:vandoren
  • Years Of Playing:4
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:23 PM

nice info, thanks im a newbie



#3 Jason Pang

Jason Pang

    Advanced Saxophone Player

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 36 posts
  • 1 topics
  • My Saxophone:Yamaha - Alto
  • My Mouthpiece:Selmer Soloist D
  • Years Of Playing:2
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 04 May 2013 - 03:27 PM

Very good advice.  Thanks for sharing mate.



#4 mikey4realz

mikey4realz

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • 1 topics
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 19 May 2013 - 12:52 PM

these are great thank you.



#5 soG4ever

soG4ever

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • 0 topics
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 03 June 2013 - 10:33 AM

It helped me a lot. Thanks! Will continue to practice~



#6 reduno234

reduno234

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • 0 topics
  • My Saxophone:yamaha
  • My Mouthpiece:selmer c*
  • Years Of Playing:2
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:27 PM

Thanks you so much helped alot !! :D



#7 bensonix

bensonix

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • 0 topics
  • My Saxophone:Soprano
  • My Mouthpiece:cock
  • Years Of Playing:1
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 28 June 2013 - 06:51 PM

Thanks..

#8 ben

ben

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • 0 topics
  • My Saxophone:yamaha alto
  • Years Of Playing:6/7
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 30 June 2013 - 03:28 AM

I was always taught to have a tight bottom lip for this, and bring your top teeth back a fraction. Gets it almost every time



#9 carle55

carle55

    Saxophone Player

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • 0 topics
  • My Saxophone:Yamaha Custom
  • My Mouthpiece:Dukoff 8*
  • Years Of Playing:60
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:59 AM

Great stuff ! For an advanced exercise I like to spend a lot of time playing the alternate fingerings. Each one requires special attention with the oral cavity. Usually subtle changes to tongue and throat position. The one-finger G is the most difficult. Learning to play it at all dynamic levels without the note breaking up I think is very beneficial. There are times when I want the note to break up, the spit-G effect. I like to alternate between a clean sound and the sound with the harmonics. I have literally conquered the altissimo G when I can do that at will. Thanks for your post, it will help a lot of players.



#10 mystery sax man

mystery sax man

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • 0 topics
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 21 July 2013 - 08:59 PM

you think i can hit it on a beginner sax? it's a yamaha yas 23



#11 manylam

manylam

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • 0 topics
  • My Saxophone:ALto
  • My Mouthpiece:Yamaha 4C
  • Years Of Playing:1
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 13 August 2013 - 07:13 AM

Woh, I got some new things to practice, tips 12. 

 

Never tried higher than F, time to train myself~

 

Thanks, and learnt. 



#12 altosaxguy91

altosaxguy91

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • 0 topics
  • My Saxophone:Jupiter Alto
  • My Mouthpiece:Selmer C
  • Years Of Playing:4
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 17 August 2013 - 05:41 AM

It's time to go back and practise



#13 yoloswag

yoloswag

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • 0 topics
  • My Saxophone:yamaha custom ex
  • My Mouthpiece:rousseau
  • Years Of Playing:5
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 15 September 2013 - 04:00 PM

wow thanks for the tips. ill be sure to try them out soon! 



#14 carle55

carle55

    Saxophone Player

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • 0 topics
  • My Saxophone:Yamaha Custom
  • My Mouthpiece:Dukoff 8*
  • Years Of Playing:60
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 15 September 2013 - 05:34 PM

Nothing but the gospel truth.



#15 EtrealLive

EtrealLive

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • 0 topics
  • My Saxophone:Selmer Alto, Selmer Soprano
  • My Mouthpiece:Jody Jazz DV NY, Otto Link Tone Edge
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 15 September 2013 - 10:59 PM

Thanks - Helped me a lot  :D



#16 Henrique

Henrique

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • 0 topics
  • My Saxophone:J. Michael Alto
  • My Mouthpiece:Buffet Crampon
  • Years Of Playing:3
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 02 October 2013 - 07:42 AM

Very helpful! :D



#17 RDP1493

RDP1493

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • 0 topics
  • My Saxophone:Yanagisawa Soprano
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 11 January 2014 - 05:14 AM

I will try adding the lower Bb at once! :)



#18 twinstan

twinstan

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • 0 topics
  • My Saxophone:Antiqua Saprano
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 23 March 2014 - 04:19 AM

It's a great piece of info for beginner like me. Thanks a lot.



#19 JHLEE

JHLEE

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • 0 topics
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 06 July 2014 - 06:13 AM

thanks.



#20 GEA01171

GEA01171

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • 0 topics
  • My Saxophone:Selmer Alto, Selmer Soprano, Selmer Tenor
  • My Mouthpiece:Jake for alto, Bari for soprano, Francois Louis for tenor
  • Years Of Playing:30+
  • Country: Country Flag

Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:51 AM

High G is always a problem....A is much easier to pronounce.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: altissimo

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users