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Altissimo F♯ key or alternate altissimo F♯ fingering?

VirusKiller

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I've only been at it for a week, but tonight I couldn't resist having my first proper go at altissimo. Working from Raphael Ravenscroft's fingering diagrams, I got up to B♭. Quite chuffed as I thought it would be difficult with 1½ strength reeds.

Now whilst the F♯ key is great for going from F to F♯, it's seems a nightmare (for me on a YAS62) going from F♯ to the G fingering which works for me (LH1, LH3, RH1, RH3, RSK3). It looks easier going from the F♯ key to the other G fingering (F, RH1), but I couldn't get G with this fingering.

In fact, it seems easier to use the altissimo F♯ fingering (F, LH2, RSK3) instead of the F♯ key. Given how straightforward this fingering seems, the thought did cross my mind as to the real benefit of the F♯ key.

Sorry if I'm wittering on; I guess every instrument and person is different and a variety of keys are necessary. It just makes me wonder if the F♯ key is really necessary, given that I've read that some folk think it detracts from the tone of the horn.
 

Nick Wyver

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It just makes me wonder if the F♯ key is really necessary, given that I've read that some folk think it detracts from the tone of the horn.

Some people think if Adolphe didn't put it there then it shouldn't be there.:rolleyes:

F# key - really useful. Unsurprisingly, that's why it exists. Bit like low A on a bari - but loads of people don't like that either.
 

VirusKiller

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Sure. I can see that it would be great for quick F/F♯ transitions. No doubt as I progress, all will be revealed!
 

VirusKiller

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With a bit more practice, the altissimo F♯ is already easier and more familiar...
 

Nick Wyver

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If you ever get to play tenor in a rock band (who love playing in E) you may find out why the top F# key exists.
 

saxnik

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Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom
On my sax the altissimo F♯ fingering (F, LH2, RSK3) you mention is flat. In most keys...
The existing F♯ key fingering is in tune (or slightly sharp for the keys where the altissimo one is in tune, though it's lippable), or I use the 'other' altissimo altissimo F♯ fingering (LH1, LH3, RH1), which is also a bit flat, but pairs up nicely with the other altissimo G I use (LH1, LH3, RH3).

Does that help? :confused:

Nick
 

Pete Thomas

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Sorry if I'm wittering on; I guess every instrument and person is different and a variety of keys are necessary. It just makes me wonder if the F♯ key is really necessary, given that I've read that some folk think it detracts from the tone of the horn.

It's useful if you use the palm F.

I dn't think I ever use the palm F, so I always use the old fashioned "hack" for F# (+RSK3), whether a horn has a top F# or not.

And as you say it's easier from there to go higher.
 

VirusKiller

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Milton Keynes (ish)
How problematic is switching horns when you've learned a "preferred" set of altissimo fingerings? I imagine that certain fingerings which work on some horns just won't work on others. Presumable some altissimo fingerings are more reliable than others.
 

saxnik

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Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom
How problematic is switching horns when you've learned a "preferred" set of altissimo fingerings? I imagine that certain fingerings which work on some horns just won't work on others. Presumable some altissimo fingerings are more reliable than others.

I did Top Tones (Sigurd Rascher) training for altissimo - supposedly if you use Sigurd's methods, they make the fingerings transferable, though I think actually it does depend on your horn. Like I've said, F# and G around the altissimo break on my tenor sax are difficult to tune, so I use a variety of fingerings to combat this.

The one thing the 'palm' F# does is reduce the need to go altissimo, for those who can't/don't want to. Like NickW said, you need that note in a rock band...

Nick
 

singlereed

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Oxted, Surrey.
When I play altissimo F# (octave, front F, LH2, side Bb) on my mark VI tenor, I add RH1 to correct the flat note. Not an issue on my other horns. I find a high F# key really handy on soprano and tenor especially - although my tenor doesn't have one! On many sop and tenor horns (and my bari), LH1 and high F# makes a reliable high G which is handy, too. Funny enough I can't ever get it to work on an alto. As a rule, I'd rather have high F# than not, all other things considered
 

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