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Altissimo F# to g#

JonTheReeds

Member
Messages
38
I'm trying to master a piece that uses F, F# and G# altissimo (3 and 4 ledger lines above the stave)

I've looked at the TamingTheSaxophone sheet and the F and F# come out lovely with, dare I say it, not a bad tone

However, I can't move from the F# fingering (aux F + Left2 + SK3) to the G# fingering (Left1 + Left3 + Right1 + SK2)

I've had a look at some postings here but can't find anything that works for me

Should I persevere with these fingerings (ie. it's just a matter of getting my fingers around the transition) or is there an easier and more efficient way to move from the F# to the G# and back again?
 

Guenne

Senior Member
Messages
941
I've had a look at some postings here but can't find anything that works for me
My "classical" fingerings are the same as you for F#, but for G# it is Aux F + side Bb.
Makes sense, as G is the same as G# but + 1st finger right hand (F)
All on Alto.

Cheers, Guenne
 

Chilli

Barista
Messages
393
You may want to tell us which sax you're using as well. Because I think that the altissimo fingerings are very horn-dependent*. What sounds fine on a Mark VI won't on my Buffet, and only partially will on a Yamaha. And most of the fingerings I see here and there are totally useless on my Conns (but I expected that ;))

* And not only the altissimos but also the alternate fingerings
 
OP
J

JonTheReeds

Member
Messages
38
Good questions! I play a Yamaha 275 alto

Many thanks for the suggestions, I'll give them a go and report back
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,552
If you go to the Woodwind Fingering Guide and go to sax alternate fingerings there are several pages of fingerings for low middle and high altissimo. Usually at least half a dozen for each note.

Find the one that comes easiest and gives you the best intonation. Enjoy

The fingerings that work on my SML horns are quite different from those that work on my King so I have given up trying to use my King tenor as I use altissimo a fair bit.

EG G# on SML's both tenor and alto is left stack G and A keys plus octave. Pops out a treat from any note and has great intonation on tenors, have to work it a bit on alto.
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,529
This post may be of some help with this.
Looks very interesting. I was considering altissimo practice with my latest alto that has no F#. A good excuse to get started...

I would happily go and try that just now, but it's just past midnight on a Sunday, so I doubt my wife would appreciate as she's already asleep and wakes early for work! :eek:

My kids on the other hand would probably not hear a thing... We've had to equip the house with fire alarms on every floor and these things have a ridiculous tendency to go off for no reason and preferably in the middle of the night. The kids never noticed! :rolleyes:
 

Guenne

Senior Member
Messages
941
The TO told us he played a Yamaha.
So the best fingering is indeed the one where you can play 16th notes: Aux-Key+left hand C +right hand Bb for F#, Aux-Key+F right hand+side Bb right hand for G and lifting right hand Bb for G#.
Other fingerings might speak a little easier, but I think one should go for that if it is not only about screaming a high note now and then (which is fine too) :)

Cheers, Guenne
 

Tomasz

Member
Messages
544
You may want to tell us which sax you're using as well. Because I think that the altissimo fingerings are very horn-dependent*. What sounds fine on a Mark VI won't on my Buffet, and only partially will on a Yamaha. And most of the fingerings I see here and there are totally useless on my Conns (but I expected that ;))

* And not only the altissimos but also the alternate fingerings
Yes, I've often found this to be the case. For example, whereas I find altissimo dead easy on a 1980s Yamaha YAS-62, on some horns I start to struggle after a few notes above high F#. However, a 1920s Buescher Truetone Series 4 is an exception to that rule.

Sometimes it's even the case that playing 5 notes above high F is quite easy, but the first 2 notes above high-F# are very difficult to get - if you can get them at all. Basically, you have to experiment. There will be viable altissimo fingerings for your sax - you've just got to find them. So, don't be discouraged if you find a set of recommended altissimo fingerings which just don't work for you, or seem patchy. Simply find another set and try those. Of course, as you're doubtless aware, altissimo isn't simply a case of using the right fingering - some embouchure work is also required.

So long as your saxophone has a front-F key (and 99.999% of saxophones do) then hitting a high F# (and a few notes beyond) really shouldn't be a problem.
 
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