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Altissimo finger

JonTheReeds

Member
Messages
38
I've got a passage with A (1st ledger line), G, A, F (3rd ledger line), E(3rd ledger line), D (2nd ledger line), C (2nd ledger line), Bb, and I can't for the life of my get my fingers to play the sequence smoothly.

It is
  1. Fairly straightforward and I just need to practise it?
  2. Is it a pig, but I just need to practise it lots?
  3. Are there alternative fingerings that make it easier?
 
OP
J

JonTheReeds

Member
Messages
38
Hi Jeanette

Thanks for the link but I'm not going up that high. The highest note I'm going to is F 3rd ledger line

And it's not really the notes themselves that are giving me problems but moving from one note to the other, especially the jump from A to F - I can't work out how to move smoothly at speed
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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12,600
How the sax hangs on the sling is crucial when using palm and side keys together up at the top of the range. No show boating , yet. Let the sax hang no hands, adjust everything so you can play it there no hands. C#. Then try to play your piece there. Your hands need to be able to dance over the saxophone like a pianist plays the piano. No supporting the weight or holding up your instrument.

From there start slow. Practice each note change till it's second nature, then start connecting them together into a phrase.

Including chromatic scales top to bottom in your daily practice lets your hands and fingers know where all the notes are and how your hands climb around the instrument.

Front F may help too.
 

Rob Pealing

sax in a kayak (apprentice sax tamer)
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1,085
I took up the challenge. I found it easier using the side keys, but it took a few minutes practice to work that out and then playing very slowly till my fingers had learnt the pattern.
Follow Colin's tips.
 

jbtsax

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7,474
If you have a "teardrop" shaped front F key, you can roll the 1st finger up onto it from the A (as you would play throat A on the clarinet) to produce the "front" high F---keeping the C finger down, of course. Then add the 3rd finger to play high E. From there go to palm D and then C.

If your sax has a pearl button front F it is still possible to do this finger pattern, but it won't be as easy.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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8,701
If you have a "teardrop" shaped front F key, you can roll the 1st finger up onto it from the A (as you would play throat A on the clarinet) to produce the "front" high F---keeping the C finger down, of course. Then add the 3rd finger to play high E. From there go to palm D and then C.

If your sax has a pearl button front F it is still possible to do this finger pattern, but it won't be as easy.
On any sax I've always found it more difficult to sound E and F off the front key than the side keys.
Is that usual?
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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5,860
On any sax I've always found it more difficult to sound E and F off the front key than the side keys.
Is that usual?
Yes. A lot of beginners struggle with them - especially E (best approached down from F).

jbtsax's way of playing the passage in question is how I'd do it too.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,474
On any sax I've always found it more difficult to sound E and F off the front key than the side keys.
Is that usual?
That is quite common for most players. A good way to approach front high F is to play high C forte then add the front F key while suddenly increasing the air speed. It may also help to raise the back of the tongue a bit as if saying "EEE". Once the font F is consistent, then go to high E from the F. Once you get the "taste" of those notes, then work to get them to respond at softer playing levels.
 
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