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Altissimo use in real life?

randulo

22 months since I began - 3.5% of my adult life
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Whatever it is you know how to do, using it musically is a part of the personality and elements of saxophone playing I constantly annoy everyone here with. The definition of a player's recognisable sound is made up of the totality of devices they have at their disposal. If you can double tongue, you don't do it in every song all the time, but it can be used in spots. Eric definitely uses it in funk, and he uses it well.
 

Ivan

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If I can't concoct a meaningful line in 2 1/2 octaves It's not going to get any better if I have 3 octaves.
That would make sense if you were playing a keyboard with no change of character between notes

However, the tonal character of altissimo notes offers an extension of the saxophonic sonic palette. The altissimo register gives you more than the notes alone
 

thomsax

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I can't play melodies and licks out of the range of the sax. But if you can it's very cool to play along with the electric guitar. There are altissimo masters out there. Another thing to hit a single (or two) notes. My Martin saxes are wo high F# key so that I get with front F+F key. And if I raise the F key I get the high G. You can "press up" all notes. Listen to Bill Holloman. The solo starts c 1:58. I think Holloman is playing trumpet as well? .
View: https://youtu.be/pr7-44EMYWw
 

Zugzwang

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Do you use front E and F? Ergonomically they’re much easier for me than the palm keys, and now that I trust what’s going to come out I prefer the sound (which I think is because (for me or everyone?) they require more breath support and therefore counteract the spindly shrillness I tended to produce on the palm keys.. They feel like they might be a more natural gateway to altissimo…
Caveat:
…not that I’d know - “sufficient unto the day is the evils thereof” seems to be my motto.
 
OP
Halfers

Halfers

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Do you use front E and F? Ergonomically they’re much easier for me than the palm keys, and now that I trust what’s going to come out I prefer the sound (which I think is because (for me or everyone?) they require more breath support and therefore counteract the spindly shrillness I tended to produce on the palm keys.. They feel like they might be a more natural gateway to altissimo…
Caveat:
…not that I’d know - “sufficient unto the day is the evils thereof” seems to be my motto.
I use front F and F# where it fits. I have to be honest I had to google front E! I will give that a go. Ta
 

randulo

22 months since I began - 3.5% of my adult life
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Why would anyone want to limit themselves? It doesn't matter if you have one octave or 5. It's always nice to have that power (range) available, assuming you can actually make music with it. As it happens, there's a Brecker recording on his EWI where he plays a low note, one that I think even a bass sax can't hit. It's an effect, but it worked, and worked well. I also recall seeing James Galway on TV playing some amazing thing on a penny whistle or something.
I don't know how long it will take me to reliably hit the G, it seems to be the hardest, but I'll keep trying until I get it or can't play at all. I keep trying the overtones, too, even though they will never actually be played except for effects.
 

thomsax

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I don't know how long it will take me to reliably hit the G, it seems to be the hardest, but I'll keep trying until I get it or can't play at all.
You mean double high G.? Andrew C told us on a Rocksax Workshop:: "For that note I just used the regular high G fingering and used my embouchure to make it squeal into the altissimo". I think it's bettter to "press up" instead of struggling with the fingers. But you just hit one or two notes. If you place your teeth on the reed you will sound nasty and wild..
 

randulo

22 months since I began - 3.5% of my adult life
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Interesting, I do that on the first octave, playing the octave without the octave key. Will try that out.
 

MandyH

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On a regular basis! Not me!

However, I have played pieces which occasionally have a few altissimo notes in them and have worked on finding and hitting those notes.

Eric Coates’ SaxoRhapsody on Alto sax ends (after a 12 minute performance) in an altissimo A which fades from mp to nothing over 10 slow beats.
In my exam, I feared that I wouldn’t have the lip left to hit it and control it, but all the hours of practice paid off! It sang out beautifully and diminished as well.

Another piece (James Rae’s Sonatina for Bari sax, I think) also required a low C to altissimo G run at speed. I was truly impressed that I cracked that too.

The neighbours must hate it when I start looking for altissimo notes!!
 
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