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Do you actually play the altissimo notes on alto?

Bernie

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When I played tenor sax I felt the need for a few altissimo notes, but the high "normal" notes on alto seem high enough for me. Obviously if you play classical music you might have to play up there, but I'm wondering if many jazz and "rock" players use those notes at all on alto. Just curious.
 

jbtsax

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It depends upon the style. In straight ahead jazz and be-bop one doesn't hear a lot of altissimo on alto or tenor. In rock, fusion, and new age it is an integral part of the music.
 
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Listen to anything David Sanborn plays, Altisimo is just as much a part of playing Alto as it is a part of tenor playing.
 

SaxDon

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Albright commands the alto altissimo more than I've seen. There's a solo on YouTube where he's playing with Sanborn in a Quincy Jones led big band. He just kills it. Even Sanborn is blown away!
 

ProfJames

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Albright commands the alto altissimo more than I've seen. There's a solo on YouTube where he's playing with Sanborn in a Quincy Jones led big band. He just kills it. Even Sanborn is blown away!
Please find that video Don, that would be great to watch
 

SaxDon

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And that's how you also play false-fingerings!
 

ProfJames

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I'm lost as well with "false fingerings" but that sound.......wow!
 

SaxDon

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Have you not heard of false fingerings ?
 

SaxDon

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Get your sax out, play a high A, keep it going, then press the three RH keys (leaving the LH G key open) - basically a middle D without the G key - and alternate between the two. Timbre changes
 

SaxDon

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There's a few different ones. Albright uses this technique just before he wails at about 2:22
 

SaxDon

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Middle C is another good one to play with. Alternate between regular middle C fingering and a low C fingering with octave key
 

SaxDon

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If you type Gerald Albright and West Side into YouTube there is another fantastic solo performance. 2nd chorus ends with some great altissimo.

Would post the link but I'm on my iPad
 

Alice

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If you type Gerald Albright and West Side into YouTube there is another fantastic solo performance. 2nd chorus ends with some great altissimo.

Would post the link but I'm on my iPad
Thank you! The link has come up with some live performances from the Montreux Jazz festival, playing with Phil Collins. I don't know if these are what you had in mind but they're great!
 

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