P Mauriat
Antigua Winds
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 36

Thread: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

  1. #1

    Default Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    Hi all. I have read all that I can on altissimo. I practice overtones in my warm up every time. I practice long tones. I practice overtone matching. I can even hear the note in my head too. NOTHING WORKS! Please tell me whats wrong.

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2010 magical pig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    6,369

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    What's your highest overtone?

    Have you tried working with the "Top Tones" book by Rascher?

  3. #3
    Forum Contributor 2011 Nobby Keys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Wiltshire, UK
    Posts
    910

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    Some mouthpieces are easier than others to get altissimo notes. Maybe worth trying some other mpc's. What are you using at the moment?

    +1 "Top Tones".
    Sax stuff and some of my recordings at:
    http://derekghead.com/

  4. #4
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sunny Southampton, UK
    Posts
    18,667

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    I was playing altissimo way before I even knew what overtones are. But then I cheated, I put my teeth on the reed*. It was useful in that I got the sound and pitches of the altissimo in my head, so that it was then that bit easier to get them when I found out how to play them "properly".

    * Yes, I know it's very very very naughty. But it helped me. End justifies the means etc.

  5. #5
    Bubba06's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    1,090

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    Try singing the pitch? Or roughly the pitch. Then blow it immediately.

    It's really something that once you get it, you're like, "Oh! Cool. Got it."

    -Bubba-

  6. #6
    Forum Contributor 2011 legitalto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    628

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    Make sure your tongue is pushed up against your upper back teeth (molars). Like a Heee or a cat's hissing sound.

  7. #7
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sunny Southampton, UK
    Posts
    18,667

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    Quote Originally Posted by legitalto View Post
    Make sure your tongue is pushed up against your upper back teeth (molars). Like a Heee or a cat's hissing sound.
    Interesting, sounds a bit unorthodox. I just tried that and I can hardly play at all. Are you able to explain this technique further.

  8. #8
    Forum Contributor 2011
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Nefertiti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    8,421

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    Interesting, sounds a bit unorthodox. I just tried that and I can hardly play at all. Are you able to explain this technique further.
    He's just talking about the whole arched tongue thing. The cat hissing analogy is too restrictive of the air column. It gets the back of the tongue in the right position but I believe the middle and front of the tongue has to be lower to let the air flow better.

  9. #9
    Forum Contributor 2011 legitalto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    628

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    wow

  10. #10
    Distinguished SOTW Member ratracer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    DC Metro, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brecker Fan View Post
    Hi all. I have read all that I can on altissimo. I practice overtones in my warm up every time. I practice long tones. I practice overtone matching. I can even hear the note in my head too. NOTHING WORKS! Please tell me whats wrong.
    Make sure the horn has NO leaks. I'm not certain, perhaps others with the experience can chime in, but leaks, any little leaks, in the upper stack or the neck joint will prevent you/greatly hinder the altissimo note production.

    While I don't place my teeth on the reed, I must admit to biting, initially, to get the altissimo to sound. Not enough to hurt my lip but I definitely clamped down with a much "firmer" embouchure. Fortunately, and similar to Pete, I don't have to do that anymore.

  11. #11
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sunny Southampton, UK
    Posts
    18,667

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    He's just talking about the whole arched tongue thing. The cat hissing analogy is too restrictive of the air column. It gets the back of the tongue in the right position but I believe the middle and front of the tongue has to be lower to let the air flow better.
    Exactly why I am not able to play like that. Also I find articulation very difficult with my tongue like that.

    Still, I'd like to know more, I'm always interested in trying different things.

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Member Fader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    4,335

    Default

    Nothing wrong. One day it will just happen...if your experience is anything like mine, when it does you'll be able to play a rudimentary scale by the end of that day. Then you'll spend the next few months learning to control it and add it into your solos.....


    Then you'll realize it was mostly a waste of time and not use it all that much.

    It's great to have the notes for the occasional screamer or just to go up and "pip" one out occasionally but even with too much work on altissimo, you'll spend 99% of your playing in the normal ranges of the instrument. I wish I'd have spent the time learning other things...


    Just my .02..

    PS. Someone suggested a different MPC...that's what started my journey...

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Denver Colorado
    Posts
    726

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    I completely agree with the mouthpiece thing. I actually started my altissimo journey on taming the saxophone and learned originally on Pete's posted fingerings, after altissimo got better I moved to much simpler fingerings. I only bite for fifth octave.

    For altissimo register using overtones (unfortunately I learned altissimo, and then overtones) you really have to mess with your tongue position and oral cavity. Just like whistling you can feel that your air speed is directed in a new way depending on your oral cavity and tongue arch. It's a little more complicated with overtones into the altissimo range. You have to mess with your air pressure and experiment a lot.

    Don't know if it is considered correct or not, but I original had to bite almost where my outer lip meets my inner lip when I started altissimo. It helped me a lot to get an ear, and then the overtones/altissimo became much easier.

    Hope this might help a little

  14. #14

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    You definitely need to hear the notes before you play them. On certain horns(some Conns and Bueschers) it can be more difficult to get the notes to speak. At first you might find biting into the reed through you lower lip easier, but eventually you'll be able to use your throat more and save your chops. Your ultimate goal should be to keep your Jaw in the same position from bottom to altissimo on the horn using your throat when you get there. Try scales and simple melodies to bridge the to ranges. +1 on the Rascher book and the Rosemary Lang book.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    Sorry for not posting anything in reply. I haven't been on in a while. I agree with the biting, and certain mouthpieces. I've just recently bought a modern Brilhart Level Aire, and with the baffles, it will come out...but sounds awful in the normal registers. I started on Top Tones a while back, but I got discouraged. It may be a small leak however, so I will have that seen about. It just makes me feel so less of a musician when my friends, who have been playing the same time I have, can hit those notes effortlessly. Thanks for all the help though.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    Oh, and I forgot to mention my setup: Yamaha 62 (not the mark ii), Selmer S80 C*- Vandoren Blue Box 3 1/2's, modern Brilhart Level Aire-Vandoren V16 2's.

  17. #17
    Bill C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia area
    Posts
    714

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    some horns have trouble as well.
    On my one tenor I cant find a G or G# Altis fingering that will work to save my life.
    On other horns no problem.

  18. #18
    Distinguished SOTW Member Captain Beeflat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Devon. UK.
    Posts
    4,867

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill C View Post
    some horns have trouble as well.
    On my one tenor I cant find a G or G# Altis fingering that will work to save my life.
    On other horns no problem.
    Seldom mentioned but true. As a personal example, & using the same mouthpiece/reed combination, altissimo is just so easy on my Grassi but less so on my R&C....both tenors.
    Experience is an excellent school....but the fees are high.

  19. #19
    Distinguished SOTW Member Honeyboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    2,105

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    The modern Brilhart mouthpiece may require a harder reed than a 2 since I think an 8 opening, for example, is .100". Also, try playing that mouthpiece without the baffles. The tone is thicker and fuller and altissimo is easily achieved as well. Try a 2.5. I can get a pretty good tone from mine in the normal registers with a properly matched reed.

    Of course, I'm talking tenor sax here. I notice in your avatar an alto. I haven't used an alto Levelaire. The closest would be my Runyon Smoothbore 11 (both are made by Runyon, with similar design). I don't care for the tone as much, with or without the baffle, as I do with my hard rubber mouthpiece, which has a larger chamber than the Smoothbore. I think an alto doesn't need a high baffle, small chamber mouthpiece since they voice high and bright naturally.
    11th Commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's axe.

  20. #20
    Distinguished SOTW Member ratracer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    DC Metro, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Default Re: Something Must Be Wrong With Me!

    When you get a minute try this.

    Finger your A key with middle finger of left hand.
    Depress octave key with thumb.
    Using your left hand index (1st) finger, crack open the front F key 2-4 millimeters and blow. See if the altissimo G won't sound. Play around with that front F opening and see what happens.

    On my horn, the front F key opens a bit too far for a stable altissimo G - or until I got a bit better at voicing it. However, if I just vent that front F a bit the G practically jumps out of the horn! Now, I'm getting to the point where, depending on how fresh the reed is, I can sound the G without worrying about the front F venting too far. But, it has been a struggle and I've seriously considered having that mechanism adjusted so that the front F just vents the key a tiny amount. Just have to worry about effecting the intonation of the front F and E fingering if done.

    Good luck & hope that helps some! Hang in there. That Yamaha and either mouthpiece should do the job. I do find a reed closer to a 2H or 3 speaks better for me on my STM 6*. My STM NY & will speak the altissimo with just about anything.

    Oh, that Blue Box 3.5 may be a tad strong - depending on your experience of course. In my experience they run a bit strong by about 1/2. Or, all my other reeds run 1/2 size weaker! May want to take that into consideration as well!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •