If your attempts have been a bit frustrating then I have good news for you… you can do it! This can get silly and frustrate you even further because looking at a fingering chart and attempting 4 or 5 or 8 different positions for a high G is not the way to do this. The book is over 20 pages long with only half a page devoted to a fingering chart. It lays out a set of fingerings from F going up another octave and a half to C. Personally, I think too much is made about every type and make of sax and saxophonist needing a bunch of different fingering positions to successfully hit these high notes. I, just as Rascher claims, have played the same fingering positions on at least 10 of some of the most common and popular saxophones alto and tenor and had no problems whatsoever in hitting these notes with full control.
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Those are the things that are going to get the altissimo notes to come out for you consistently, in tune and with a good sound. Most altissimo notes have several different possible fingerings. Why is that? I start off all of my practice sessions with long tones and I play long tones over the entire range of my saxophone.
I like to start in the middle, like middle C, and play a long tone on every note all the way down chromatically to low B-flat. I just do some simple exercises. I play a major scale and some arpeggios. Then I put my mouthpiece back and I get into playing my overtones.
I play a couple exercises and a couple melodies just with overtones. My throat is going to be closing off. All of those things are typical bad habits and ways we cheat to try to get the extreme registers out. You want your air to be doing the work. Not your mouth, not your jaw, not your lips, your air stream does all the work.
You want it to be open and relaxed. Also pay attention to the position of your tongue. Try to get your tongue to relax and lay down flat. You can download a PDF version of the altissimo fingerings here. All of these front fingerings and altissimo fingerings are with the octave key. Now we get into our first altissimo note, F-sharp.
On the alto saxophone you leave your F-natural down, add your bottom side-kick, your B-flat side key. That gives you F-sharp. F-sharp is different on tenor and alto saxophone. Sometimes I just add the side B-flat key as with the alto. This works on some tenors. But normally on tenor I add that side key, lift up my second finger and put down my first finger in the right hand.
To get to G from here I lift up the first finger. So G is the front F key plus the B-flat side key. The fingering I use on tenor is two, three and the middle finger on your right hand, F-sharp key.
For the altissimo note A I use the same fingerings on both alto and tenor sax — two and three on the left hand, and optionally, one, two and three in the right hand. B-flat is also the same on both saxophones. I use the third finger, middle side key in your right hand, and one, two and three. The note C is the same on both alto and tenor — one, three, and one, three, E-flat pinkie key. These are my altissimo fingerings that I use.
They work on my Yanagisawa saxophones. You have to miss about altissimo notes before they start coming out onstage when you want them to. Also be sure to follow BetterSax on Facebook , Instagram , LinkedIn , and YouTube to stay up to date with us for news, giveaways, and other saxophone tips and tricks. Thank you for your help.
Kevin thanks for getting in touch. It appears that you are not receiving my emails and they are getting filtered. You need to whitelist my email address and add me to your list of contacts. Check your junk and spam folders for the missing emails. Are the charts you provided correct?? The fingering in the pdf are suggestions based on what I use. Different instruments will often prefer variations on the fingerings to get the best response and tuning. If you find a fingering that works well, then use it.
There are many different possibilities for each note. Matthew, perhaps try some different fingerings for those notes. G is one of the most difficult altissimo notes and different instruments and mouthpieces will respond better with different fingerings. We also have the tendency to bite down in the altissimo range and this can definitely cause the notes to not speak clearly.
Try to let the air and throat do more of the work and relax the jaw. Great stuff on your page and youtube vids. Much appreciated!! Jay, your material here is priceless and it reaffirms my constant push for the basics with my students. Having them hear you say the same things — long tones, overtones, time keeping- makes me look not so crazy after all. Hey Jay, awesome tips! I am able to play all the altissimo notes from high f to c. The problem is that I find it difficult to get the notes in my head on the regular playing or live.
Do you have any other exercises to improve my playing so I can incorporate these notes on a regular basis like they were regular notes? Thank you!! Your email address will not be published. This 6 part video course gets delivered via email over a week. Enroll for Free Sign Me Up! Click below to watch the video version of this post:. BetterSax altissimo fingering chart for alto and tenor sax. Front E fingering on alto and tenor saxophone. Front F fingering on alto and tenor saxophone.
Altissimo F-sharp fingering on alto saxophone. Altissimo G fingering on alto saxophone. Altissimo F-sharp fingering on tenor saxophone. Altissimo G fingering on tenor saxophone.
Altissimo G-sharp fingering on alto saxophone. Altissimo G-sharp fingering on tenor saxophone. Altissimo A fingering on alto and tenor saxophone. Altissimo B-flat fingering on alto and tenor saxophone. Altissimo B fingering on alto and tenor saxophone. Altissimo C fingering on alto and tenor saxophone. Leave a Comment Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Leave this field empty.
Altissimo Fingerings for Tenor and Alto Saxophone
The fingerings for these notes can be quite complex. They differ from instrument to instrument, the fingering chart here show fingerings which I have found to be most useful on many different saxophones, but you can experiment by adding or taking away fingers to suit yours. Although some teachers would say it is bad technique to adjust your embouchure in order to voice certain notes, the altissimo range can be an exception, and often just a little more pressure is necessary, but without undue biting. A good question, to which the answer might be yes and no.
Altissimo on saxophone