How to play altissimo on saxophone?

How to play altissimo on saxophone featured

Understanding the basics of altissimo

Altissimo is a technique used by saxophone players to reach higher notes than the instrument’s standard range. It’s a difficult technique that requires proper breath control, finger positioning, and adequate mouthpiece. To play altissimo, you would need to have a well-crafted setup of the instrument, which includes the choice of saxophone mouthpiece, reed, and ligature.

Learning the fingerings

To play altissimo on saxophone, you would have to familiarize yourself with the right fingerings. Each alto saxophone fingerings corresponds to a specific note. These fingerings must be precise to achieve the perfect note. To play altissimo, you must practice slow and steadily, focusing on the correct finger position.

Improving your breath control

Altissimo runs on the concept of overtone series. Each note that exists in the standard range of a saxophone could vibrate at more than one frequency. To achieve the higher range of notes, you need to control your breath and create harmonics. Breath control is integral to playing altissimo, as it is vital to the creation of higher notes with the same finger positioning.

Mastering the art of mouth positioning

To play altissimo, it’s essential to have the right mouth position. To create higher notes, saxophonists have to apply pressure to the reed, making it vibrate faster. This technique can result in squeaking on notes since the air necessary for the higher notes could leak out. To avoid this, saxophonists must focus their mouth positioning with the right pressure that simultaneously produces higher, well-crafted notes.

Seeking professional guidance to improve

Playing altissimo on saxophone can be challenging for many, and improvements may require years of practice. Seeking guidance from professional saxophone players can be helpful to achieve the desired result. has a range of saxophones, mouthpieces, reeds, ligatures and other accessories to enhance the playing experience through deliberate setup. Private lessons, specific tutorials, and feedback from professionals can also effectively help one to improve their technique and achieve the proper range of notes.

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