Home Alt Forums Altissimo Course Can't get G

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    Hi guys! I haven’t posted on here for a while but I’ve looked around every so often. I’ve gotten a lot better for sure, but I’m back with a problem! On the alto sax I can hit altissimo with pretty much no problem. Especially G; once I found a good fingering for that, it comes out great. However, I’m having problems getting the G out on the tenor. I can hit G#, A, A#, etc and get up there, but I cannot hit the G no matter what fingering I try. I’ve looked up a bunch of different fingering charts and tried every fingering posted for G and not a single one of them works. What should I do??

    Michael Bishop

    Nice to see you here Aminn! How’s the playing been going for you guys? I’ll be posting a collab with a guitar-playing friend of mine either later this afternoon or tomorrow morning here on Johnny’s site, depending on when the editing get’s done…we’re playing the Blues together 🙂
    Please allow me to reiterate something: Playing up in the Altissimo range has NOTHING to do with finding those “magical” fingering charts…it’s about the technique. The ONLY fingering positions I use on both Alto and Tenor are the 2 positions I learned from Johnny in his Altissimo course, on both Alto and Tenor. I’ve tried a total of what is now 7 different Saxophones that the local shop let mess around with, student model Saxophones that they rent out to locals, because they felt you need to know 20 different fingering positions and I proved to them, right in front of them, that’s it’s not about finding loads of different fingering positions. On top of that, I’ve use Johnny’s fingerings on my 2 Trevor James Saxophone, an Vito Alto Saxophone, a Selmer Bundy Tenor Saxophone and an LJ Hutchen Alto Sax my brother-in-law gave me (it was out of tune) when I was out west last year…so that’s a total of 12 different Saxophones with his fingerings. On every single one of these Saxophones, I had no problems hitting Altissimo G. So if you’re not hitting it, you need to take a look at what you’re doing with regard to your technique.
    This is actually good timing Ammin, because if you look in the post here on the forum for “Altissimo lesson 1” I just put a post to Johnny in the form of a question regarding an exercise that I’ve been working on to help folks hit those notes, just waiting for Johnny’s response to see if he’ll let me make a video and post it here on his site. It would be a 3-part video series that would show an exercise I’ve been working on, as well as to help address some of the things I’ve noticed we can be doing that can actually prevent us from playing these notes, as well as other things that we may overlook which we should be doing. You can go to the post in the section of the forum that I listed above for more details, I think my comments about it is on page 3 of that forum post? Folks who rely on loads of different fingering positions have not TRUELY mastered playing in the Altissimo range, because they haven’t developed the true technqiue that it takes to play up there. That’s why they rely on different fingering positions v.s. relying on their own playing technique. If we have truely developed full control of the technique to play up there, we can take ANY saxophone, use the exact same fingering position on all of those Saxophones, and hit those notes….it’s about the technique, I can’t stress that enough.


    That G has probably the simplest fingering of all so I don’t think searching for more complicated ones is the way to go.
    I’m talking about the fingering that is only the index finger on the top key. if you go back to that lesson you’ll see that I stress hitting it from the F#. once you get and hold the F# just release everything except that one note. just do that until it comes, the things to change are what I talk about: lip tightness, throat cavity open and closed, air support etc. you need to experiment until something breaks. you got it on the other sax so you know it’s possible.

    paddy jordan

    Hi Aminn
    i had the same problem you are having, alto the g just popped out exactly as you please but as hard as i try or how ever many different finger charts no G i even wondered if that may be my tenor would not be able to produce that elusive note. i now can get the note with several different positions although it still needs a little work be able to play it with the ease i play that on alto.there are couple of things that may help you that worked out first don’t try as hard its not about tightening right up there relax a little push the air gently but firmly up from your diagram and try to imagine doing a lazy yawn at the same time.

    Leo Jr

    Try this fingering for the elusive high G. It’s so simple.

    THis is the fingering:

    B key (the one under the front F)+ High F# key!! Down below.
    Use the high octave key
    Try it!! It’s easy.


    Michael good points please remind me about that later!
    Leo you have to remember that when someone is getting frustrated it’s not because of a simple fingering
    As I said in the altissimo lessons
    The high G fingering is very simple but also the most difficult to gets easier and the the thing about getting it is NOT the fingering but everything else…embouchure, air support, throat opening etc
    These are the key things we have to experiment with until it starts to happen

    Michael Bishop

    What Johnny is saying above is EXACTLY what I was trying to say, sorry for my long post above LOL It’s all about the technique, not alternate fingerings. The player who has really mastered the technique needed to play up in the Altissimo range can take ANY Saxophone and hit these notes with 1-2 fingering positions v.s. having to know 20 of them. I say “1-2” because in Johnny’s Altissimo course he gives us 2 of them. Even though fingering position No.2 for Alt. G is what I use on Tenor, I still worked on hitting fingering position No.1 because it was forcing me to improve my technique. It was really hard, but after many hours of work I can now hit fingering pos. #1 almost as good as No.2!!! Very happy it to say the least. By really working hard to hit that fingering that I didn’t normally use, fingering pos. #2 that I do use pops out like nothing now 🙂 It’s all about developing the technique needed to play up there.

    Eugene Pefti

    Guys, I’m almost desperate. No matter what I do in terms of air support and embouchoure and throat position I can’t make high G using the fork key. I don’t mind making an “elusive high G” using what Leo Jr proposed above and it works but sometimes it is not very convenient in various places of a melody. This is a picture of fingering I’m trying to hone for high G and number 1 never works to me. Number 2 works very rarely and 3 works all the time.
    Any advices would be appreciated


    Michael Bishop

    Hi Eugene,
    I clicked on the link you attached and it’s not working, check it out when you can. Are you on Alto or Tenor Sax? If you could post a quick video while trying to hit the note, it would really help because there’s a variety of things that could be preventing you from hitting the note that are hard to address/fix without actually seeing what you’re doing. Altissimo G is a pain to say the least, but once you get it you be glad you did 🙂 All the other notes after G come pretty easily. If you want, we can Skype with each other too–exchange some Saxophone ideas and have some fun. Send me an e-mail at baboon4215@gmail.com and I’ll give you my Skype contact info.

    Eugene Pefti

    For some reason the file upload site only gives the chance to download it only once.
    New link: http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=07996720987511080323
    Thanks, Michael, I’ll get back to you when I set my audio properly for skype.

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