Home Alt Forums Altissimo Course Question about 2nd overtone lesson in Altissimo course

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  • #9716
    Michael Bishop
    Participant

    😎 Hi Johnny,
    I started the 2nd overtone lesson today–I’m gradually moving closer to the Altissimo range 🙂 and can’t help but feel good about the difference I’m noticing in my overall tone so far since starting the Altissimo course back in May, what a difference those exercises make in the Altissimo course!

    When you talk about, in starting the 2nd lesson, opening up the Oral Cavity–you mentioned in the lesson how you get a lot of questions about how to do that–it seems like the more I relax the muscles in my throat then the better those higher notes in this particular exercise come out? If the muscles in my throat area start to tense up, it almost feels like the Oral Cavity “closes” up so to say and it can choke some of the higher notes out. So could I think of it asone of the key things is to relax the muscles in the throat so that the air can passing freely through the Oral Cavity?

    #12431
    john
    Keymaster

    yes relax it. this takes effort and focus and so many people never get past this. once you get that chain right (oral cavity, throat and proper diaphragm breathing) your tone will develop very quickly.
    the exercises you are doing in the altissimo course force you to do these things or else you won’t be able to get the overtones and therefore never learn to control the high range. it’s all part of a chain reaction and if one link is missed then you’ll probably be frustrated for years to come! keep on it michael you’re on the right track

    #12432
    Michael Bishop
    Participant

    Thanks Johnny–relaxing the throat wasn’t something that took me a long time now in the Altissimo course to discover; it only makes sense that, to open the Oral Cavity we would have to relax the throat muscles and really focus on getting air from the diaphragm, along with adjustments in the embouchure. We can “choke” the notes if we don’t do these things and can’t seem to get enough air supply into the Sax to hit those high notes.

    I’m starting to “hear” the notes in the Altissimo range…maybe that comes from working hard on ear training and I wonder if that means I’m “knocking” on the doors of the Altissimo range? It made me think of what you said in the previous lessons “If you can hear it, then you can play it” and that’s where I’m at right now—I can hear the notes in the Altissimo range, especially when working on the Overtones and thinking about the notes at different Octaves before hitting them. If I don’t think about them first, then they don’t come out…..but when I do think about them first they come out really nice! 🙂 I don’t rush these lessons, I really take my time and work hard on them; it’s taken me since May to get to the Overtone lessons alone and I don’t stop by any means working on what I’ve already learned; practicing chromatic scales is something I do every single day.

    #12433
    john
    Keymaster

    yes, a lot of people are having problems playing a full clean and controlled entire range because they are in fact choking. it’s easy in the middle range but it gets more difficult in the very bottom and very top. the saxophone is capable of having a beautiful tone but we as the player must figure out how to produce it! the hearing exercise is very important… this will get even more important as you leave the normal range in the near future because you’ll be playing “false fingerings” so to speak, and you must hear the pitch in your head.
    There are people scouring the internet for that “secret altissimo fingering chart” so they can play all those high notes. They find a ton of charts, try to finger the notes unsuccessfully and look for another chart cause that one didn’t work. The fingerings are only a part of the equation here as you are now learning.

    #12434
    Michael Bishop
    Participant

    So, rather than focusing on alternative fingering charts (I haven’t moved ahead, at all, to look at the fingering charts coming that you teach….no sense in that because I got to work up to it first) then does that basically mean that these people are making the mistake of thinking they’re not hitting those Altissimo notes because they don’t have the right fingering…when in truth they have other problems in their playing? Like choking the notes, not know how to do Overtones correctly, no ear training, don’t know how to control the full range of the Sax, etc.?
    For me, your Altissimo course showed me I had, myself, had issues in the normal range of the Sax that I didn’t even realize I had…but happily I can say that the exercises you teach I’ve been working on have helped, so so much 🙂 WAY, WAY more fluid fingers, a stronger tone is the 2 things that stand out to me as massive improvements and the proof is on video too; but still have a long, long way to go. I had to work really, really, really hard on hitting the lower notes in the “Subtones” exercise and I practice them every single day. Initially, we can think that playing the notes loud is hardest….but it’s not! They’re FAR easier that playing those low notes softly.
    Good things coming my way in improving on my playing…..I think so anyway LOL

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