Saxophone Forum


by Jim Keith
(20 posts)
9 years ago

Altissimo G

How do i hit it? Is there something im doing wrong ive been trying for about 2 weeks now... i only have 2 years experience but im allready at an advanced level playing everything that comes in front of me... i can hit the Bb above the g and everything up to 4 octaves above it but i cant hit the g to the a any advice?

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  1. by saxjunkie89
    (393 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Altissimo G

    This is easy... if you are using an alto with a good mpc. and hard reed. On the left hand you press the B and G keys (1&3). On the right hand you press the F and side Bb key. And above all, the octave key!

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  2. by northdakota27
    (3 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Altissimo G

    2 years isnt enough time to start altissimo. You haven't developed your embochure enough. I doubt your "4 octaves" are truly altissimo. Theyre probably just controlled squeaks. I reccomend working on overtones to help develop the skills necessary for altissimo. Also, try note bending. That'll help as well. As always, altissimo takes time, and a lot of it. So don't get frustrated and don't give up. Good luck!

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    1. by golferguy675
      (600 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Altissimo G

      You should also note tthat alt G is the most difficult of all altissimo notes. Back when I was a student learning altissimo, I could go chromatically up to alt F with the acception of G. It comes easy now of course, but it took some time. Overtones are very good practice. That's where a lot of my alt range comes from; overtones on the lh palm keys.

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  3. by CountSpatula
    (602 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Altissimo G

    Wow 2 years, I was the top sax player first 3 years of sax till i got into high school, and it took me forever to learn a G.... I only know one SUPER COMPLICATED fingering to get it to come out...1, 3, 4, Eb Key and the side Bb key and octive...sometimes adding the 5 helps too but it makes it flatter...

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  4. by Sonny Swingin
    (9 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Altissimo G

    Do you know your full range major scales, minor scales, blues scales; major, minor, dominant7 and minor 7th chords; do you do long tones, vibrato and tounge excersises, do you know the arpeggios of your scales triads fourths, can you sight read chord changes and improvise well I don't think you should worry about one note when you aren't ready to play it yet, and if you can't play all of the above than one note isn't gonna make you a better player, stop being naive if you can play all the above then it IS time for you to start using overtones to get your throat ready and accustomed to the shaped needed to pop those notes out nicely, I would ask my lessons teacher if I felt I was ready

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  5. by makeitfunky
    (1 post)

    7 years ago

    Re: Altissimo G

    On Tenor, the altissimo G is definietly the most difficult. But, on Alto it is one of the easiest. Play 1 and 3 on the top stack, and on the bottom stack play 1 and 3 (with the octave key). And, can I suggest a measure of humility (that means being humble). The quickest indicator of someone who doesn't have it all together is that they are quick to tell you how much they have together. I can assure you, there is stuff that could be put in front of you and everyone else, that would tie your fingers in knots. Or, in your case, two whole notes tied together - like altissimo G's. Incidentally, I have played professionally for 25 years and in every major arena from L.A. to South Africa with some of the best musicians in the world. Let's be real - we are all just students trying to learn. So, let other people give you the accolades - you just practice, stay humble and don't dwell too much on the things people say. There is always someone out there who will smoke you and remind you just how much you have to learn.

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  6. by Winton woods
    (1 post)

    7 years ago

    Re: Altissimo G

    Well 2 years is acctually enough because i developed my altissimo G in 5 grade when i had only been playing for 6 months

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  7. by cuber
    (653 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: Altissimo G

    your all worried about how high you can go, but how many times do you hear bird, cannonball, Rollins, Trane, Mulligan, Carney, or any other great go up there? if i were you id spend more time working with the natural range of your horn

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  8. by jonathan c30
    (1 post)

    3 years ago

    Re: Altissimo G

    I know what you mean Jim Keith. I'm a high school alto player and I just recently discovered that I could play altissimo. I have been obsessed with it ever since and wanted to hit the altissimo G to complete the second octave of my concert Bb scale. I can hit all the way up to the g an octave above it, and that's as high as I can go, but I can't his the lower one. It's kind of sad. I also cannot hit the G through the A like you.

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  9. by sojoace
    (3 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Altissimo G

    If you have high F# use B,side Bb, and high F# that works the best for me, I don't know high the "old" guys did it without high F#. Gene Ammons and Rusty Bryant were 2 who would start solos using that note and hit it over and over again. They must have had a secret... I have been playing over 30 years and I have to use the high F#. Good luck, hope that helps.

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    1. by EL Seano
      (255 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Altissimo G

      If you play tenor and have a high F# key use the octave(thumb)key, g#key eb key and b key. I've been playing 3 years and it all comes out for me.

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      1. by EL Seano
        (255 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Altissimo G

        Damnit! use the high F# key too (duh)

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        1. by SaxMan88
          (318 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          You might want to try this fingering too; Hasn't worked for me 100% but it worked more like a 50% rate. If you can hit the front F key along with side Bb key you can squeak out an altissimo G. I did, and it might work better. Also agreed on experience, I've been playing seven years and I'm still having a hard time. I've been trying to strengthen my embouchure through various things but it's still rough. Work on it, and you might get there.

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        2. by The_┬žax
          (147 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          It takes time and lots of overtones

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        3. by tsax_player
          (76 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          sax88 is right if you are playing tenor. Use the the front F key (go up one note from your left index finger) and side Bb. If on alto play a D (middle register) then lift your middle fingers on both hands. Work down chromatically from the A above and use muscle memory to recall how you are hitting the pitch. Then practice hitting it directly over and over. Support from the stomach alt notes are not to be muscled out. And not to be rude but unless you are Lenny Picket (SNL) you don't have 4 octaves above alt G. Just watch what you say or we will call you on it. Practice Practice Practice!!!!!

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        4. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          Be careful with the 1346 on alto though, on some horn's it's really easy to overblow it and get an alt. C if you don't have enough control.

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        5. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          Also, if you're having trouble at first, something that can help is to have someone play high Bb on a piano while you're trying to play your G, and it can sort of pull it out of your horn.

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        6. by tsax_player
          (76 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          sax88 is right if you are playing tenor. Use the the front F key (go up one note from your left index finger) and side Bb. If on alto play a D (middle register) then lift your middle fingers on both hands. Work down chromatically from the A above and use muscle memory to recall how you are hitting the pitch. Then practice hitting it directly over and over. Support from the stomach alt notes are not to be muscled out. And not to be rude but unless you are Lenny Picket (SNL) you don't have 4 octaves above alt G. Just watch what you say or we will call you on it. Practice Practice Practice!!!!!

          Reply To Post


        7. by SaxMan88
          (318 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          I've found an easier fingering Use front F and instead of side Bb, try the aux F# key if you have it on your sax! I have about a 90% success rate with altissimo G now, holding it out once in a while but the other times it cuts out...it'll come with practice. I love incorporating it into my improv now!

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        8. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          i use octave, 1--|Bb,highF#--- first time i tried it, popped out perfectly, and it's not that hard to finger reasonably quickly, so i use it :)

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        9. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          oh by the way, that's on tenor...

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        10. by SaxMan88
          (318 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          I was goofing around with altissimo G this afternoon and while improv-ing came up with a pretty hot lick! I might even record it for you guys! Well, I should say it was hot until it started cutting out once in a while *frowns*.

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        11. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          saxman, you try my g fingering? a really crappy tenor player at school played it on the first try, if that's any consolation. don't try to play it too loud at first, mp to start it off. you gotta like be very agressive with yoru tongue like over the mouth peice to play louder.. or at least i did when i was first playing it, but now i don't have to do anything differently :up: good stuff.

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        12. by SaxMan88
          (318 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          Not yet *evil grin*

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        13. by bcwins124
          (12 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          Only altissimo G? How high can you guys actually go and hold that note for a couple seconds? All i know is that I'm in high school and can hit the high high alt. D that's above the G; Is that average or is that a good thing?

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        14. by saxychick
          (16 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          that sounds pretty good... The only altissimo note i have A LOT of troble voicing is high G#.... eewwww.. it's horrible... any suggestions?? the fingering i'm using is front f key and side Bb... i know there's others... I'm also primarily a bari player

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        15. by CountSpatula
          (602 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          Alt. D is probably one of the easiest notes to hit, but can you make it sound good?. Can you hit a G? And for the record, if I bite my lip I can hit the D above your Alt. D till I run out of breath and I'm only a Senior in High School now.

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        16. by bcwins124
          (12 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          Yes, as a matter of fact, I can make it sound good when using it in a song or using it in an improv solo; With the D i'm hitting, there is no other octave above it; The D i'm talking about is 4 octaves up, which sounds like the same G you're talking about;

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        17. by Dark Eyes
          (138 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          There is really no reason to use a note that high in a solo. My advice is to spend time on your technique in the lower registers that the sax was meant to be played well on. Your altissimo may sound fantastic but it can get annoying really fast so you need to practice in your regular registers. Dark Eyes

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        18. by CountSpatula
          (602 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          Actually there is a D above that...and it's great for pissing off flute players infront of me :) but I never use it...highest note I ever hit in a solo is a C or D once in a blue moon.

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        19. by jctenor
          (1 post)

          6 years ago

          Re: Altissimo G

          Dude, thanks so much. I've been scrolling the forums for days to find a fingering that worked on my new tenor. None of them did, until I got down to yours. Thanks so much for your advice! I've been playing alto for years, just got a tenor last week and have a gig tomorrow with a high G in a killer spot of a melody line that I really wanted to play with my new tenor. Thanks to you I can. Cheers!

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