Saxophone Forum


by EL Seano
(255 posts)
10 years ago

Distorting Altissimo register

Hey guys, I've just been wondering how you can achieve the distortion effect in the altissimo register. Currently, my altissimo register comes out clean, but I'd like to know how these great players (Brecker, Liebman, Redman, Trane etc.) achieve this effect. Is it a lip manipulation? Growling? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanx :-)

Reply To Post [Report Abuse]

Report Abuse

Replies

  1. by TANGO SIX ONE
    (255 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Distorting Altissimo register

    Response to EL seano. The knights are not 100 % sure what you mean but in order to gain the right dexterity in this register, we use a combination of air flow and lip pressure.A good tip we use with some students dosent always work but you could try it.Get one of those all plastic reeds, use them for practice only as gig wise they cant centre tonal enough and you will cut your lips to ribbons.any way get the plastic reed to be a fairly easy blow little or no resistance.Now shoot up on to the harmonics and look how easy it is and the amount ef dexterity control every thing.its a great way of introducing a student to this register.At the end of your practice session go on a good normal centered reed with not too much resistance, and that should really help (Bird Lives)

    Reply To Post


    1. by EL Seano
      (255 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Distorting Altissimo register

      Thanks

      Reply To Post


      1. by EL Seano
        (255 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Distorting Altissimo register

        If your not quite sure what i mean, listen to michael brecker play in the altissimo register. You'll notice it doesn't quite sound clean, it has a sort of growling effect to it (and yes, i have tried growling up there but it sounds god awful)

        Reply To Post


        1. by SaxMan88
          (318 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Distorting Altissimo register

          Yea, David Sanborn has the same kind of effect. I myself strive everyday to try to get to an altissimo G. On my tenor (which is brand new, no pad leaks or whatever, not that I think it matters) I squeaked it out once or twice but then it cut out. So that must mean something. The thing I've found that has helped me in all aspects of my playing is a new embouchure. I'm not sure if you do it, you might, and I'm pretty sure the knights will agree with me on this. Instead of curling your bottom lip over your teeth and resting the mouthpiece on that, try forming your lips like you're saying "ooo" and put the mouthpiece on that. Your bottom lip now cushions the reed but allows it to vibrate a little bit more. I've found this to help out even in the middle altissimo range (D, E, F). Overall I think your sound will change for the better. We can keep swapping stories. Even if they are failures, we all can learn from one another. Good luck and cross yer fingers.

          Reply To Post


        2. by phathorn
          (165 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Distorting Altissimo register

          It's kind of a combination of airflow, jaw pressure, and your throat. A similar effect would be when you play, say, an 'e' on the staff and "lip down" to where the lower octave begins to come out. It's not growling, it's just allowing some of the partials to come out...it's one of those things that takes a while to master, but when you do you can do it pretty easily. Something that really helps is to master playing overtones (the old 'top tones' trick of fingering low Bb and playing bugle calls without moving your fingers). Working on overtones will also help make your sound become much richer and fuller.

          Reply To Post