From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search


[edit | edit source]



[edit | edit source]

Overtones on Bb

[edit | edit source]

This exercise is designed to teach a saxophonist how to isolate the overtones above a fundamental.

Play a low Bb as normal. Then play an F natural with the octave key as normal. Then, holding the fingering for a Bb, think and play an F natural. Practice alternating between Bb and F without changing fingering. Next isolate the Bb an octave above the low Bb. Eventually it is possible to play three octaves of the overtone series above a low Bb: Bb2, Bb3, F4, Bb4, D5, F5, Ab5(out of tune), and Bb5.

Bugle Calls

[edit | edit source]

To practice facility in voicing the overtone series you can practice bugle calls. Maintain a low Bb fingering throughout and change notes only by altering your voicing.

Palm Key Overtones

[edit | edit source]

As overtones can be played above Bb so they can be played above other notes. Importantly, the palm keys overblown by a major 6th make useful fingerings for altissimo notes B to D#. For the B (palm key D overblown) add the G key for extra stability. Practice alternating between the palm key note and its altissimo alternative. Once you are secure with these notes try the next overtone a perfect forth above eg. Eb – C – F – C – Eb.

Repertoire that uses Altissimo

[edit | edit source]
  • Concertino by Ibert
  • Concerto by Larsson
  • Pequena Czardas by Pedro Iturralde
  • Aeolian Song by Warren Benson
  • Concerto by David Maslanka
  • Concerto by Glazunov

Further Reading on Altissimo

[edit | edit source]
  • Rascher, Sigurd, M. (1941) Top-Tones for the Saxophone, (Carl Fischer, New York)
  • Rousseau, Eugene High Tones