close deal

Our Price: $64.99

Sale: $57.99 (11% off)

See this Deal

Ultimate Ligature

by Francois Louis Saxophone Ligatures

product image

Remaining Quantity: 6

see this deal

*Additional discounts do not apply

Price valid on in stock items only.


(800) 348-5003
www.wwbw.com
Call Our Product Specialists: (800) 348-5003
CartView Cart
  • Accessories
    • Woodwind Accessories
      Reeds
      Mouthpieces
      Ligatures and Mouthpiece Caps
      Straps and Supports
      Instrument Stands
      Cases and Gig Bags
    • Brass Accessories
      Mouthpieces
      Mutes
      Instrument Stands
      Replacement Parts
      Valve, Rotor and Slide Oil
      Cases and Gig Bags
    • Music Stands
    • Orchestral String Accessories
      Strings
      Cases
      Instrument Stands
      Bows & Rosin
      Instrument Pickups
      Humidifiers
    • Care and Cleaning
      General Care
      Woodwind Care
      Brass Care
      Orchestral String Care
      Drum Care
      Guitar Care
    • Marching Band
      Batons and Maces
      Color Guard
      Field Accessories
      Lyres and Flip Folders
      Podiums and Transport
      Uniforms
    • Practice and Performance Aids
      Tuners and Metronomes
      Phrase Samplers
      Vocal Accessories
      Hand and Finger Exercisers
      Tone Enhancers and Practice Aids
      Carts and Stage Accessories
    • Lifestyle
      Clothing
      Caps and Headwear
      Collectibles
      Home Furnishings
      Shoes and Footwear
      Jewelry and Watches
      Lifestyle Accessories
  • Woodwinds
    • Saxophones
      Alto Saxophones
      Tenor Saxophones
      Soprano Saxophones
      Baritone and Bass Saxophones
      Saxophone Necks
      Saxophone Reeds
      Saxophone Mouthpieces
    • Flutes and Piccolos
      Flutes
      Piccolos
      Alto Flutes
      Bass Flutes
      Flute Head Joints
    • Clarinets
      Bb Clarinets
      A Clarinets
      Eb Clarinets
      Bass Clarinets
      Harmony Clarinets
      Clarinet Barrels
      Clarinet Reeds
      Clarinet Mouthpieces
    • Double Reed Instruments
      Oboes
      English Horns
      Bassoons
      Bassoon Bocals
      Oboe and Bassoon Reeds
    • Woodwind Accessories
      Reeds
      Mouthpieces
      Ligatures and Mouthpiece Caps
      Straps
      Instrument Stands
      Cases and Gig Bags
      Care and Cleaning
    • Recorders
  • Brass
    • Trumpets
      Bb Trumpets
      C Trumpets
      Eb / D Trumpets
      F / G Trumpets
      Piccolo Trumpets
      Bass Trumpets
      Pocket Trumpets
      Herald Trumpets
    • Cornets
      Bb Cornets
      C Cornets
      Eb Cornets
    • Flugelhorns
      Professional Flugelhorns
      Intermediate Flugelhorns
      Student Flugelhorns
    • French Horns
      Double Horns
      Single French Horns
      Triple Horns
      Descant French Horns
    • Trombones
      Tenor Trombones
      Bass Trombones
      Alto Trombones
      Valve Trombones
      Soprano Trombones
    • Baritone Horns
      Alto and Tenor Horns
      Concert Baritones
    • Euphoniums
      Professional Euphonium
      Intermediate Euphonium
      Student Euphonium
    • Tubas
      Bb Tubas
      C Tubas
      Eb Tubas
      F Tubas
    • Marching Brass
      Marching Trumpets
      Mellophones
      Marching French Horns
      Marching Baritones
      Marching Euphoniums
      Convertible Tubas
      Marching Tubas
      Sousaphones
    • Bugles
    • Brass Accessories
      Mouthpieces
      Mouthpiece Accessories
      Mutes
      Instrument Stands
      Replacement Parts
      Cases and Gig Bags
      Care and Cleaning
  • Orchestral
    Strings
    • Violins
    • Violas
    • Cellos
    • Double Bass
    • Harps
    • Orchestral String Accessories
      Strings
      Bows and Rosin
      Cases
      Instrument Stands
      Bowed Instrument Pickups
      Humidifiers
      Mutes
      Replacement Parts
  • Sheet Music,
    Books & More
    • Browse by Instrument
      Flute & Piccolo
      Clarinet
      Oboe & Bassoon
      Saxophone
      Trumpet
      Trombone
      French Horn
      Euphonium & Tuba
    • String Instrument Books
      Violin
      Viola
      Cello
      Double Bass
    • Concert Band Music
    • Jazz Band Music
    • Piano/Keyboard Books
    • Vocal Books
    • Real & Fake Books
    • Tablature
  • Classroom &
    Kids
    • Recorders
    • Orff Instruments
      Metallophones
      Xylophones
      Glockenspiels
      Instrument Bars
      Orff Mallets
    • Classroom Rhythm Instruments
      Kids Hand Drums
      Classroom Percussion Sets
      Shakers and Rattles
      Claves and Blocks
      Kids Tambourines and Cymbals
    • World Percussion
      Bongos
      Congas
      Djembes
      Hand Percussion
      Steel Drums
    • Boomwhackers
    • Tuned Bells
    • Classroom Furniture
      Risers
      Music Storage
      Rolling Carts and Instrument Storage
      Music Stands
    • Elementary Music Books
      Songbooks
      Music and Movement
      World and Folk Music
      General Music
      Shows and Musicals
      Music Theory
      Games
      Teaching Aids
    • Kazoos
  • Percussion
    • Concert Drums
      Concert Snare Drums
      Concert Toms
      Concert Bass Drums
      Timpani
      Drop Covers & Cases
      Hardware
      Concert Sticks / Mallets
    • Mallet Percussion
      Marimbas
      Vibraphones
      Xylophones
      Bells & Glockenspiels
      Chimes
      Drop Covers & Cases
      Keyboard Mallets
      Xylosynths
    • Marching Percussion
      Marching Snare Drums
      Marching Tenors
      Marching Bass Drums
      Marching Sticks
      Carriers
      Cases & Covers
      Parts & Hardware
    • World Percussion
      Congas & Hand Drums
      Hand-Held Percussion
      Effect Percussion
      Brazillian & Samba
      Timbales
      Steel Drums
    • Auxiliary Percussion
      Tambourines
      Triangles
      Concert Blocks
    • Concert Cymbals & Gongs
      Crash Cymbal Pairs
      Suspended Cymbals
      Marching Cymbals
      Gongs & Crotales
    • Sticks & Mallets
      Marching Snare Sticks
      Tenor Mallets
      Bass Drum Mallets
      Concert Sticks
      Concert Keyboard Mallets
      Timpani Mallets
      Brushes
      Sticks & Mallet Bags
    • Drum Heads
      Timpani Heads
      Snare Drum Heads
      Concert Bass Drum Heads
      Marching Drum Heads
      All Drum Heads
    • Practice Pads
    • Student Snare / Bell Kits
  • Drums
    • Acoustic Drums
      Complete Sets
      Shell Packs
      Snare Drums
      Drum Cases & Bags
    • Electronic Drums
      Complete Sets
      Electronic Drum Pads
      Amplifiers
      Acoustic Drum Triggers
      Sound Modules
      Drum Marchines
    • Cymbals
      Cymbal Packs
      Crash
      Ride
      Hi-Hat
      Splash
      China & Effect
      Cymbal Cases & Bags
    • Drum Heads
    • Hardware
      Pedals
      Thrones
      Cymbal Stands
      Snare Stands
      Hardware Cases & Bags
    • Accessories & Parts
      Drum Shields
      Rugs
      Drum Cases
      Parts
      Racks & Clamps
      Impact Badges & Dampening
      Drum Keys & Tuning Tools
      Care & Cleaning
    • Sticks & Brushes
  • Pro Audio
    • Microphones & Wireless
      Wireless Systems
      Live Microphones
      Recording Microphones
      Microphone Stands
      Microphone Cables
      Microphone Accessories
    • Live Sound
      Live Sound Packages
      PA Cabinets
      Mixers
      Power Amplifiers
      Signal Processors
      Stage Supplies
      Mixer Cases and Bags
      Power Essentials
    • Recording
      Recording Packages
      Interfaces
      Studio Monitors
      Audio Recorders
      Studio Furniture
      Acoustical Treatment
    • Software
      Notation Software
      Music Production
      Sound Libraries and Loops
      Marching and Drill Design
    • Computers
    • iOS Devices
    • Headphones
    • DJ Gear
      DJ Cases
      DJ Controllers
      DJ Packages
    • Lighting and Stage Effects
    • Karaoke
  • Guitars
    • Guitars
      Electric Guitars
      Acoustic Guitars
      Acoustic-Electric Guitars
      Classical & Nylon Guitars
      Guitar Value Packages
    • Bass
      Electric Bass Guitars
      Electric-Acoustic Bass Guitars
      Electric Upright Basses
      Double Basses
    • Amplifiers & Effects
      Guitar Amplifiers
      Bass Amplifiers
      Multi Effects
      Guitar Effects
      Bass Effects
      Loop Effects
    • Guitar Accessories
      Strings
      Cases & Gig Bags
      Pickups & Parts
      Picks
      Straps
      Guitar Stands & Hangers
    • Folk Instruments
      Mandolins
      Ukuleles
      Banjos
      Resonators
      Dulcimers
      Pedal & Lap Steels
      Autoharps
      Latin Strings
  • Keyboards
    • Digital Pianos
    • Synthesizers
    • Workstations
    • Organs
    • Portables & Arrangers
    • MIDI Controllers
    • Keyboard Packages
    • Sound Modules
    • Production & Groove
    • Keyboard Accessories
    • Music Software
  • More
    • Amplifiers & Effects
    • Folk & Traditional Instruments
    • Bass
    • Marching Band
    • iOS Devices
    • Lifestyle

Understanding Altissimo for the Saxophone

Woodwind & Brasswind Contributing Writer – Greg Vail


Altissimo is a funny word that is best defined as the high notes on the saxophone that start when the regular fingering scale ends. The saxophone normally goes up to a high F or F# (sometimes even high G) and the fingering chart ends there.

 

These Altissimo notes are the high notes you hear pro sax players hitting that go way above the normal fingering charts. The goal for jazz and classical range extension is a full octave above high F. Usually up to altissimo D is common, and altissimo F and above is more common on tenor sax. Some pro players have mastered the 4th octave on sax and even ventured off into a 5th octave. The obvious example would be Lenny Pickett from Saturday Night Live; blasting up so high we all want to shout and holler.

 

The big question is HOW do I play those really high notes. The answer is simple and takes 4 times longer than any student expects. I could say 10 times longer also. The reason so many sax students get so frustrated with the Altissimo range is they are in too big of a hurry and don’t understand what they are doing.

 

The saxophone is made from a single tube that plays a low Bb (99% of the time) if all the holes are closed. The additional buttons on the saxophone enable a full chromatic scale (all the white and black keys of a piano) to be played, starting on the low Bb (Bb1), to middle Bb (Bb2), to high Bb (Bb3), and up to the high F palm key (F3). This range covers 2 and a half octaves, which is pretty unimpressive when compared to clarinet – 4 ½ octaves, flute – 4 octaves, or violin at 5 octaves. Altissimo extends that range up to another octave higher for the saxophone.

 

There are a few good books available on the topic but the best is by Sigurd Rascher – Top-Tones for the Saxophone: Four Octave Range. This book starts off with exercises to build your armature and control in preparation of overtone control. The volume exercises on sustained tones, tone character exercises, and wide voiced broken chord exercises are awesome preparation for overtone studies.

 

Rasher explains the overtone system from the bottom tones of the saxophone – low Bb, B and C. Altissimo control comes from a good understanding of the overtone series inside the saxophone. Too many students are quick to turn the page to the fingerings and sit there struggling with the Altissimo fingering chart with little success. Working to control the overtones is necessary to be able to play the Altissimo range.

 

What you are doing when you finger an Altissimo note is controlling an overtone, or squeak. The saxophone is full of overtones. You must learn to control these, or the fingerings will never work. All of the rest of the notes on the saxophone are just fingered and you blow the same as you did for any other note on the sax. This doesn’t work for the high tones above the standard range of the sax. It is not just another fingering and poof – out comes the note.

 

This is why you have to work the exercises on the overtones until you can play them without error. It is important to understand that getting higher overtones is not just biting harder on your lip. You can really get hurt if you just bite harder and harder on your bottom lip.

 

I have the sensation of whistling when I shift between partials in the overtone series. Try whistling and keep track of what your throat and tongue are doing as you change from low to high notes. Another tip to try is fingering the note you are trying to get by overtone. Then slur to the low Bb while trying to keep the sound of the higher note in your mouthpiece. Example - Bb3 (Bb octave key) slur to Bb1 (low Bb) and keep the octave Bb sound the whole time.




Woodwind & Brasswind is proud to offer high-quality musical saxophone straps and accessories for all musicians. All items are backed by The Woodwind & Brasswind's 60-day satisfaction guarantee, assuring that you'll love your purchase.

Los Angeles based freelance saxophonist Greg Vail is among the most versatile woodwind players on the west coast. His work in jazz, pop and contemporary gospel music spans over 30-years. Greg maintains an active digital presence at www.gregvail.com

While Woodwind & Brasswind compensates writers for their editorial reviews, the views expressed by the writers in those reviews are their own.

Instant SSL Certificate Secured
BizRate Customer Certified (GOLD) Site