Ever wondered what fingerings to use when you play in the altissimo register on alto sax? Well, I've saved you a lot of hard work by sifting through hundreds of fingerings from videos, websites and books to bring you the top six for every altissimo note up to double F. I also demonstrate every fingering just so that you know they all work (although it's pretty pretty challenging listening!)
Before you even attempt any of these fingerings you should watch my Ultimate Guide To Altissimo video, which explains, in detail, the mechanism of the instrument in terms of the high notes, and what you have to do with your vocal tract to get the high notes working. If you don't, it's quite likely that instead of a clarion high note you'll just get a low moan like a dying camel. Not good!
Be sure to pick up your Free Alto Altissimo Finger Chart PDF, which you can print off and keep as a reference guide. If you play tenor, don't worry, next week features the fingerings for tenor sax. Clicking on the time stamps for these notes will take you straight to the fingerings on the video on YouTube (in a separate tab). Full Time stamps for the video and a complete transcript are available at the bottom of the blog.
What is the fingering for altissimo notes on alto sax?
The fingerings for these notes can be found by click the timestamp link.
So hopefully this guide will help you "get upstairs" on alto sax. Don't forget your Free Alto Altissimo Finger Chart PDF and next week it will be your turn if you're a tenor player, although many of the fingerings work on any sax. Until then, stay safe, enjoy your music, and I'll see you later!
0:00 - intro and titles
0:26 - free PDF and free one hour Masterclass
1:16 - why fingerings alone won’t work
2:36 - credits for fingerings
3:51 - my set up
4:12 - THE FINGERINGS
4:14 - F#
4:43 - G
5:14 - G#
5:45 - A
6:16 - Bb
6:47 - B
7:18 - C
7:46 - C#
8:18 - D
8:49 - Eb
9:18 - E
9:47 - F
10:15 - outro
11:05 - end music and bloopers
Hi, I’m pro saxophonist Jamie Anderson and you’re watching Get Your Sax Together. This Sunday I’ve sifted through, literally, HUNDREDS of fingerings to bring you the ultimate alto saxophone altissimo finger chart. You’re gonna get no less than SIX different fingerings for every note up to double F, and they all work!
I’m gonna try and keep the chat to a minimum this week as this alto sax altissimo finger chart is more of a reference guide than a lesson. Let’s quickly get the plugs out the way first though - there’s a fabulous free PDF for you to download and print off, featuring every fingering demonstrated in today’s show. Just click the link in the description or go to the URL below, Get Your Sax Together dot com, forward slash alto chart. And if you haven’t already done so, be sure to go and check out my one hour Saxophone Success Masterclass, which is an awesome FREE lesson with me covering a whole load of stuff that will get you sounding instantly better on sax. Just use the URL below, or click the link in the description. By the way, don’t panic if you play tenor sax, next week will be YOUR time to shine. In the meantime, try the alto fingerings cos loads of them will work on tenor as well.
[STING: An Important Note]
Just before we get into the altissimo fingering chart there’s something very important that you need to understand. If you’re not proficient at the high notes yet, you MUST watch my Altissimo video linked on the card above BEFORE you try these fingerings. If you don’t, you’ll probably just get a few low notes that sound like a cow giving birth, and you won’t understand why. Plus, you’ll be messaging me asking why the high note fingerings aren’t working! lol If you don’t have the right formations in your vocal tract and embouchure you won’t get the altissimo notes. Simple as that. The fingerings don’t guarantee the notes I’m afraid. However, my Altissimo video will explain it all in great detail, so make sure you check it out first. Ok, that said, the fingering diagrams themselves should self explanatory, but be sure to get your free reference PDF from the link in the description, as that lists and explains everything. You can print that off and keep it on your music stand, for EVER! I’ve provided fingerings for saxes with AND without a high F# key, and I’m extremely grateful to my 9 year old star pupil Xavier Kuzev for lending me his Jean Paul alto for this video. If you wanna see Xavier in action and see what you can achieve with some focused practice I’ve included a link to his Instagram in the description. Me borrowing his sax also shows that all these fingerings come out on a super cheap beginner’s saxophone. Now, I’m ashamed to report that in the course of my extensive research I started losing track of who’s fingering was who’s, and in any case, can you even trademark or claim ownership of a fingering? Comment below on that point if you’ve got an opinion. In any case, I’d like to thank and acknowledge, and put a collective shout out to all my past and present teachers and colleagues, plus SirValorSax, Wally Wallace, Jay Metcalf at Better Sax, Ed Barker, Claude Delange, Tim McAllister, Sigurd Rascher, Mark Charette’s Woodwind Fingering Guide website, Music Education For All, Mosax, London Sax School, Steve Bone, Scott Paddock, Nigel McGill and especially Sean Hurlburt for his detailed and insightful series of videos on alto altissimo. Links for all these people are in the description. I also apologise in advance if you see your special, unique fingering and I’ve nicked it without properly acknowledging you. If it makes it any better, the saxophone players of the world tacitly thank you my friend. Lastly, I haven’t given any of these fingerings their nicknames (like “double fork”, “triangle” or “split F”), and they’re in no special order. Some work better than others, but it depends on your unique set up, so you should experiment yourself, work out your favourites, and also work out which ones flow best into each other. For the record, I used a Jody Jazz HR 8M mouthpiece with a Vandoren Java Red Box 3.5 reed. There are timestamps in the description so you can quickly go to any note you want. Right, without further ado, here’s six different fingerings for every altissimo note on alto up to a double F. Turn up the volume if you want your neighbours to move out!
[STING: The Fingerings]
[STING: Before You Go]
So that’s it for this week. Hopefully this free online saxophone lesson showing you a galaxy of alto sax altissimo fingerings was useful. Next week we’ll doing the same for tenor sax. Don’t forget to pick up your free PDF using the link in the description, and if you wanna learn some more in-depth sax stuff go to double-u double-u double-u dot get your sax together dot com, forward slash masterclass, to get your free one hour lesson with me. As always, thank you so much for watching and supporting the channel. If you haven’t already, please go ahead and give the video a thumbs up, leave me a comment, subscribe to the channel, click the bell icon to be notified when I upload new content and check out my Insta and Facebook pages. Until I sax up your Sunday next week, practice hard and practice smart, but above all, enjoy your music. See ya later!
[ROLL END TITLES]
Join my mailing list to receive the latest updates and free sax lessons direct to your inbox.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared and you can unsubscribe anytime, no hard feelings :-)