Learning how to play altissimo G on Alto Sax can be a bit tricky as it involves both unusual fingerings and slight variation of you saxophone embouchure.
I've taught 100's of saxophone students to play in the altissimo register over the past 20 years and because I get questions about this a lot I've put together this guide to Altissimo G on Alto Sax, so that you can learn it too!
First, a word of caution: Playing Altissimo G on Alto Sax is a lot of fun, but it can cause extra strain on your embouchure and the muscles around your mouth. That is why I recommend that you only do short practice sessions when focusing on altissimo notes in the beginning.
If you are a saxophone beginner I strongly recommend that you focus on learning the regular saxophone notes before moving into the altissimo range on your saxophone. Having a solid foundation is crucial.
Guide to playing Altissimo G on Alto Saxophone
In this guide I will teach you everything you need to know about playing altissimo G on Alto Saxophone. So that you don't have to go through the same frustrations with trial and error I had to do in order to hit that altissimo G on Alto Saxophone.
Two Altissimo G fingerings on Alto Saxophone
There are two different altissimo fingerings for high G on Alto Sax and you will learn them both here:
- The 1st fingering one builds of the F♯ Fork Fingering, which is an alternate F sharp fingering on the sax
- The 2nd one is a variation of the middle D fingering, which is within the normal range of notes the sax
Basic Altissimo G Fingering on Alto saxophone
The basic altissimo fingering for high G on Alto Sax builds of the F♯ Fork Fingering by one slight variation.
In order to play the basic Altissimo G fingering on Alto Sax you have to:
- Start by fingering the High F ♯ Fork fingering
- Let the index finger slide from the C key to the Bis Key as you play
By starting on high F♯ and sliding up to high G you will find it easier to hit that altissimo G note. Once you get more comfortable you can practice playing that altissimo G at once, without using F♯ as the passing note.
Alternate Altissimo G Fingering on Alto Saxophone
The alternate Altissimo G Fingering for Alt Sax is a variation on middle D fingering.
In order to play this fingering you need to:
- Start by fingering middle D with the octave key. That's 3 fingers in left hand and 3 fingers in the right hand.
- Remove the C and F ♯ fingers. Leaving you with the B, G, F and D keys pushed in along with the octave key.
Another way of looking it would be pressing down the nr 1 and 3 keys in both left and right along with the octave key.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is altissimo G on alto sax?
Altissimo G is a high note beyond the regular range of the saxophone. It can be played using alternate altissimo fingerings on alto saxophone combined with a good air support and embouchure.
Why is altissimo G difficult to play?
Altissimo G is difficult to play because it requires a lot of control and precision in your embouchure, air support, and finger coordination. It also requires a good understanding of saxophone acoustics with overtones and top tones as well as the specific fingering needed to produce the note.
What are some tips for playing altissimo G on alto sax?
Some tips for playing altissimo G include practicing long tones and overtones on saxophone to improve your embouchure and air support. This combined with the altissimo fingerings will make it possible to play in the altissimo register on your alto saxophone
What is the fingering for altissimo G on alto sax?
The fingering for altissimo G on Alto Sax can be fingered in two ways. The first fingering builds of the F♯ Fork Fingering with the alternation of moving the C to the Biss key. The second fingering of altissimo G is based of the middle D fingering, leaving out the C and F sharp keys.
How can I improve my altissimo G technique?
To improve your altissimo G technique, you should practice scales and arpeggios in the normal range of your saxophone and expand to include the altissimo range. This will help you develop control over your altissimo register and you will also be able to incorporate it into your playing. Use a metronome to improve your timing and accuracy, and work with a saxophone teacher who can give you personalized feedback and guidance.