The Secret to Altissimo (no one has ever told you about before) Lesson

I know, you are sick of it! Trying to play overtones past the second or third overtone. Trying to get out an altissmo G or G#. Trying to sound like you know what you are doing and can play any altissimo note with confidence without failing miserably………I have been there and know how you feel. You need a breakthrough and here it is………

In this lesson, I introduce you to a revelation I have had over the last few months while teaching the altissimo register of the saxophone to students. This is a lesson on a technique I use to reach the altissimo notes and gain better facility up in that range.

The Secret to Altissimo (no one has ever told you before) Lesson 9.99

Many saxophone teachers talk about “voicing” your notes (which can be a bit vague to a student) but in my 40 years of playing the sax I have never heard the approach I teach in this lesson taught. I recently taught this material to a sax student over Skype who was frustrated that he couldn’t produce certain altissimo notes and within the half hour lesson he was popping out altissimo G#’s with this method.

Although I have been using this technique since my college days, I never realized what I was actually doing nor how to describe it to students until recently. It was an eye opener when I realized what I was doing and how to describe it. I hope this approach to altissimo is a game changer for those of you who have been stuck and frustrated with trying to produce the altissimo notes on the saxophone up until now. I really believe this lesson will help.

This lesson is just for saxophone players. I demonstrate the material on the tenor saxophone and give you detailed descriptions and examples in this 35 minute video lesson. (35 Minute Video Lesson)

The Secret to Altissimo (no one has ever told you before) Lesson 9.99


Hi Steve! Just wanted to let you know, I purchased and watched that altissimo lesson, and it was very helpful. I had previously been able to hit altissimo up to D above altissimo G, but it was inconsistent and I was pinching a lot. Since I reconceptualized my approach, my altissimo has been cleaner and more consistent than before. It’s obviously still a work in progress, but I wanted to thank you for this lesson! *****

Hi Steve. It has taken me hours to get an Altissimo” G “on my MK VI with Navarro Bop Boy 7* and Hinoki med soft reed . Difficult set up for altissimo register (soft set up). This means that no pressure at all due to the softness of the reed. (I have to play soft reeds due to a jaw problem that lasted nearly 4 years) So when I saw your course on Altissimo I was tempted. I watched the video and could not wait to try and the result was amazing I hit the G first time with the sound as big as my E, F F# with fork key…. thanks for that concept Steve…even the G# and A were as big…..will continue to work on that register *****

Hello Steve,
Thank you so much for the “secret” lesson on altissimo!
Surprisingly, I HAVE already heard about this technique, but from a TRUMPET Teacher!
What you are doing is the same thing he was/is doing to get his trumpet notes higher. Basically, it is the concept of air speed. Faster air speed, higher notes.
However – – I was unable to successfully employ the technique for myself. What I do for altissimo is to use a high baffle, and I have been putting the back of my tongue toward the rear and higher, as if thinking of “cooling down my soup with cool air”. I can get all the notes up to D, and then I squeeze the reed to get up up to double F#.
Without a high baffle in the mouthpiece, I have not been able to get above G#.
After your video, I tried your technique, of course!
I used my Meyer mouthpiece without a baffle, and I was able to get one more harmonic from the fundamental (low) Bb. Hoooray! A few minutes later I was hitting high A, but not consistently.
I need to give it more time and practice to find the right air speed, but now I am excited to see what I can accomplish!
Thank you, Mark Peotter *****

it worked right off the bat, i already knew the high g, but with another fingering, this is a useful single key g, it aids in bringing down the notes too, less hesitant– *****

This was a great help for me explaining the altissimo playing for my students, also for the classical alto. For me it opened up a wider understanding what happens with different vowels impact in tone production. Thanks a lot! *****

I finally broke into the altissimo register after reviewing your
video like 50 times! lol This was really really helpful!! Doug *****

The Secret to Altissimo (no one has ever told you before) Lesson 9.99

Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site


  1. Happy to give you $10 Neff, ’cause you’re such a terrific person and great player/educator. Unfortunately, this didn’t help me. I do play altissimo G3-D4, but not consistently enough. For me, good altissimo sound is the opposite- a very open throat feeling. My horn is freer without the octave key, so it seems more about reducing resistance. I played a Yamaha Custom Z tenor for a year, and while I found it too focused and rather soulless, it had zero resistance and the G break was insanely easy compared to Selmer or even my present Trevor James. Thanks for the effort! Hopefully it will help others. I was hoping for a magic bullet.

    • Hi Warren, It isn’t a magic bullet but it has helped many of my students. Most that could do the “nasal” positioning well and could talk that way and then apply it to playing saw immediate improvement. I have had a few students that had trouble talking in that nasally voice so for them it was harder to apply that to playing because they weren’t sure how to do it. The “voicing” of the notes is done with the soft palate and throat. It’s like they shape how the air is directed. Try experimenting with it for a few weeks, you might have a breakthrough that surprises you. I’m also happy to give you a refund if not. Sorry it’s not a magic bullet for you but it is huge in helping me play up there like I demonstrate on the video.
      Thanks, Steve

  2. LOL, Besides class musician, I was also class clown- so, there were many imitations, including Jerry Lewis’s Nutty Professor, so no problem talking nasal! :>) I WILL keep at this and report back Steve. Thanks for the reply, and no sweat on a refund. I love what you do and am glad to support you.

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