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Multiphonics

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Over the past 3 years I've been playing with a blues band where the electric guitar and I are the solo instruments. The guitar player and I are an incredible fit for each other in our playing styles, and we go from one soloist to another seamlessly.

In order to make the seamless transition from sax solo to guitar solo, or vice versa, I have started using multiphonics to aid in the creation of the distortion affect (I don't use pedals) which will either set up the guitar solo, or transition from the guitar to the sax.

Other than in this type of environment, I can't imagine using multiphonics in any setting that I play in. (My own jazz band is really more like a lounge-act per se, and we tend to stick to melodic, well known stuff that is easy for people to listen or dance to. So no use for multiphonics there.)

I am curious to know how and in what settings other players incorporate multiphonics into their playing. Other than an exercise in advanced technique-building, do multiphonics have any practical or real world applications for you?
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
If you're just using "multiphonics" in the sense of producing multiple notes at once, rather than "distortion" or "sound effects", I used to do this when I was playing Bach's cello suites on bari. That worked very well, especially for sarabandes.

I've heard other classical players use this technique, even on different instruments -- for example, on French Horn (Peter Schickele's Pentangle).
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
pete said:
If you're just using "multiphonics" in the sense of producing multiple notes at once, rather than "distortion" or "sound effects", I used to do this when I was playing Bach's cello suites on bari. That worked very well, especially for sarabandes.

I've heard other classical players use this technique, even on different instruments -- for example, on French Horn (Peter Schickele's Pentangle).
Yes, I was referring to the use of multiphonics in their "pure" form, rather than how I use them as as stepping stone into distortion.

Classical...Mmmm...Who would have thought? But then the last time I studied classical was like 100 years ago... :geezer1: so I probably forgot everything I ever learned... :emoji_astonished:

I know what you mean Jim about "the average listener". When I practice overtones or multiphonics, I am accused of "chicken choking" by my better half. Geez...Great art is so often misunderstood! :eek: ;)
 

Merlin

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
Helen said:
Yes, I was referring to the use of multiphonics in their "pure" form, rather than how I use them as as stepping stone into distortion.

Classical...Mmmm...Who would have thought? But then the last time I studied classical was like 100 years ago... :geezer1: so I probably forgot everything I ever learned... :emoji_astonished:

I know what you mean Jim about "the average listener". When I practice overtones or multiphonics, I am accused of "chicken choking" by my better half. Geez...Great art is so often misunderstood! :eek: ;)
I nearly blew Scotch out my nose when I read that!
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Merlin said:
Helen said:
Yes, I was referring to the use of multiphonics in their "pure" form, rather than how I use them as as stepping stone into distortion.

Classical...Mmmm...Who would have thought? But then the last time I studied classical was like 100 years ago... :geezer1: so I probably forgot everything I ever learned... :emoji_astonished:

I know what you mean Jim about "the average listener". When I practice overtones or multiphonics, I am accused of "chicken choking" by my better half. Geez...Great art is so often misunderstood! :eek: ;)
I nearly blew Scotch out my nose when I read that!
That's gotta hurt.
 

Merlin

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
pete said:
Merlin said:
Helen said:
Yes, I was referring to the use of multiphonics in their "pure" form, rather than how I use them as as stepping stone into distortion.

Classical...Mmmm...Who would have thought? But then the last time I studied classical was like 100 years ago... :geezer1: so I probably forgot everything I ever learned... :emoji_astonished:

I know what you mean Jim about "the average listener". When I practice overtones or multiphonics, I am accused of "chicken choking" by my better half. Geez...Great art is so often misunderstood! :eek: ;)
I nearly blew Scotch out my nose when I read that!
That's gotta hurt.
Depends on how peaty it is.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Gandalfe said:
Merlin said:
Gandalfe said:
That's why I'm a Sherry man. :D
Does Susie know about this Sherry you speak of?
Actually she likes Sherry too! :emoji_astonished:
I'm not gonna go there. Remember: she can see this website, too :p.
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Bass saxophone multiphonics

I don't usually mess around with multiphonics, but I was experimenting with new altissimo fingerings on bass sax.

The high D (above the staff) should pop out easily using the low Bb fingering. To make it easier, I added the high D key to the low Bb fingering to get it started, then closed the high D. With a diminuendo, the high D got softer and the lower harmonics began to appear. After a few tries I got a pretty good 3 note chord - a low Bb, a middle F and a high D.

If I can get 4 notes at once, I'm starting a one man saxophone quartet.
 

Merlin

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
I don't usually mess around with multiphonics, but I was experimenting with new altissimo fingerings on bass sax.

The high D (above the staff) should pop out easily using the low Bb fingering. To make it easier, I added the high D key to the low Bb fingering to get it started, then closed the high D. With a diminuendo, the high D got softer and the lower harmonics began to appear. After a few tries I got a pretty good 3 note chord - a low Bb, a middle F and a high D.

If I can get 4 notes at once, I'm starting a one man saxophone quartet.
I get a frequent accidental multi on bass. Ab2 is the diciest note on just about any bass I've ever played.
 
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