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Vent, Tap, and Slur This exercise is intended to assist the advancing student with achieving the various

overtones, first with artificial ventings, then flicking (or tapping) these vented keys. As the student becomes more comfortable with the overtones, the ventings will no longer be necessary. Each series indicates which fingers, or keys, should be used for ventings. The lower, x-head indicates what note to finger. The higher, normal head is the sounding pitch. A small circle tells the player to open the specified key, or keys, for the venting, while a plus symbol signifies a return to the normal fingering of the low, x-head. The portamento is an important part of the exercise. It should be performed like a mouthpiece-alone pitch bend. This requires a relatively firm embouchure grip, an open jaw, and a lower voicing. Dropping the jaw excessively will result in losing the harmonic, dropping down to a lower note. If the portamento is too difficult, skip it at first and work on pitch bending with the mouthpiece alone. It is also helpful to practice bending on a front F. Remember that the embouchure must be flexible but firm, as in whistling, and a strong voicing/resonance must be supplied . . . and high voltage air! Many saxophonists find it useful to sing the desired sounding pitch before attempting to perform a harmonic. I recommend singing the pitch into the saxophone, with the correct fingering, and with lips closed around the mouthpiece. If the voicing is correct, the voice will freely resonate into the horn. An incorrect voicing will not be compatible with the internal resonance, and the voice will warble, causing a brief, uncomfortable sensation in the throat. Whenever possible, try to match the intonation between vented notes and harmonics. Avoid the feeling of restarting the airstream with different fingerings. Blow through the exchange between ventings and overtones, as if they are a single note. Focus on making a full tone, and avoid the small, pinched tone quality that resulted from excessive biting. !

Vent, Tap, and Slur


for alto saxophone
David Pope

q = c 72

Vent = 1 3

o &c

portamento

o o w + . . o #w # + . .

+ . . + w o # # + w o

portamento

+ . .

o + o + o + o + & o &# # + o #

! +

+ w o #

w + . .

10

Vent = 1

+ #w #

14

o + o + o + o + &# # o & + o

! +

w o + . .

19

Vent = 2

23

o + o + o + o + &

o w

+ w

+ w

28

Vent = 3

o & b b

o b

+ . . o bw b + . . o w + w + . . + w

o b b

+ bw b w #

o b

+ . .

32

o + o + o + o + & b b + # o

w o + . .

Vent = 4

o 37 &

o ! o # #

# + w

o + o + o + o + 41 & o 47 # & # + n # o #

w o # + . .

Vent = 456

o + o + o + o + o 51 # #w & # #
57

Vent = 4

o + o + o + o + o 61 # #w &
67

o # &

o #

+ . .

+ w

! o # ! o b ! o ! + + w + +

+ #w # # + #w + w b w

#w

Vent = 5
71

o & b

o + o + o + o + & b & o +

77

o o w

o w b

+ . .

+ w

o #

+ . .

+ . . + w

+ w

+ . . w

bw

+ . .

Vent = 1 3
81

&

o + o + o + o +

4
88

Vent = 123
92

&#

o #

o #

+ . . + w

o # # ! o ! o b b ! o

+ #+ w # +

#w

o #

+ . . w

&# # & & & & & o + # o

o + o + o + o + o # #w

99

+ . .

#w

+ . .

Vent = 6
103

o + o + o + o + +

o w o b

+ w + . . + w + . .

+ w +

110

o b b

#w w #

o b

+ . .

Vent = 2
114

o + o + o + o + o b bw b b o + # o

+ bw b +

bw

121

+ . .

Vent = palm F (or front F)

125

& &# o # +

o + o + o + o +

w o #

w + . .

+ w o # # #+ w # +

w #w + w + # bw

133

o #

+ . .

Vent = hi F#
137

&# # & & & & o # +

o + o + o + o + # #w w o #

! + . . ! + . . !

145

o #

#w

o #

#w

+ . .

Vent = palm D#
149

o + o + o + o + # #w w o + # o w

#+ w o

#w

157

Vent = palm D
161

b b

o + o + o + o +

+ . .

+ w

bw