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Don't undervalue Long Tones


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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:07 am    Post subject: Don't undervalue Long Tones Reply with quote

Like many other present and prospective players, I am come-back. Many of us are older, harrumph wiser, and think maybe we have transcended long tones and want to get on with other, hipper, things. Two highest recommendations both surprised me, expecting something more profound.

They weren't just regurgitating the expected response. They really meant it.

When asked how they got their chops back after lengthy hiatuses, both Miles Davis and Chet Baker responded immediately and without hesitation - playing long tones.

After, first, hearing Chet in an interview, I concentrated on long tones and immediately my most fundamental playing problems started getting cleaner and clearer.

Hard learned advice. Don't overlook or undervalue them.
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Last edited by kehaulani on Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:10 am; edited 2 times in total
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. Long tones improve the quality of your sound and your breath control. Also, playing long tones at a low volume trains your chops to be more responsive. If you can play great long tones at a low volume throughout your range you've developed an important skill that will make playing everything easier.
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Christian K. Peters
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:40 am    Post subject: Don't undervalue Reply with quote

Hello,
An article in the latest Trumpet Guild Journal talked of long tones and Cat Anderson's whisper G exercise. Seems like the idea has been resurrected in multiple circles recently.
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Croquethed
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I can do nothing else on a given day, I try to make sure I get Rusty Russell's 19/30 exercise in.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. Just like a Bach 7C, long tones are NOT just for inexperienced players!

Brad
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Steve A
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never really found they did much of use for me. What do people try to do with long tones that they find helpful?
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my case, now, they concentrate on the elementals of constant air flow and buzz. Beyond that, finding the sweet spot in a tone, and making and developing, it into the best tone you can. Muscle memory.

Frankly, when I had chops, I substituted Long tone for etudes like Concone, which still emphasize the same things, but in a moving, melodic manner.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve A wrote:
I've never really found they did much of use for me. What do people try to do with long tones that they find helpful?


It's developing the ability to play great long tones over your range, in and of itself, that is the purpose of practicing long tones. The fundamentals necessary to produce great long tones have applicability to all kinds of playing.

So, if you already have the ability to produce great long tones over your range then practicing them is simply an exercise in maintaining those fundamentals.

This is a bit of a "chicken and egg" issue. If you can't play great long tones over your range then it would be logical that you wouldn't see value in developing that ability since you wouldn't have developed the fundamentals applicable to other types of playing which practicing long tones develop. In other words, you wouldn't be seeing any results and the lack of results would logically create a question in your mind regarding the value of long tones.
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I_play_trmpt
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve A wrote:
I've never really found they did much of use for me. What do people try to do with long tones that they find helpful?


Same here.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Long tones & range development -

I've recently started doing slow (but not really 'long') major chords as a way to hopefully get some usable higher notes with good sound and control.

I start at G in the staff and move to the 3rd (B), and then the 5th (D) - playing each slowly to get good tone, resonance, pitch, etc.
I then move up a semitone, and again slowly play its root, 3rd, 5th.

As I get to notes above the staff, I especially pay attention to mpc pressure and position, and keeping my upper lip and aperture in best position for vibrations.

I've only been doing this for a few days, but it already seems to be beneficial. Maybe some day I'll actually have a reasonable 'high range'.

I read about this technique for range development from somebody on the TH site - I don't recall who, but THANKS!

Jay
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Blackquill
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've taken lessons from three (high-end professional) teachers, and none of them ever advocated long tones. I wish they had, because when I finally started trying them out, holding notes as long as I could, my tone became warmer and more resonant than before. I only do maybe 7-8 minutes worth of long tones a week these days, so I probably need to do a lot more of them.
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Tobylou8
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the OP 1000 percent. They are boring, take concentration, and dedication for them to be of any use.
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spitvalve
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was a teenager I took everything to extremes, and would do long tones for an hour per day. Did wonders for my tone and endurance. I'd follow that with an hour of lip slurs. That kind of practice, though mindless (I'd do it while sitting on my bed listening to the radio and not paying much attention to my sound or posture), made for some pretty strong chops for my age--I could blow my brains out all night during football games and then go to a jam session afterwards. Now some 40-(mumblemumblesomething) years later I don't have as much patience as I did when I was young, and since I'm not playing professionally any more, my time is limited. I do a long tone-ish warm up, more of a Stamp/Cicowicz/Adam spider thing, some pitch bending, and maybe fifteen minutes worth of slurs. Probably should get back to what I did as a kid to get my endurance back--I only practice about thirty minutes per day now. Adding an extra ten or fifteen minutes of long tones would probably do me a lot of good.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spitvalve wrote:
When I was a teenager I took everything to extremes, and would do long tones for an hour per day. Did wonders for my tone and endurance. I'd follow that with an hour of lip slurs.

That kind of practice, though mindless (I'd do it while sitting on my bed listening to the radio and not paying much attention to my sound or posture), made for some pretty strong chops for my age--I could blow my brains out all night during football games and then go to a jam session afterwards.

Now some 40-(mumblemumblesomething) years later I don't have as much patience as I did when I was young, and since I'm not playing professionally any more, my time is limited. I do a long tone-ish warm up, more of a Stamp/Cicowicz/Adam spider thing, some pitch bending, and maybe fifteen minutes worth of slurs. Probably should get back to what I did as a kid to get my endurance back--I only practice about thirty minutes per day now.

Adding an extra ten or fifteen minutes of long tones would probably do me a lot of good.


Edited to be more able for the sight-challenged. Thank you,
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spitvalve
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
spitvalve wrote:
When I was a teenager I took everything to extremes, and would do long tones for an hour per day. Did wonders for my tone and endurance. I'd follow that with an hour of lip slurs.

That kind of practice, though mindless (I'd do it while sitting on my bed listening to the radio and not paying much attention to my sound or posture), made for some pretty strong chops for my age--I could blow my brains out all night during football games and then go to a jam session afterwards.

Now some 40-(mumblemumblesomething) years later I don't have as much patience as I did when I was young, and since I'm not playing professionally any more, my time is limited. I do a long tone-ish warm up, more of a Stamp/Cicowicz/Adam spider thing, some pitch bending, and maybe fifteen minutes worth of slurs. Probably should get back to what I did as a kid to get my endurance back--I only practice about thirty minutes per day now.

Adding an extra ten or fifteen minutes of long tones would probably do me a lot of good.


Edited to be more able for the sight-challenged. Thank you,


As a writer and editor, I should know better. Thanks.
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Dayton
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine there will be a wide range of opinions regarding "Long Tones," in part because there doesn't seem to be a common understanding of what they are.

Cichowicz "long tone" studies are played at half note = 50 or faster, Vizzutti's are played at quarter note = 84, and Dokshidzer's are played at half note = 48. None of them seem to intend for you to spend more than a few seconds on a single note.

Sachs and Gekker both have long note drills at around quarter note = 60 with the longest hold on a single note going for around 9-10 seconds.

Schlossberg didn't specify a metronome marking, nor does Franquin, but I've never heard those long note drills played slower than around quarter note = 48, and typically heard them closer to 60 (which is what I was taught). meaning that the intent was probably not to linger on a single note for too long.

There is also variety in terms of dynamics. Some long note exercises call for a single dynamic to be sustained, and others call for a dynamic change of some kind.

Then you have something like the twenty-minute whisper G type-long tone drills, or hold-this-note-as-long-as-possible variety of drills; Much different than the 4-6 or 9-10 second variety.

It is possible for someone to feel that there is a lot of value in Schlossberg's or Cichowicz's idea of a long tone, but not find value in the 20-minute hold variety.


Last edited by Dayton on Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure tempo matters, in and of itself, except when tied to an exercise. One exercise at mm=60 may equal another in mm=120 in duration. It's the temporal length of a tone that's relevant.

FWIW, long tone exercises do vary in goal. For example, some incorporate a complete expiration of breath ending in an air/non-sound, stomach squeeze while another may be focused on a straight tone. In my case, I'm just referring to producing a sustained, pure sound.
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"Even if I could play like Wynton Marsalis, I wouldn't play like Wynton Marsalis." Chet Baker

Yamaha YTR-8310 Z, "Bobby Shew", Trumpet
Conn 80A, "New Wonder", Cornet
Hans Hoyer G10 French Horn
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dstdenis
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’ve found long tones with dynamic changes to be (A) surprisingly difficult, and (B) beneficial for improving embouchure strength and control.

The best guidance I’ve found on long tones is in the Franquin Method, which includes long tones at the beginner, intermediate and advanced level.

Although practicing long tones might seem like a simple, mindless thing, it isn’t. They’re much more beneficial when played for a reasonable length of time, with careful attention to clean starts, staying in tune while changing dynamics (difficult!) and with proper rest. If you overdo it, you might shred your chops and decide that long tones must be a bad idea.

Jens Lindemann interviewed Chris Martin and asked him what was the most beneficial thing he did in his practice. Mr. Martin listed 3 things, and the first was long tones with extreme dynamic changes.
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've felt that long tones make me stiff. But exercises as in Schlossberg that provided small changes in pitch or dynamic provide a good deal of the benefit without the stiffness.
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so what
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems to me that long tones (longer than 10 s. maybe much longer) are one way to learn to play with low tightness/tension.
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