Cat Anderson Trumpet Method

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Joe N., Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Joe N.

    Joe N. New Friend

    Mar 22, 2007
    I found it when looking at a trumpet page online. Has anyone tried it? We all know that Cat Anderson could play triple A's and B's, but is his method worth playing through. For those who aren't familiar, each lesson (each one is played for 2-5 days) starts out with a ppp middle staff g long tone for 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes of rest and then goes on to a middle c for 20 minutes, only with a crescendo. After this there are some range exercises on each page.
  2. bspickler

    bspickler Pianissimo User

    Apr 28, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I can't say if it works or not. I did try this method one time but the sheer boredom of playing the same note for 20 minutes and then starting another note was more than I could handle.
  3. Tom Mac

    Tom Mac Pianissimo User

    Mar 11, 2007
    Nashville Tennessee
    I think Joe N. means 20 seconds. At least I hope so. I think I'd get the blues playing a single note for 20 min.

    T. Mac
  4. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    Bill Chase was into long tones. But, what is the definition of "long." I think 20 minutes is excessive. But, I'm not Cat Anderson.

    I am interpreting the above start of the thread as holding each note 20 minutes. I can see practicing long tones for a total of 20 but not each note.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2007
  5. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    I used to have that book years ago, but I didn't find it helpful for whatever reason. I know he did play long tones every day. And he played with his teeth together. I can't get a sound that way.

    Michael McLaughlin
  6. trjeam

    trjeam Pianissimo User

    Dec 5, 2003
    i've never used it but have looked through it (a long time ago). I think that if you know what you are doing you can get alot from this book.

    I say this because when I looked at this about 3 years ago (even though I thought I did) I didn't really know how to practice long tones and simple stuff like what Cat presents. I didn't learn until I started studying privately..

    The long tone exercises are very similar to what my teacher has me do (a orchestral player BTW). This type of practicing helps develop your air and builds a strong foundation for playing in the higher register.

    I've learned that when studying out of a book its important to understand the intent/purpose of the exercises so you can gain the most out of it.
  7. lonelyangel

    lonelyangel Pianissimo User

    Nov 8, 2003
    Sorry to say guys but he does mean 20 minutes and IMHO that is most certainly NOT too long. I would say that long tones, in one form or another should form about one third of your practice time. Therefore, if your daily practice routine lasts more than an hour, then 20 minutes of long tones is not enough. If you practice 2 hours a day, think of 40 minutes of long tones.

    Cat Anderson's method is a beautifully efficient way of achieving this almost zen like in its simplicity. I find playing one note for this long far from boring or depressing in fact it works the opposite way, raising awareness, calming and focusing the mind, opening the ears and concentrating the breath and feeding the sound.

    Of course there are countless ways of playing long tones - or of achieving the same results. For example, I would say that the Vizzutti warm up consisting of the mouthpiece work, the tonguing routine, the long tones and finally the Clarke study variations can be regarded as long tones in disguise. There are many methods where the same could be said to be true. The common thread being that you play long and slow using a full breath and 'as if you were playing one long note'.

    There are no two ways around this, you have to play your daily long tones.

    If you don't like the calm, meditative approach, then look for variety or play long, gently undulating flow studies. Failing that stick a practice mute in and sit in front of the TV, what ever it takes, 'just do it' (thank you nike) and you won't look back.

    All the best. Noel.
  8. _TrumpeT_

    _TrumpeT_ Piano User

    Apr 26, 2006
    My teacher apparently nearly killed himself (literally) using this method. The problem was that it worked too well. Even I found his story hard to believe.

    ALLCHOPS Piano User

    Nov 14, 2003
    Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

    Right on Noel!

  10. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    I guess buzzing on my hose-a-phone for the 30 minute drive home counts for long tones? Adding to my regular, not as long as Cat Anderson, long tone exercises later in the afternoon. Do you guys think long tones could be good for a warm down? I can play long tones during the 9:00 pm local news for an hour.

    From fourth space C to high C would take 160+70= 230 minutes of practice time. That is nearly 4 hours. I guess I'll have to quit my day job.
    This is probably what Bill Chase was doing. It is hard to argue with, and certainly not justified in questioning, the method if this is what Bill Chase did to get his level of skill.

    Body builders have proven many times that isotonic and isometric exercises work. That is essentially what we are doing when we practice.

    I can imagine what the bus ride with Cat Anderson was like.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2007

Share This Page