Long tones - what are they?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BenH, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym Pianissimo User

    May 23, 2009
    BenH, my take on long tones has always been renaming the exercise to "Sound Development". At school, our long tones have always been playing second line G, to fourth space F#, then back to second line G. We did this exercise at about 120bpm, with hole notes as the value of each note. The next set would be G, F, G, and then we would go down chromatically all the way to the lowest note on the horn that's still a "possible" [no-pedal-tones-ever] note with a whole measure of rest in between. While doing all of this sounds rather easy, you should really be doing a lot of thinking and various other things all at the same time. A few obvious things to think about would be: start, middle, and ending. If your start sounds nice (meaning there are no swells of air at the beginning of the note, there's not a hard tongue-start nor a soft one) then you've cleared objective one. During beats 2 and 3, thinking about keeping your pitch, sound, and intensity all perfectly still would be ideal. Finally, the ending of the note is also important, as it's the last thing people hear. It should stop right on beat 1 of the following measure and you should immediately go into the rest thinking. Beats 3 and 4 are for breathing, and then beat one of the following measure would be the start of the new note.

    See how much I wrote up there? And that was just the basics! There are still many other things I could have mentioned, but did not. Long tones, in my opinion, should be done at the start of every warmup and should also be done every day to promote good sound quality, tone recognition, and pitch steadiness.

    Hope that helps a bit?
    (if you don't like that exercise, I'd recommend you look at this page: "The Basic Caruso")
  2. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    When you do long tones its more of a mental thing NOT a physical thing. Start very soft and get slowly louder and then back down to soft in one breath. When you play soft you want the same full spectrum sound as when you play loud. Its harder than you think! Concentrate on the quality of the sound.
  3. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2009
    Maynard's idea of long tones was to play very long and slow ballads, then do them again an octave up, and another octave up.

    Playing slow songs in different areas of the range spectrum is a great way to develop sound and endurance.
  4. SpiritDCI08

    SpiritDCI08 Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Fort Campbell, KY
    So i'm not going to talk about long tones. It's pointless for me too because so many better people have already told you what it is.
    All I'm going to say is that you should get an Arbans. It's like the trumpeter's bible.
    Also look for a book called the 20 minute warm up, I think it's by Mike Davis.


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