Long tones : why doesn't it work for me ?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Lionelsax, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. Lionelsax

    Lionelsax Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2013
    Well, I learn the cornet on my own, there is not a lot of improvement.
    It's said it's good to practise long tones, I agree but why it doesn't improve my playing !
    I could play long tones for hours but the only thing I've got is moisture in my instrument.
    This is what I do, tell me what I've got to do.

  2. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    It would only play for 2 minutes but it sounds to me as if you're tense. It sounds forced like, "I'm gonna do this"! You should be relaxed and the air should just flow. Beyond 2 minutes, I don't know. It could have been the speakers but the tone also sounds uneven. You could try using a tuner. A good tuner is unforgiving.
  3. Lionelsax

    Lionelsax Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2013
    Forcing for 5 minutes ? No, I wasn't forcing, I was relaxed... About the tuner, yes, I was using one, red is my colour !:D Sometimes it's green.
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    You may think you are relaxed, but you sure don't sound that way! The breaths you are taking are too shallow, and the tone itself is unstable, and you are holding them waaaay too short to count as long tones. Mindless holding of notes doesn't bring anything good. Slow down, breathe deeply and hold the tone steady--then you will start noticing improvement.
  5. Franklin D

    Franklin D Forte User

    May 23, 2009
    The Netherlands
    Try the 19/30 method:

    play 19 notes from C middle down to Fis low, every note 30 seconds, then 30 seconds rest. Play them every day, you will find your breath and your sweet spot.
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Try and time yourself with a sweep hand clock. Play the note until there is "no more air" to come out then push a little more! How long did you go? How even could you keep the tone? When the sweep hand hit 15 seconds did you start to get anxious? When I do longtones, in the time you allotted, I would have played 4 notes with 15 seconds rest in between. Not a world record but longer than when I started. LONGTONES WEAR YOUR COLLECTIVE BUTT OUT!!! That is why they (true longtones) are despised AND ignored by most players.
  7. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Lionel, long tones are to help endurance, tone quality, control of a steady pitch and other factors. You might be a little bored and/or half-hearted to play long tones. So here's something you might try - instead of playing sustained, "long tones", try playing songs and exercises which are very slow moving and which concentrate on tone. This takes the boredom out of long tones, and can give the same results regarding tone development. Of course, you must do them correctly.

    Some long-popular songs/exercises have been the Cancone studies for both instruments and voice (I used a vocal book) and also Cichowicz' "Flow Studies". When you see them, you'll understand. http://www.timolt.com/educational/FlowEuphTC.pdf

    A few extra observations:
    - bigger breath
    - more time between tones
    - longer tones
  8. Lionelsax

    Lionelsax Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2013
    Thank you !

    Nice advice, the other day, I've tried an "easy" etude or exercise from Elementary Studies Herbert L Clarke... That was terrible for me.
    The exercise was number 90, I played all the exercise but the thing was sounding like a microtonal music :D

    The page you gave me is much more difficult in terms of range and endurance than the method I've got.
    Nice exercises !!!
  9. Lionelsax

    Lionelsax Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2013
    I'm always anxious when I play a long note, then my brain goes I don't know where and I feel good, you know, as good as when you are gently drunk or stoned.
    Well... Comfortably numb...
  10. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    You might start with the Cichowicz Long Tone Studies first. "Long tones" doesn't necessarily mean "hold this note for a long time", though some of them are.


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