Long Tones

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by talcito, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. talcito

    talcito Piano User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Hi Manny:

    Got a question for you regarding the exciting topic of long tones.

    A couple of years ago I was taking group lessons at NYC Jazzmobile with Dr. Donald Byrd. He always stressed to the students in the class that the daily study of long tones was very important. However one day I was one on one with him and he said to me "You already have a beautifull and developed sound, you do not have to worry about doing all those long tones I talk about----Concentrate more on creating your own exercises instead of recreating those exercises found in the books". Work more on "making music".

    Just this weekend I heard an interview with the legendary Snooky Young----He talks about doing long tones like for an hour a day...everything else works after that, he claims.

    Mitch Jellen, a great trumpet player and teacher in NYC, tells me he only really does long tones when his chops don't feel right...as a way to get his center back.

    How do you view long tones...as a development exercise or something that should be in your daily trumpet diet? At your level of playing are they still part of your daily regimen?

    What type of long tones do you view as most effective?

    Thank you!
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Well, it seems that what the point of your post is that each individual needs to tailor the warm-up to an individual need.

    For me, I find long tones to only be necessary when I had a lot of playing the night before. I'll generally start on a g but if it feels really stiff, I'll blow a low C to get the cobwebs out. Downward I go until the sound really opens up and just rolls out of the bell. When I am stiff like that, I don't TOO much attention to how it it sounds or feels and take a lot of breaks. Eventually everything comes around. the point is to not worry about it and just let things happen. Of course, you have to have enough time to let that all happen, if you're rushed, that's no good. Always allow plenty of time to develop the early morning sound. I don't spend much time on long tones, though, that's the answer I think you were looking for.

  3. alextrumpet

    alextrumpet New Friend

    Feb 7, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Never having any real lessons / teacher, I learned to play on my own. Interestingly, I used to take a stopwatch and hold long tones for :45 to over a minute "just for fun". I still play long tones and for me they are the foundation of playing. It also is very soothing and realaxing and begins a practice / ends one by foucusing on the sound of the horn.

    I also used to sit with my back to the piano and try to "one shot" match the notes I was playing behind my back with my coronet. Now I have a great ear and a pretty good sound.
  4. ZeuSter

    ZeuSter Pianissimo User

    May 22, 2004
    A few weeks back I was re reading some old ITG journals and there were
    several articles about Bill Chase and everytime anyone asked him how he developed his phenomonal range and endurance he invariably answered with two words---LONG TONES. It is said that he would practice long tones for hours resting often, The type of long tone practice that he was referring to , are the old fashioned "diamonds" where youstart pp and cresc. to f or ff
    then decresc. back down to pp.
    If you think about it the rerally accomplished "lead players" all practiced long tones , from what I have read many players have credited long tones
    for their range and endurance.
    Bill Chase
    Snooky Young
    Maynard Ferguson
    Cat Anderson
    Everyone is familiar with Cat's 20minute G , well Maynard has another approach, he would practice long tones and when he got bored with that , he would practice ballads or operatic arias that had an "elongated melody".
    He would practice these tunes in the original key and then up a 3rd and then a 5th and then 8va. He said that this helps relieve the monotony of "boring long tones"
    Having said all of that , it is important to REST A LOT when practicing
    long tones for an long session(45min to an hour)
  5. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
    I never practiced long tones, and have no problems with my chops. I rather study scales, staccato, tongueing etc. in my practice time in stead of the boring long tones. The same goes for pedal tones btw. I know for sure my colleague lead players in the Netherlands aren't practicing long tones or pedal tones either and all have great chops. If you want endurance, there are other ways of practicing stuff which are more efficient (in time) in my view. About working on the sound, you can do that with any exercise. If you try to recreate the sound in your head, then sooner or later you will learn to produce that sound.

    I'm not sure but I don't think Arnold Jacobs or Bill Adam was telling their students to practice long tones. Maybe Manny can say something about that.
  6. ZeuSter

    ZeuSter Pianissimo User

    May 22, 2004
    The Bill Adam warm up routine that Jerry Hey, Larry Hall, and other Adam students do ( or did ) starts with long tones usually on 3rd space c and spiderwebbing up to hich c and down to low c . In fact those guys have talked about how they use to practice long tones together for intonation and blend . I did not say that long tones were the only way to "get there" but I did say that all of the above mentioned players practiced long tones
    and gave them great credit for their progress.
  7. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
    OK, if you would call that also long tones, then those long tones are not so boring. I would call those excersises "flow studies" but what's in a word. As a matter of fact, I see every phrase as a long tone. Such a phrase could also be 4 bars of staccato notes.

    I thought you meant by studieing long tones, just playing 1 note for a longer time.
  8. ZeuSter

    ZeuSter Pianissimo User

    May 22, 2004
    Flow studies?
    I think you misunderstood, no sir , not flow studies , I 'm talking OLD FASHOINED LONG TONES. like I desridbed in the above post.
    There is a link to a website that has this exercise , I will try to find a link
    to it so you can see what I mean . They are very definetly LONG TONES.
    And BTW no one said that long tones are ALL that one should practice. No one said NOt to practice scales ,intervals , etudes , solos , lip slurs ,and all of the other fudamentals.
  9. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
    You're right. I misunderstood. I thought you meant the Schlossberg excersises.

    I did understand that part.... ;-)

    Pat Harbison wrote on the TH :

  10. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 2, 2003
    Bloomington, Indiana
    That is true. It doesn't take much playing to warm up.

    However, if I am having a day where I have adequate time to really practice and no performance that day I will do anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour of long tones and/or Schlossberg-type long note studies. They are the healing force for everything that gets wacky in my sound or my playing mechanics.

    For most people, Mr. Adam would prescribe at least 20-30 minutes of long note practice daily.

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