Long tones

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BobtheBigFoot, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. BobtheBigFoot

    BobtheBigFoot New Friend

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    Ok, I'm a highschool trumpet player (and hopefully a pro one day!). This may seem really dumb, but why are long tones so important? Now believe me, I am not doubting the unending power long tones have, believe me I am a daily player of them! But how does playing extended middle range notes help with increaced endurance, breath support, range, etc.??? Just a dumb question that's been rattling around in my head!
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Longtones are required to get your breathing and lips in sync. They give us a tremendous opportunity to listen to ourselves and improve the loop between lips->mouthpiece->horn->room->ear->brain->lips.

    It also make the impulsive SLOW DOWN and accomplish something meaningful like THINKING while playing.

    It is in my opinion the most important exercize that there is. In my teaching, we always start with long tones. I play, the student plays back. They see me do it "right" and emulate it. No discussions about how deep to breathe, body use, articulation, tone quality, dynamics.

    Once the loop tht I describe above works effectively, the student plays WITH the music instead of trying to conquer some aspect of it.

    Longtones are not simply turning a compressor on and off. They are ALIVE, they lead to something and are the result of something special. They contain birth and death, planting and extermination, crying and laughing, heavenly clouds and flamethrowers and everything in between.

    They are a symptom of musical maturity.
     
  3. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    I might add that long tones played at ppp will help you "feel" your lip vibrating -- and I believe you can get a feel of what is "good vibrations" and the "not so good" vibrations. Also (in my opinion) long tones in the staff help develop a strong embouchure - instead of wearing yourself out by continously trying to play in a higher range -- the long tones develop your lip/face muscles easier without constantly stressing them --- build a little at a time -- instead of trying to build all in one day -

    also you can extrapolate the playing softly when you play notes, phrases, songs at higher ranges ---(in my opinion) by playing softly at first you can "self fix" an otherwise bad note ((in other words by playing softly you will have the unstressed embouchure fixating itself on the note))-- whether it be a long tone or not. then when you increase the volume - you should have good sound, because by then you should just be increasing air flow instead of "changing" your lips drastically.
    (((in my opinion of course)))
     
  4. BobtheBigFoot

    BobtheBigFoot New Friend

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    I just switched mouthpieces from a schilke 14 a4a ( yes I know it is aweful especially terrible for all round use which I used it for for a year and a half) to a Bach 3C. My range is terrible. Will long tones help me properly develope my embosure ( since the schilke destroyed it) and will long tones help get my range And endurance back???
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    You are confused. A mouthpiece is metal. It did not destroy your embouchure - just like a 3C will not build your embouchure.

    Longtones are part of many things required to get good. Scales, intervals, lipslurs, tonguing exercizes and many other things are required to get a decent balance.

    I am always amazed by the uninformed choice of mouthpiece. We have no way of knowing if the Schilke or 3C is better - or even something else. We have never heard you play. We don't know how much you twisted your face to make the 14A4A work. We don't know how long it will take to unlearn the habits that you have already created.

    I'll give you the only answer that I think makes sense: get a local teacher and let them see, hear and feel your problem. This needs personal attention.
     
  6. BobtheBigFoot

    BobtheBigFoot New Friend

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    I do have a personal private teacher. He is the one who said that I should switch. I guess I was just wondering if range and endurance loss are normal when switching to a larger mouthpiece. I have never done it before.
     
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    I think the 14a4a is a specialized mpc -- and you will find the 3C a rather average mpc -- similiar to the 7C that most student's start with, just a tad bigger.
    OK endurance and range will take time -- I've put in about 3000 hours over the last 30 months as a comebacker -- and I still have lots of improvement to go, have range, but endurance and musicality at the extreme high end -- needs work. I think you can do all of that on a 3C -- so I am sure your instructor is having you learn the fundamentals, and develop your embouchure --- and of course at some point in a few years --- YOU can decide what mpc is best for you --- but I would give the nod to the instructor this time ---- and be patient with yourself also.:thumbsup:
     
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Slow vibratory action of low register long tones gets the lips vibrating at a good steady frequency. This is kind of like the pre-run stretch a runner does when he leans against the wall to stretch leg muscle. It helps "warm" the muscle by getting blood flow into the area. The better this flow, the more nutrients bath the muscle, which ultimately minimizes the stress to the muscle on demand.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The difference between the 14a4a and 3c is primarily depth. This would help a player who has weak chops - the lips will not bottom out as easily. I see no reason for less endurance unless you haven't really been spending any time on the horn.

    With an hour a day, moving from a shallow to a deeper mouthpiece really should have minimal effect on anything except tone (should get better). For weak, untrained chops, the world could fall apart as there is less support from the air pressure in the cup of the mouthpiece. There is also more "grip" on a Bach 3C than on a Schilke 14A4A. If you are using pressure, that too will be a problem. This is even more reason for your teacher to be involved.
     
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    that is a very beautiful description, almost poetic -- so soothing to the image of the nutrient rich blood, warmly flowing through those capillaries and into those individual cells, exchanging gases, and nutrients, and dispersing the waste from those cells -- WOW can you give us a description of the mitochondrial action now??? wouldn't that be equally as beautiful???ROFL
     

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