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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Long Tones in the General forums; Hello, When people say long tones, I'm curious what we mean (this is similar but hopefully less controversial than the ...
  1. #1
    Forte User bagmangood's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Bostonish & San Francisco

    Long Tones

    When people say long tones, I'm curious what we mean (this is similar but hopefully less controversial than the what names are the notes thread)
    I know what I mean when I talk about long tones: repeating a note 3 times with a fermata on the last

    What do all of yall mean when you say long tones?
    Bb: Courtois 305 "Elite", Holton Al Hirt Special (~1966), Benge 3x with Upturned bell (1973)
    C: Bach C180-239 (Akwright conversion),
    Cornet: Conn Wonder (1900)
    Picc: Selmer Paris, ~1971

  2. #2
    Forte User
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    Aug 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.

    Re: Long Tones

    The term means a tone held as long as possible without taking a breath or cutting the tone off before the breath is completely exhausted. The object being to slowly increase the lung capacity and to learn to sustain an extended fermata. If played extremely softly it will build lip muscle and tone control.

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  3. #3
    Pianissimo User
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    Nov 2008

    Re: Long Tones

    when I say long tones I mean big breath holding a note for as long as I can in one breath without going out of tune.

  4. #4
    Forte User Bob Grier's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Greensboro, NC

    Re: Long Tones

    holding a note for a long time. a long tone exercise can be a simple as playing a C scale in whole notes or as advanced as a Schlossberg exercise.
    Bob Grier, An Old Pro
    Web Cam trumpet & jazz improvisation lessons

  5. #5
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Long Tones

    Longtones for me are inhale and exhale through the horn until my air is gone.

    The purpose is to give my chops, ears and brain time to analyse what is going on and store patterns for later use. It also gives me time to sort out body tension issues that impede my concept of relaxing into playing the trumpet. They are one of the single most critical concepts in my teaching! I have never had a player with decent long tones let me down in other areas. I know plenty of working players that cannot relax and play them well. They are missing an important part of being a trumpet player!!!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  6. #6
    Forte User Al Innella's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Levittown , NY

    Re: Long Tones

    Long tones should be played softly with an even steady sound, as for how long that depends on you ,try to increase the duration each day. Playing long tones starting at a ppp volume gradually crescendo to mf or f then decrescendo back to a ppp, is another thing to practice once you can do the first set of even long tones without wavering, again the pitch should be steady, a little harder way is to start at f then decrescendo to ppp then back to f keeping the tone steady.

  7. #7
    Pianissimo User Rushtucky's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    Re: Long Tones

    T101 - Two of the most valved qualifications possessed by a successful trumpet player are: flexibility or elasticity of the lips and the ability to support a free-flowing, sonorous tone with the breath in all registers. It is through the development of these qualities only that endurance (the ability to play for long periods of time without undue fatigue), and a pleasing, musical sound may be achieved. There are absolutely no shortcuts to flexiblity and endurance. These qualities can be achieved only through diligent, daily, concentrated practice starting with Long Tones (upper and lower register) and lip slurs. I also recommend a "warm-down" at the end of the practice session of 3 minutes of Long Tones. Just like athletes do after a hard workout.
    Indianapolis, Indiana

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