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Trumpet Discussion Discuss What do long tones do? in the General forums; Hey all, I was just wondering, lip flexibilities help range, etudes help endurance, what is the end result of long ...
  1. #1
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    Jun 2013

    What do long tones do?

    Hey all,

    I was just wondering, lip flexibilities help range, etudes help endurance, what is the end result of long tones?

  2. #2
    Pianissimo User keigoh's Avatar
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    Oct 2012

    Re: What do long tones do?

    My teachers have always told me that they are great for improving breath support.
    I like playing my instrument!
    Trumpets are great.

  3. #3
    Fortissimo User bumblebee's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    Re: What do long tones do?

    They are great for helping your range, breath control, endurance and tone quality. Range because you are training your embouchure muscles to stay where you want them, and so to go where you want them when playing up or down the register. Breath control because without that your long tone will not be smooth. Endurance because your body will get used to operating without having to draw a fresh breath quite so soon (consider what free divers have to do). Tone quality because as you listen to the sound you are producing for a minute or so at a time you'll just want to make it sound as good as you can. Long tones help you play softer without the tone turning to just blown air as your control improves.
    I'm sure there are other reasons why they're good -- but these are mine.

    Also, practicing long tones means you can play the tunes which need .... long tones.

    Last edited by bumblebee; 07-27-2015 at 09:13 AM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
    Utimate User trickg's Avatar
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    Oct 2003

    Re: What do long tones do?

    Breath control, focus, which in turn helps tone and chops control for volume, both soft and loud. All of that helps endurance because you don't have to work as hard to sound like you want.

    I could stand to incorporate some more into my daily routine. When I was at my best, I was doing a lot of long tones.
    Patrick Gleason

    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"
    "At my signal, unleash hell."
    - Maximus Decimus Meridius

  5. #5
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    Oct 2014
    New York City

    Re: What do long tones do?

    Here's what they accomplish and how to do them. There are other methods of course - this is just one. But it's a good one by a good player.
    J. Jericho and Villager1 like this.

  6. #6
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Parts Unknown

    Re: What do long tones do?

    Both Bumblebee and trickg are spot on. The only thing I would add is that they teach us to work through boredom. Long tones are boring to play unless we really focus on our sound, how it can fill the room even at low volume, and also focus on our body use, letting muscle memory really learn where the notes lie. We can work on pressure issues, breathing techniques etc. with long tones.
    "A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"
    C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength

  7. #7
    Mezzo Forte User mgcoleman's Avatar
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    Jun 2010

    Re: What do long tones do?

    Anyone who regularly plays long tones will understand this:
    Long tones, done correctly, are great for rapidly exposing things you aren't doing correctly.
    Bb cornet: 2012 Getzen 3850 Custom (copper bell)
    Bb trumpets: 1980 Bach Strad 37
    Euphonium: Jupiter Capital Edition 460
    Eastern Iowa Brass Band
    "Practice, not procurement, is the secret." -- me

  8. #8
    Piano User Ljazztrm's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    NY, NY

    Re: What do long tones do?

    I feel moving long tones are the key ingredient to my range and endurance as a trumpet player.. To me, practicing Group 3 of Clarke's Setting Up Drills is worth its weight in gold. Best, Lex

  9. #9
    Pianissimo User
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    Nov 2014

    Re: What do long tones do?

    I think long tones build up or improve just about everything except fast fingers.

  10. #10
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: What do long tones do?

    Long tone force us to slow down - the single most important improvement for players. The human state learns by learning patterns. Thousands of controlled repetitions are required to improve. Longtones give us the space and time to work on breathing, chop use, stability of pitch and hundreds of other virtues!
    mgcoleman likes this.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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