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Thread: Tone Exercises

  1. #1

    Default Tone Exercises

    Does anyone know of any tone production exercises that will help develop your sound from a beginner tone to a more professional sound?

  2. #2
    Bubba06's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    Quote Originally Posted by ClassicJazzGuy View Post
    Does anyone know of any tone production exercises that will help develop your sound from a beginner tone to a more professional sound?
    No.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    Just practice 15 min of overtones per days. You'll boost your tone with this exercice.
    Tenor: Selmer Mark VII (250xxx), Jody Jazz HR 7*, Gonzalez Jazz 2.5
    Alto: Buescher True Tone (149xxx), Meyer NY USA 6M, Vandoren ZZ 3.5

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    Come on man! If you're not gonna help, then lay out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba06 View Post
    No.
    "Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself." •Miles Davis
    “Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of somebody else.” •Judy Garland

    www.stevenbollman.com

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    Long tones.
    "Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself." •Miles Davis
    “Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of somebody else.” •Judy Garland

    www.stevenbollman.com

  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Member DanPerezSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    Long tones +1.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    No secrets here man.

    Just lots of Long Tones, and harmonics.

    To be honest what I see in a lot of students is them trying to imitate pros - and I think the first lesson I had in college really fixed a lot of my sound, or well what was said to me did. "Ben - no more vibrato, or scooping. get rid of that S^&*, I never want someone to walk past your practice room and say 'hey that's Ben practicing, that's his vibrato' I want them to say 'Wow Ben sounds great today!" Not saying don't ever use vibrato, but really make everything you play super super even. I think the next thing was - I had a listen to an mp3 of Bob Reynolds playing a blues with a student, and the biggest difference was that Bob had super solid time, and super strong intent in his playing.

    So Practice long tones and make sure everything is super even - no shaking in the tone (intentional or not), practice them all over the horn. Practice your Harmonics, and try and tone match them to their true sound, and again make sure it's even.

    Gave a lesson to a student the other week where all we did were scales at 60Bpm and Long tones, and by the end of the lesson his sound was bigger.

  8. #8
    Bubba06's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    I could have been nicer. My thought process... 1) Oh another close ended question. 2) Oh. He could search. 3) Oh... He's even in the Tone Production Subforum. 4) Didn't look?
    5) Well... Upon looking, there's a lot of specific tone questions... Maybe he just didn't look deep enough. 6) Maybe I'll just give an attempt at dry humor.

    +1 Long tones.
    +1 Over tones.

    -Bubba-

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    Matt Otto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    Here's a tone production routine that George Garzone taught me:

    http://mattotto.org/?cat=168

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  11. #11
    Non Resident SOTW Eccentric & 2012 Forum Contributor Jazzaferri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    Yep read all the stuff about tone and playing on Pete's site. Then read comments here. Practice every day 30 minutes a day seven days a week is better than 4 hours on one day
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed

  12. #12

    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    +1 Pete's Site

    Breathing Exercises are also good to practice

    http://www.tamingthesaxophone.com/sa...breathing.html
    “I’m going to try to make music out of whatever style it is, being true to the art form itself. If you’re playing funk, stay in the pocket. If you’re swinging, swing — all the way. Play some standards. Play some blues. Play your original stuff. Do it, 100 percent..." - Roy Hargrove

  13. #13
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    Thanks for the nice recommendations.

    I should add that long tones (including overtones) for me really are the key, but long tines work best only if you are actually concentrating and listening. This is very difficult to sustain for long periods. I started out doing about 4 hours a day of just long tones, and I'm sure I was wasting a lot of that. Of course it does build up embouchure muscles, but so would just playing tunes for four hours.

    In order to make sure i concentrate, listen and learn from the long notes, I devised ways to make them less boring, and part of that involved a disciplined approach to incorporating other elements of tone, e.g. vibrato, bending, dynamics and articulation.

    This doesn't mean saying "OK, today I'll do four hours with vibrato, tomorrow I'll do my long notes with dynamics". To make you concentrate, I advise imagining a steady pulse, so you might play straight for a count of 12, then add the vibrato, or slur an octave, or get louder at that point, or start tonguing. Whatever, you need to find some discipline to keep your mind tuned in the the sound of the note.

    For some people the colour visualisation exercise works, for others this may seem a bit hippy trippy (auras etc.)

    Another trick I have is to play a little tune or lick in the key of the note, at the end of each long note before switching to the next note.

    This is good because as well as giving your brain a refreshing change from concentrating on just one note, you are also getting to practise a tune or lick in different keys.

  14. #14
    Distinguished SOTW Member rleitch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    +1+1 on Pete's point about concentration!

    I have nowhere close to the professional tone I'd like to have, but what I do know is that I have wasted a lot of time practicing bad tone.

    Whatever mental cues you want to use, I think moving towards a really good tone requires having a really robust concept in your "minds ear" about what good tone is. Then you need to be demanding and make sure that you are always practicing good tone.

    For specific exercises, I think downward tone matching on the first 3-4 overtones is worth spending lots of time on.

    Ironically--to add some possibly bad advice--gear helped me to get on the right path. When I decided to invest in really top line mouthpieces, I also decided I had better get serious about tone. So if it helps--spend a ton of cash on boutique MPs
    Martin "Dick Stabile" Tenor: Barone Jazz 7*/GW7

    "The spiritual life is built upon a commitment to truth telling and truth living. As master jazz musicians, [John Coltrane and Miles Davis] presented their spirituality within the reality of cool." --Farah Jasmine Griffen and Salim Washington

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    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    "Ben - no more vibrato, or scooping. get rid of that S^&*
    Do we have the same teacher? haha
    Ska Ska Ska Ska Ska

  16. #16

    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    1+ to long tones and overtones. I have also used the tone idol concept. Find a simple section from a player with a tone you love. Start practice sessions trying to emulate it. Just do it for a few minutes. You won't sound like them, but it will help you open up and find your sound ( in the direction you hope to take it). I also use octave drops and find they help open up your sound as well.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    Quote Originally Posted by buddy lee View Post
    Do we have the same teacher? haha
    Haha, Maybe, if you're in brisbane. Graeme always had a way of making you feel very guilty if you hadn't practiced. If I didn't practice for a week to do assignments or what ever he'd just say "okay, here's a new ii V pattern, lets do it in 12 keys" On the piece of paper was a rhythm and some numbers. "Tempo is 160" At the first sign of even hesitating, he'd play along and do it flawlessly.

    To this day I still hate ii V's

    In regards to sound though I'll never forget how unhelpful he was at times haha:
    Lesson 1 semester 5
    G "any questions about what you learned last semester or in the last 2 years?"
    BB "No"
    G "really?"
    BB "no"
    G-Fresh "Okay well lets start fixing your sound."
    BB "I thought you never brought that up with me because my sound was fine"
    G "Nah - it's crap."

    2 weeks later:
    BB "Can we dedicate a lesson to opening up my sound?"
    G "Don't worry it'll come to you"

  18. #18
    dshook's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    Play a lot on the mouthpiece alone. Develop your range and control. Build from long glissando type sounds to various scales. Work on pitch, dynamics, etc, as you would with the whole horn. A range of a 10th is possible on a tenor mouthpiece. THEN put it back on the horn and see what you sound like.

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    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    I realize the the mouthpiece can produce many tones... however for me on most fingerings it just produces fundimental and octive... and varying tone colors blends of the two... for a darker sound I use more lip and reed... however to gets rid of articulation and flexibility!!!

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    Default Re: Tone Exercises

    suggestions???

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