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Thread: 7 months of playing long tones

  1. #1

    Default 7 months of playing long tones

    I wrote a post 7 months ago saying "I'm Sick Of It" where I decided to hit the long tones seriously because I was sick of the fact that my high and low notes were undependable. People told me it would take a year before I would get serious results. They were pretty much right, but I have noticed a lot of improvement already. The highs and lows are far more dependable and my tone has gotten much better. Intonation has also improved since I always work with a tuner. I first play the note on the piano, then start the long tone and then check the pitch on the tuner. It's not easy to do 20-30 minutes of long tones. When I get done I feel like I have practiced for hours.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 7 months of playing long tones

    Good for you!

    I noticed audible improvement in my tone after only 2-3 weeks of long tone work. It really is the best way to improve your tone.
    Ska Ska Ska Ska Ska

  3. #3

    Default Re: 7 months of playing long tones

    Great!!!

    "It's not easy to do 20-30 minutes of long tones. When I get done I feel like I have practiced for hours."

    Pete Thomas did 4 hours of long tones per day for many years, I believe you can discuss with him in that aspect

  4. #4
    Forum Contributor 2012 chinux79's Avatar
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    Default Re: 7 months of playing long tones

    what do you do during 20-30 minutes of long tones?

  5. #5

    Default Re: 7 months of playing long tones

    Quote Originally Posted by soprano View Post
    Great!!!

    "It's not easy to do 20-30 minutes of long tones. When I get done I feel like I have practiced for hours."

    Pete Thomas did 4 hours of long tones per day for many years, I believe you can discuss with him in that aspect
    When i was young (over 15 years ago) i also did 4 hours of long tones for around a year nearly every day until my saxophoneteacher told me to stop this nonsense.
    Long tones are good, if you practise them in many different ways but really fast you can exaggerate it.
    It is like going into the gym and you train only certain muscles and doing e.g. nothing for your endurance or balance of your body. The result you can see in many gyms, not healthy but bloated looking persons who can't get their arms at their body, that don't have any endurance (they wouldn't survive an hour of yoga) and many problems with their bodies because they did not watch out for a balance between their musclegroups.
    It is the same with an exaggeration of doing long tones. You will not sound better if you are doing them longer than 30 minutes. Without a clear soundconcept and -imagination, all this power you achieve will not help you at all.
    You must have an idea of the sound you want to achieve and then concentrate on developing this sound when you do your soundexercises. But if you will put too much time only in sound, you will lack technique, improvisational ablities, ear etc. etc. and your sound also would improve while you work on other things.

    If it is the highs and lows, concentrate your soundexercises on these parts of the horn and work on them with your soundideal in mind.
    If you want more power to your sound, do the matching exercises.
    But to think only by doing long tones as long as possible will enhance your tone is a mistake (been that road but got the turn in time).
    It's your mind, soundconcept and the combination of long tones with e.g dynamics.
    Today i really wish i would have used the wasted hours of long tones for other topics.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 7 months of playing long tones

    Quote Originally Posted by florian View Post
    When i was young (over 15 years ago) i also did 4 hours of long tones for around a year nearly every day until my saxophoneteacher told me to stop this nonsense.
    Long tones are good, if you practise them in many different ways but really fast you can exaggerate it.
    It is like going into the gym and you train only certain muscles and doing e.g. nothing for your endurance or balance of your body. The result you can see in many gyms, not healthy but bloated looking persons who can't get their arms at their body, that don't have any endurance (they wouldn't survive an hour of yoga) and many problems with their bodies because they did not watch out for a balance between their musclegroups.
    It is the same with an exaggeration of doing long tones. You will not sound better if you are doing them longer than 30 minutes. Without a clear soundconcept and -imagination, all this power you achieve will not help you at all.
    You must have an idea of the sound you want to achieve and then concentrate on developing this sound when you do your soundexercises. But if you will put too much time only in sound, you will lack technique, improvisational ablities, ear etc. etc. and your sound also would improve while you work on other things.

    If it is the highs and lows, concentrate your soundexercises on these parts of the horn and work on them with your soundideal in mind.
    If you want more power to your sound, do the matching exercises.
    But to think only by doing long tones as long as possible will enhance your tone is a mistake (been that road but got the turn in time).
    It's your mind, soundconcept and the combination of long tones with e.g dynamics.
    Today i really wish i would have used the wasted hours of long tones for other topics.
    Cool reply
    62' Tenor Mark VI
    "vintage" otto link 7*

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 7 months of playing long tones

    for a busy season, all I had was long tones for about 10-15 min a day for 2 months. I have reaped the most out of this 2 months compared other exercises. Not saying that the other exercises are not important but I felt that I have harvested the most: improved tone, greater intimacy with the instrument, stamina, hearing, ... ....
    Music - His gift, my duty, our fellowship 3Jn2
    Yanagisawa A992 Alto, Yamaha YAS-62 Alto & YTS-62 Tenor, Selmer Paris Series II Soprano Sax

  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Member LateNiteSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: 7 months of playing long tones

    Forget long tones. Practice various scales with a metronome with a variety of articulations, ideas and styles, vibratos, etc. I have always been anti-long tones.
    "We sax players need to stick together and save the world." Sonny Rollins, 1993 after a show.

  9. #9

    Default

    Get a good teacher and have a weekly lesson. This will help you to become a well rounded musician/saxophonist. Long tones are important, but so are a hundred other things.

  10. #10
    Distinguished SOTW Member Fader's Avatar
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    Default Re: 7 months of playing long tones

    You can improve your long tone studies by adding a metronome. Then you can work on rhythm at the same time and some articulation stuff too...

  11. #11

    Default Re: 7 months of playing long tones

    Quote Originally Posted by chinux79 View Post
    what do you do during 20-30 minutes of long tones?
    I work on sound, stamina, pitch, dynamics and vibrato. It's actually more of a 20 minute session that once in awhile leads to a half hour. I practice two hours most days.

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