Long Tones- 10 Reason To Do Them

We all understand what long tones are. They’re long tones!

But did you ever wonder why they are recommended and what benefits we can gain from this tedious practice?

10 benefits of long tones-

1. Long tones help develop strength- by sustaining a note for an extended period of time, the muscles in the embouchure are forced to sustain their current position and thus improve the strength of those muscles.

2. Long tones give you the opportunity to listen to your sound- by listening to your sound; there is a natural tendency to improve on what you are listening to.

3. Long tones help you analyze what is going on within your air stream. Opening and closing the channel which encompasses the passage of air will dictate the timbre of your tone.

4. Long tones force you to breathe more deeply. When extending the length of a note, you automatically breathe deeper to increase the amount of air required to sustain the note.

5. Long tones train your arms and hands to support the instrument more steadily for any shaking in these areas will telegraph into a shaky tone.

6. Long tones are the direct opposite of fast, highly technical passages and thus need to be implemented to balance your technical playing.

7. Long tones train your respiratory system to control sustained dynamic volumes for an uneven air stream will generate an uneven dynamic volume.

8. Long tones work well as a warm-up for little energy is spent and is easy on the chops before regular practice sessions.

9. Long tones are helpful if you are trying to improve your vibrato for a little controlled vibrato will warm your sound.

10. Long tones enable you to play in a more relaxed situation for your thoughts can be directed to the essentials rather than technical problems.

Bruce was a member of the faculty at the University of Northern Iowa, School of Music in Cedar Falls from 1969 until his retirement in 1999. He has performed with many well-known entertainers such as Bob Hope, Jim Nabors, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Anita Bryant, Carman Cavalara, Victor Borgie, the Four Freshman, Blackstone the Magician, Bobby Vinton and John Davidson.

2 thoughts on “Long Tones- 10 Reason To Do Them

  1. mike palmere

    all beneficial

  2. terence martinez

    how long and what register should long tones be played when warming up?


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