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The upper register often sounds weak because there is a natural tendency to tense up when producing those notes, especially the palm key notes D and E. Playing with a clear sound in the upper register is something I have been working on diligently for the past few weeks. While tensing up a bad habit, getting out of it is not impossible. It just takes close attention to the kind of air you are pushing through the instrument. Relax. Run a scale slowly from the lowest register up to the highest (disregarding altissimo) register and try to sustain the same type of airflow throughout, avoiding the use of your upper chest to get the air out. The goal is to produce the same quality of sound throughout the range of the instrument, and when you use your diaphragm for the air, the air is much warmer.

Long tones are long tones. I spent the first two years or so in my jazz studies working on ballads left and right. I was not much for "long tones" per se, but playing ballads was and is a great way to not only be mindful of your sound, it also allows you to become more familiar with playing ballads. Because the notes tend to sustain more than in a medium or uptempo tune, your tone is more exposed. Thus, it serves as an opportunity to work with your sound.

However, when you practice long tones, keep in mind that most of the time you are not playing long tones when improvising, so a note that may be in tune when held may slip sharp or flat when you are not thinking about it. Long tones are very important, but they are what they are. To put it into a more realistic situation, play an idea and hold the last note of the phrase and check the intonation and the quality of the tone. If it is fine, try another idea, hold, and check.

Those are just a couple of ways that I work on intonation and tone.
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