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Hi everyone I have a question about practicing long tones on saxophone. Some musicians say that after a certain point, it's not necessary to practice long tones anymore since they're only for beginners, while others believe the opposite. I really admire the great sound of musicians like Euge Groove, and I was wondering what your opinion is on this. Do you still practice long tones in your current practice routine, or do you feel like it's something you don't need anymore? I would really appreciate your input and any additional information you can provide on this matter.馃檹
 

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There鈥檚 worms on the floor, where鈥檚 the lid? 馃ぃ

Nothing is necessary. Most people who 鈥渄on鈥檛 practice long tones鈥 just do it in other ways while working on other things. It is important to learn to hear, hit, and hold pitches at all volumes and traditional long tone work is a great way to build the stamina and work on your ears.
 

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I would like to know if renowned musicians such as James Carter, Joshua Redman, Euge Groove, and Kirk Whalum continue to practice techniques such as long tones to maintain the quality of their sound, or if they have reached a level of skill where their sound no longer requires such practices. In essence, do these musicians still work on their technique consistently to maintain their sound, or have they reached a level where their sound is constant without additional practice?"
 

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long tone work is a great way to build the stamina and work on your ears.
+1. I think building up stamina is an important aspect of long tone work, in addition to working on tone. Stanely Turrentine, who imo has one of the greatest tenor tones of all time, in an interview I read somewhere, said he spent a lot of time working on long tones.

As to whether or not most great players continue to work on long tones, I don't know. Maybe some do & some don't. I do think that like anything you practice, it helps to revisit certain techniques for 'maintenance' purposes though.
 

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I would like to know if renowned musicians such as James Carter, Joshua Redman, Euge Groove, and Kirk Whalum continue to practice techniques such as long tones to maintain the quality of their sound, or if they have reached a level of skill where their sound no longer requires such practices. In essence, do these musicians still work on their technique consistently to maintain their sound, or have they reached a level where their sound is constant without additional practice?"
Joshua Redman definitely continues to work on long tones (and other fundamentals). E.g., see the interview posted here:


Personally, I think asking "do pro saxophonists need to keep working on long tones" is sort of like asking "do pro athletes still need to work on conditioning"?
Of course they do, if they want to maintain a high level of performance.
 

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I would like to know if renowned musicians such as James Carter, Joshua Redman, Euge Groove, and Kirk Whalum continue to practice techniques such as long tones to maintain the quality of their sound, or if they have reached a level of skill where their sound no longer requires such practices. In essence, do these musicians still work on their technique consistently to maintain their sound, or have they reached a level where their sound is constant without additional practice?"
That's a good question, and only one of those 'name' players could answer it for sure, but my view of it is, even though they all have many performances in a year and they have all fully developed their style and sound, I would bet that they all devote time as often as possible to spend an hour just doing what they did to get there - it's a soothing escape and keeps you grounded in the reality of how you got to this point. It is important to do this for other reasons too, like just keeping your eye on the horn and how it's working, trying some different reeds or just working on intonation.
I'm not a name player, but I did spend some time yesterday AM playing, trying reeds for the gig later that day and deciding which of my two tenors I was going to take. The tuner was heavily involved in that because going from a certain synthetic reed to another one or to a Plasticover or maybe cane, your intonation is going to change. I made my decisions and went to the job, where I found that the selected reed now felt a little soft - I put the Plasticover on and did the whole night with it. Of course, I had to go through my tuning routine with it but I never had to touch the mouthpiece for tuning that whole night.
 

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Yes, long tones and over tones are a great way to warm up for a practice session or a gig. Good tone is essential for sounding like you鈥檙e and experienced saxophone player. As Dr G says 鈥済o for the tone鈥 馃幏
 

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I would like to know if renowned musicians such as James Carter, Joshua Redman, Euge Groove, and Kirk Whalum continue to practice techniques such as long tones to maintain the quality of their sound, or if they have reached a level of skill where their sound no longer requires such practices. In essence, do these musicians still work on their technique consistently to maintain their sound, or have they reached a level where their sound is constant without additional practice?"
Jeff Coffin says he does them daily.
 

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The worms ate it!
My worms are more like Pink鈥檚. 馃ぃ 馃 馃

I just remembered that I have the lessons/ interview series Doron Orenstein did鈥 can鈥檛 remember the name of the product, but bestsaxophonewebsiteever.com is his site. I never finished listening to all of them. I think I鈥檒l fire up the old mac mini and find out; how and what do you practice is always one of the questions.
 

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Jeff Coffin says he does them daily.
Jeff鈥檚 a member here but hasn鈥檛 popped in for while. The legend I鈥檝e heard from every UNT cat I鈥檝e asked is that he basically lived in the practice rooms when he was there. He was an instructor one year I went to Maine Jazz Camp鈥lso Greg Tardy and Garzone 馃槻. I didn鈥檛 directly interact with George at all that I remember, but Jeff and Greg were practicing all day between (and during) teaching, and at night. Evening faculty concerts there were hot!
 

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In essence, do these musicians still work on their technique consistently to maintain their sound, or have they reached a level where their sound is constant without additional practice?"
Do musicians still work on tone and technique? Yes. Is 鈥渓ong tones鈥 the only way to do it? No.
 

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Do musicians still work on tone and technique? Yes. Is 鈥渓ong tones鈥 the only way to do it? No.
Dr. G is correct. Greg Fishman, my phenomenal saxophone instructor who is an amazing player, works on ballads for his long tones so he kills two birds with one stone.
 
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