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Practice routines

2036 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  DerekCho
Hey guys, I'm trying to figure out a really effective weekly practice routine cycle that can boost my chops immensely. I have two weeks after the end of next week before the new semester starts and I want to come back more prepared.

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Well, I find longtones extremely effective at boosting chops. If you don't know what they are, they are what the name suggests: you hold a note for a long time. Start at the lowest note you can play and work up chromatically to the highest note you can play. Hold each note for about 8-10 seconds at a comfortable volume (e.g. mf), and try to keep the pitch as steady as possible. Once your tone has gotten better, try to do the exercise as softly as you can. Then, after you've mastered that, try going from ppp to fff over 8 seconds, and then getting softer from fff to ppp while keeping your pitch steady.
Additionally, overtone exercises are extremely useful. Play your low Bb, and then try to play the Bb an octave higher while using the low Bb fingering (and don't touch the octave key). You have to use your throat position and airstream to do this. Then try to get the F above the middle Bb that you just played (while keeping the low Bb fingering). Then try to get the high Bb. Then the high D. You probably won't get to the high Bb overnight, but if you keep at it, you will. And the stronger throat will improve your tone - showing up tremendously in your playing.
Then you can do mouthpiece exercises. Just take the mouthpiece and try to get a concert G (assuming you play tenor. The one an octave above your high a) pitch out of your mouthpiece. Then try to play lower pitches, going down chromatically (it is easier to 'bend' to a lower pitch). Use a piano as reference - try not to use a tuner to develop your ears.
Hope this helps.
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