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I've been doing a 5 minute beautiful B as suggested by Trevor wyes book on Flute. So you sit on a B in the staff, breath when you need to and let your oral cavity and air do its work. For the first couple of minutes it feels like why am I doing this, what a waste of time, i should be practicing A, B, or C.. Then at minute 3 something magical opens up and at minute 5 my chops are tired but the tone is actually a notch better. then the acid test I pick up the flute at a rehearsal after 4 loud alto songs and there my tone is still better. So I intend to keep doing that.

Today I thought okay , why not on sax?? I picked my C# because it has nothing to darken or add to my tone colors from the horn. It all has to come from my throat/air/tongue etc. So I did a 5 minute C# and just like my flute. 1. tone is better, more color, sound soulful to me? 2. My chops are way tired. This can't help but improve my overall endurance and 3. I can't get pissed at my sound if i have no intention of working on it . Just like flute minute 1 and 2 and even 3 were, "another way to waste time" or I should be doing alt scale then minutes 4 and 5 were this sounds better.

This does work?

I heard a story that Trane played an F in the staff for an hour until he got what he wanted out of the sound. Who knows? But this seems like a great way to do nothing but focus on tone, chops, and connection to the horn right out of the gate for practice K
 

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Interesting. Could it be you're just getting oxygen deprivation?:bluewink: For some reason it reminds me of meditative prayer. Do one thing long enough and the mind goes into an altered state.

I'll have to try it. Something needs to be done about my tone such as it is.
 

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No its not Oxygen deprivation . I used to get high on flute from hyper ventilation . Now 5 years later I have a very hard time getting out of breath working out or playing. Its all about what happens inside your throat /mouth air column. Who knows , it might help you out. But you have to pay attention . Its tempting to just turn on the TV and set your timer. You have to listen and think about what you want > K
 

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I just started doing this and both my tone and control of flute have taken a noticeable jump; Im going to keep doing this for a few weeks K
 

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I do an exercise like this. I don't time it though. But the idea is similar. Play the middle for as long as it takes until I'm happy with it, then slur down to E and keep the same tone. Continue down chromatically, then start again and go up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This has really connected me to the horn right off the bat in practice. It seems to improve inflections in my lines for whatever reason. If someone told me to do this I'd think they were an idiot. but its the best use of 5 minutes I can think of K
 

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I read the title and thought you were doing a 5 minute non-stop long tone on sax!!....
Yeah, that's what I thought also. Then I read Keith's post more carefully and realized he's talking about spending 5 minutes doing long tones on one note, but breathing when necessary. Anyway, I think this is a worthwhile exercise for sure; for all the reasons mentioned. Endurance and tone quality, especially.
 

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Post some before and after recordings... it's easy to believe things we want to believe, even when there is little objective difference. Also, if you're doing this at the beginning of a session, you may just be getting warmed up. I know I feel more "connected" to my horn after the first 5 minutes of playing, no matter what I play.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
All my recordings from last week on Practice with Kride were before. /Todays on the chromatic lines added to pentatonic is a week after. Maybe slight if heard other side of the horn but I hear and more importantly feel a difference in response, accuracy and tone control. Heck nobody has to do this. If you thing its a waste of time dont . I do have to make decisions in my two hours a day of practice but I can find 5 minutes and like I said to me it was more pronounced on flute or I wouldn't have tried it on Sax. In trevor wyes book he says (paraphrased ) play a Beautiful B for 5 minutes. This is better than 30 minutes playing through tone studies and books and exercises. So thats the initial place I saw it. K
 

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Do you warm up before doing the 5 minute C# on sax? I do long tones to start my practice, but I try to noodle around for a few minutes to get focused in.
Will give this a try tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I did it again today on flute and sax. For sax i was bothered by something "missing" in my tone. So I switched reeds a bunch and got the bright tone that I darken in my mouth the way I wanted it. Its a cool thing for me on C# because all your fingers settle on the keys kind of on home base and ready to go. I notice that first and foremost it highlights attention on air and oral cavity support. But what works for me might not for you. I like it. a very quick way to marry the horn to myself, emb, throat and fingers K
 

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I'll start right out saying this may be entirely delusional on my part. However, after reading a couple of these threads on long tones over the past few days, yesterday & the day before I spent about 5 to 10 minutes practicing them, alternating with other stuff to stave off any boredom. Then at a band rehearsal last night (we're bringing in a keyboardist for a couple of gigs and had to go over a bunch of tunes with him) I swear my tone was stronger and richer and my endurance was better. I never use a mic at our rehearsals and with the keys added in, the guitarist turned up, the drummer hit a bit harder, the overall volume came up (you know how it goes), and yet I had no problem projecting and no need of a mic.

Did the long tones have anything to do with it??! Hell if I know for sure, but I'm not going to stop practicing them, just in case... Thanks for bringing up this topic, Keith!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I noticed a bigger ability to change timbre with my tone, and like you said endurance and volume. This isn't the only way to do it but one good way K
 

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I just recorded a 3 minute long tone and 1, it wasn't as bright as it seemed playing it and 2. I have to watch very carefully pitch or when I open up my throat to darken/add color the pitch goes flat. Important to pay attention to that. but it is improving my speed. Anything you do that improves your ability to get the reed to vibrate willl increase speed and fluidity on the horn. At least for me K
 

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No its not Oxygen deprivation . I used to get high on flute from hyper ventilation . Now 5 years later I have a very hard time getting out of breath working out or playing. Its all about what happens inside your throat /mouth air column. Who knows , it might help you out. But you have to pay attention . Its tempting to just turn on the TV and set your timer. You have to listen and think about what you want > K
Hi Keith.

The quip about oxygen deprivation was meant to be a joke. I had tried to put a smiley :mrgreen: face at the end of the sentence but apparently it didn't take. I have tried your five minute experiment a couple of times and it is challenging to say the least. And though I still have the lungs of a competitive swimmer having done it for a composite 20 years, I get dizzy playing flute sometimes. This drill would almost surely help with that.

Question: do you vary your tone while doing the drill? Do you play it loud and bright sometimes and soft and breathy other times? For me that makes it more interesting, to experiment with different colors of tones I can make.
 

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I've been doing a 5 minute beautiful B as suggested by Trevor wyes book on Flute. So you sit on a B in the staff, breath when you need to and let your oral cavity and air do its work. For the first couple of minutes it feels like why am I doing this, what a waste of time, i should be practicing A, B, or C.. Then at minute 3 something magical opens up and at minute 5 my chops are tired but the tone is actually a notch better. then the acid test I pick up the flute at a rehearsal after 4 loud alto songs and there my tone is still better. So I intend to keep doing that.

Today I thought okay , why not on sax?? I picked my C# because it has nothing to darken or add to my tone colors from the horn. It all has to come from my throat/air/tongue etc. So I did a 5 minute C# and just like my flute. 1. tone is better, more color, sound soulful to me? 2. My chops are way tired. This can't help but improve my overall endurance and 3. I can't get pissed at my sound if i have no intention of working on it . Just like flute minute 1 and 2 and even 3 were, "another way to waste time" or I should be doing alt scale then minutes 4 and 5 were this sounds better.

This does work?

I heard a story that Trane played an F in the staff for an hour until he got what he wanted out of the sound. Who knows? But this seems like a great way to do nothing but focus on tone, chops, and connection to the horn right out of the gate for practice K
Reminds me a bit of Kenny Werner's (Effortless Mastery) recommendation to practice a single note only on the piano until you completely absorb it. Probably hard to hold the tone for 5 min on the piano but :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I vary it and basically allow it to go the direction I want it. vibrato and tone color are so important and as you mention, loud and soft are important. Its just a chance to take all the keyword out of playing and just focus on sound K
Hi Keith.

The quip about oxygen deprivation was meant to be a joke. I had tried to put a smiley :mrgreen: face at the end of the sentence but apparently it didn't take. I have tried your five minute experiment a couple of times and it is challenging to say the least. And though I still have the lungs of a competitive swimmer having done it for a composite 20 years, I get dizzy playing flute sometimes. This drill would almost surely help with that.

Question: do you vary your tone while doing the drill? Do you play it loud and bright sometimes and soft and breathy other times? For me that makes it more interesting, to experiment with different colors of tones I can make.
 
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