Long Tones


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The term Long Tone is definitely not an exciting name for an exercise. But, the name describes exactly what is done: we play one note for a really long time. Not very exciting, is it?  However, the long tone is like gold, it is extremely precious and everyone wants what it can produce: to be rich. You will gain a rich full tone through practicing long tones. This is what we do:

  1. Set your metronome to ♩=60
  2. Choose a low note (such as a low f)
  3. Take a deep breath and play as long as you can
  4. Play f (forte- meaning loudly)
  5. Repeat 2-3 times
  6. Do the same for low E, Eb, and D (we will add other notes as we learn them)

Here is an example of a long tone. The note is a low F on the alto saxophone.

Get the Right Tone

I would like to sum everything up into three points. If you apply these points your tone will improve, no matter how you sound today.

  1. Be consistent in your practice
  2. Have a correct embouchure
  3. Play long tones daily