O.J.'s Trumpet Page Articles and reviews

Extended long tones - Walter White

Front cover of CD

The idea of playing long tones is not new among brass players. Cat Anderson, lead trumpeter with Duke Ellington, has an exercise in his
(now out of print) Method  - a 20 min. G. He claimed that this exercise was "the secret to playing high notes". Cat instruct the user of his method to play a second line G "like a whisper" for 20 minutes. Many players have used this idea and classical trumpeter Craig Morris says in an article called One Long G :

I have a number of exercises that I like to use to develop strength, and I will address each of them in future articles. For now, though, I will discuss an exercise I got from John Hagstrom during my time in Chicago. This exercise originated, as he told it, from the great jazz trombonist, Tommy Dorsey. The exercise is very simple in content: play a G in the staff, very softly, for as long as you can.

A problem with this exercise is obvious: It can be very boring. Trumpet player Walter White has tried to do something with that by producing play-along tracks. He says the following (on the CD cover):

The idea of playing long-tones is certainly not new, and there are as many ways to practice as there are musicians. This recording is offered as a tool to help long-tone practice become more interesting and enjoyable.

The CD contains the following tracks:

1. Tonal centers B-flat and F (20 min.)
2. Tonal centers A and E (20 min.)
3. Tonal centers C and G (20 min.)
4. Tonal centers B-flat and F (10 min.)

On how and why he uses these exercises, White says:

Initially, I started playing extended long-tones as a way to maintain a high level of endurance and stamina during days off on the road. After experiencing other benefits, I started incorporating at least one twenty-minute set into my daily schedule on or off the road. It gives my embouchure an extremely consistent feel and adds body to my sound. When practiced on a soft low note, it balances out the "higher, louder, faster" playing often encountered in the music industry and is a gentle way to take the embouchure back to "ground zero," stay supple and flexible, and ease back into playing after time off.

Recommended !


Publisher: CD Baby
Release Date: 1995
Trumpet: Walter White

o.j. 2005