Klarinet Archive - Posting 000225.txt from 2002/06
Subj: RE: [kl] Re: Caruso Long Tones
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2002 10:46:18 -0400
Thank you David and James for your insight.
I might also point out, that I do practice scales and the like after doing
the long tone exercise.
The 20 minutes is not actual playing time, but taking into account resting
your mouth when you get tired in between.
I feel it has helped in the week I have been doing it, but then again, I see
your point also. It is boring and does nothing for finger technique.
I think what my teacher was trying to get me to see and hear is that the
tone production, support and embouchure must all work properly together.
I am using a mirror and see what she is alluding to.
For instance, I find that when I am holding a long tone, that my support
tends to be inconsistent and I can see this in the tuner as the note will go
back and forth a little. So this becomes an exercise for support as well as
embouchure. I don't think one would be as quick to see this problem if they
were playing a scale. I do believe that anyone hearing them could probably
Also, the way that I practice the long tone exercise is to first form my
embouchure on the mouthpiece. Then play a low e and apply the register key.
While looking in the mirror, your embouchure should not move or change the
entire note. When your breath runs out, without moving a single muscle or
relaxing the embouchure on the mouthpiece, you breath deeply through your
nose and then go up to the next note, and so on. The idea is to go from the
low e to the thumb f and then back down.
The next application of this is the scales. Playing them slowly while
looking in the mirror to make sure there is no movement in the embouchure,
especially the chin coming up.
When I started, I could only do 2 notes without the chin creeping up and my
embouchure changing position. After one week, I can do 4 notes.
There is another exercise that I taught myself many years ago that I think
also helps when practicing intervals and the sound between them. I
definitely agree that the sound between the intervals is very important.
I would play a scale slowly (like a G scale), while watching in a mirror,
and pull each finger off the tone hole very slowly. The effect is what you
would get trying to do a glissando, but one note at a time. I found that
when you can push through the in between sound with full support, the
evenness of the scale played normally improved a great deal.
This is another thing I will be working on. I also feel that practicing long
tones is a temporary exercise until I can do the scales without embouchure
movement. The goal in my mind is to get away from the long tones, but apply
this to intervals in scales and such.
James wrote: << I agree with you David. When I begin with a student (high
and junior college where I teach), I have them play the Klose excercises
beginning with the thirds (number 7 on page11) playing them with a full
checking their embouchure in a mirror as their warm-up. When they can do
those all the way through with a good sound. correct embouchure, and proper
breathing, we progress through to the octaves. Once they have gotten to the
octaves, they use this as their permanent daily warm-up and play this before
they ever begin practicing. When they play this, they work on proper
embouchure, proper breathing, tone matching, and tuning. It has helped
tones and embouchures tremendously.