Long Tones vs. Lip Slurs
We trumpet players have two types of calisthenics exercises which are quite different in nature and are used for differing purposes: long tone exercises and lip flexibility exercises. The first type is not necessarily a single long tone, but may be an interval study with several tones and is characterized by the fact that it usually does not cover a wide range and does not rapidly alternate between notes. The latter type, of course, does emphasize the rapid alternation on intervals. In addition to the common "lip slur" exercises with which we are all familiar, exercises such as Clarke's Technical Exercise No. 3 would also qualify under this category.
Daily practice on long tones can help to develop:
Unfortunately, this type of exercise can also contribute to a lack of flexibility, a
brittle tone quality, and decreased response, especially at soft dynamics.
Daily practice of lip flexibility studies can help to develop:
Because both of these two types of exercises produce dissimilar results, trumpeters should not restrict themselves to only one type of daily tone study. It is important for the trumpeter to establish a daily practice schedule which includes a "tone study" maintenance routine containing a good balance between Long Tones and Lip Slurs. A fine example of this balance can be found in How Brass Players Do It by John Ridgeon. He describes the exercises as "Building Exercises" and "Flexibility Exercises". Because both of these two types of exercises produce dissimilar results, trumpeters should not restrict themselves to only one type of daily tone study.
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