I use long tones to help establish the exact center of pitch and tone for each note I will play. I am a slide-mover, so I also use this time to double check my slide placements for notes that require a slide push/pull. This is also a great chance for me to transfer the method of changing notes during my buzzing to on the horn.
My daily long tone exercise covers every note from Pedal C to High C. I break this exercise into a descending portion and an ascending portion, both starting on C in the staff.
Exercise 6 – Repeat down the octave
My long tones begin with Exercise 6. I use this to find the correct air speed for each pitch. In measures 3 and 4, keep the air stream the EXACT same for the quarter notes, just add the tongue. Strive for the quarter notes to sound like “short” whole notes. Each note should be full duration with a defined front edge. Also repeat this exercise down the octave.
The MP3 track will give you a two bar count off.
Exercise 7 is meant to take me into the upper register. As we ascend, we have a tendency to not speed up the air or close down the aperture slightly for every note. For a quick refresher, head back to the buzzing video where I discuss this concept. Be sure to repeat this exercise up to octave as well.
Modified Low Register Remington
This exercise starts on C in the staff, as it allows me to have a model as I transition into the lower register. Most tuba players focus on “opening up” or “dropping the jaw” as they descend into the lower and pedal register. The ending arpeggio serves as a check that we are not becoming to wide or diffuse in the lower register. If we are to wide, it will be difficult to ascend without a major shift back to our “normal” embouchure. Attempting to minimize any over-adjustments (in either direction) will allow us to play throughout the full range of the horn with a consistent sound and timbre.