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Author Topic: Exercise to spice up long tones and scales.......  (Read 1287 times)

Offline Jbroad572

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Exercise to spice up long tones and scales.......
« on: July 10, 2006, 02:20:01 AM »
Don't know if anyone else hates long tones, but I do...
Well, here is a suggestion I found on SOTW by Al Stevens....
You guys might want to use it as well....
The two most boring parts of a practice regimen to me are long tones and scales. I know I have to practice them, but after a couple of minutes, I get terminally bored and just start playing tunes.

So, I went in search of a way to combine what I like to do with what I need to do. This is what I came up with. Surely this is not a new idea.

Long Tones

   1. Play against a ballad backing track.
   2. Throughout the tune, play long tones that fit the current chord. Any tone will do as long as it fits the chord.
   3. If you want to extend the tone beyond the duration of a chord, pick a tone that fits a chord progression. For example, for Dm7-G9-C6, play an A.
   4. But, for the most part, choose the root or third of the current chord and hold it for the duration.


   1. Pick a faster tune for this, although, it helps to do it with ballads, too.
   2. Look at the current chord progression and choose the major scale that fits the tonal center. For example, when you see Dm7-G7-C, choose the C Major scale.
   3. Play the chosen scale up and down in time for the duration of the chord change.

These exercises serve several purposes:

   1. You do your required long tone and scale practicing without going to sleep.
   2. You get your mind around the harmonic structure of all the tunes you play.
   3. You get your hands around the scales that fit various chord progressions.

I am getting positive results from this approach, mainly because I am more willing to do it than to just spend substantial time practicing the basics. I wonder whether this idea has been addressed before and whether the members think it would have value for other students. I have the advantage that, being a piano player, I already know chord theory, and I know many tunes. I don't know how well this approach would work for others, however.



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Re: Exercise to spice up long tones and scales.......
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2006, 05:58:54 PM »
I might try this out.... Thanks ;)

Offline Cherri

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Re: Exercise to spice up long tones and scales.......
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2006, 10:28:29 AM »
Interesting... I'll pass this on to my daughter.
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