Longtones are a tone that is played for a very long time, and is a very important skill to practice on the saxophone. Practicing longtones allows us to focus on our air, our embouchure, and how our body interacts with the horn. In this lesson you will get to review the importance of longtones and some tricks and techniques for practicing them.
With your horn in your mouth, try to play one note for as long as you can. When you can’t go any longer, take a quick pause to take a breath, then play the same note again.
The goal is to try to play the note with a very stable sound, without any waves or warbles in the sound. If you hear waves (instead of a solid, steady note), try fixing your embouchure (make sure your teeth are anchored and the horn is locked in your mouth) and the position and stability of your saxophone.
To make your longtone last longer, try softening (lowering) the volume of your sound.
Be sure to take nice deep breaths and keep practicing until you start to feel your lungs burning! This will strengthen your lungs and with time and practice will help you develop the ability to play for longer.