Sound Check

There are so many ways to Check In with our Sound.

Are you playing your warm up mindlessly or mindfully?


It is such a fertile time to plant the seeds of growth and water your sound with loving care, energized curiosity and for cultivating refinement.










Here are some suggestions to encourage this!


Preparation/Centering/Focusing

Listen & Sensing Sound, Breath, Body.Scan & connect to your amazingly wonderful Body, your instrument.

Close eyes and with gratitude feel the flowing inhalation and exhalation of your breath.

Now, lengthen and deepen it.

Now bring up your instrument and add it as an harmonious part of you.


Long Tones

1/2 step or Interval patterns. Have a practice that is consistent, one that you learn from, engaged in and care about. Do it for long enough that you become aware of how you are cultivating your sound. Then, tweak, change it as needed.


1. Listening, Sensing open resonant, round, spherical spaces inside of you and including space outside of you too. Cue this as you play.


2. Sensing how your body contributes and creates to your sound. Be physical, use energy and explore your core. Create and feel the pulse and the rhythm you are playing with your whole body.


3. Use different breathing ideas to experience the movement of your breath: the flow, speed, volume, pressure, support of your sound. Breathe in time and as part of the music you are making.


4. Let go of tension that you do not need. Especially in the areas of the shoulders, neck, face, jaw and tongue. Cue the releases: eg. Soft wide relaxed tongue… Soft melting shoulders…


5. Use Flutter Tonguing to release tongue tension and free wide windy air flow.


6. Hum a low note, to sense the open vocal folds and to create independence of air speed and support and a relaxed air way.


7. Use VOWELS to create shapes, spaces and soft connections between notes. Also an Ō Ō vowel naturally brings lips, embouchure forward for flexibility. An AH vowel is ease and naturally open. An OH vowel may give even more roundness and openings to the sound.


8. Vibrato: be aware of your “waves of emotion”, vibrato. As an artist create variations in the amplitude and speed of vibrato. The rhythm of 5’s at about 60 is a good place to start. Exaggerating vibrato waves to feel them and practicing in rhythm is also helpful for connection and freedom. Also, to play without vibrato one day a week, being aware of the pure essence of your sound.


9. Use Harmonic fingerings often as you warm up to: refine listening, connect to the root fundamental in your sound, to check on air speed & core support, to listen for color possibilities.


10. Articulations: adding single, double, triple tonguing into your long tones and also a variety of articulation styles. Also articulations with out your tongue, ha ha"s, breath kicks etc.


11. Dynamic Design: practice a variety of dynamics and expand your range of expression and volumes.


12. Using a tuner to check the consistency and beautify of your intonation. Using a drone to play intervals, harmony in tune with another sound.


~ Heartfully & Playfully, Jennifer


PDF is on the Music and Exercises Page :-)

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