Exercise: Pitch Benders

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Blurring the lines.

As children we are told to “stay between the lines” – whether it is playing with crayons in coloring books or when instructed to follow rules and boundaries.

When it comes to music however, sometimes it is a good thing to stretch these boundaries. Practicing extreme techniques can make performing regular tasks in the real world seem a lot easier.

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One example of an extreme technique is pitch-bending. Many horn-players have problem areas in the range between middle and low C. Sticky or weak notes can be a huge stumbling block to the smooth execution of a phrase in this particular range.

One technique that I practice on a daily basis has been a great help in ironing out these wrinkles – a pitch bending exercise. In fact, I begin most days with pitch-bending long tones (Part III).

Here is a PDF copy that should be self-explanatory.

Download: Pitch Benders