Six exercises to help ‘iron out’ air flow, quality of sound and stamina. They’ve been extremely valuable to me for about fifteen years. See below.

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These were written when it seemed I couldn’t hold a note straight, especially from one note to another. The process of moving seemed to jolt things badly, and I thought that ironing out the air flow when making moves would be the way forward. The aim was an absolutely straight note, both before the slur and on the second note. No jolt, just clean and straight. These have helped many times, and are also great for getting the chops back after a break.

Really ‘feel’ the intervals and the space between them, be part of the movement and the gap. Crucial to keep everything as straight as possible. Flat chin is good too, and corners down. It’s nailing on, as well as ironing. Solidity through free air flow.

Treat these carefully. Personally, I often take breaks, 1-2-minute pauses once or even twice during these exercises. They’re not there to force strength and stamina into your face, this must be done gradually and according to one’s own current situation, whether building from a break from playing, or topping up the strength; ironing.


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