Brandon Dicks


Centering Study No. 1.jpg
Centering Study No. 2.jpg

Centering Studies

The Centering Studies simply are long tone exercises the work on air flow and positioning notes. The goal of the exercise is creating an easy start and ending on that same note with a better sound. 1a creates a home base for the player. As the exercise develops, the farther the player ventures off from home base. Players should strive to move effectively to farther away pitches, but always return to home base as firmly as they established it. Once the players finished a full exercises, the home base changes. There are three major levels: Centered on G, C, and E.

This is a great way to start your daily routine. The design of the exercise helps establish quick response and see how effectively you are playing on that given day. For younger students, you can use it as a way to develop high range in a healthy manner. The exercises guides students to the high range in step-wise motion from the given home base. This helps students establish correct habits, then test new possible notes.


Slur Studies

The Slur Studies follow a similar structure to the Centering Studies. The three major levels return: Centered on G, C, and E. This means that the slur exercises start on that centered note and end on the centered note, so the philosophy carries over, You want to create an easy start and end the last note with a better sound. This time, everything is a lip slur. This can add extra challenge, especially for younger players.

Slur studies are great for improving flexibility. However, it is hard to play certain notes correctly if you don’t know where they are on the horn. To effectively find the note, the exercises are divided into two different versions; Fully slurred, and divided by tongue. The Fully Slurred exercises develop the flexible movement between pitches. However, it is not effective in keeping efficient habits when kids are just trying to “hit the note”. Using light articulates can help position the note in the correct spot without using extreme manipulation. The back of the tongue becomes engages when you articulate and slots the pitch in to the correct position without blowing out the chops. This developed the idea of the divided by tongue technique.

You can use both versions to compliment each other. One good practice approach could be:
(Check Example #1)

  1. Play the divided by tongue version
    (C Slur Study #7)
    Focus on the articulated notes, if the slurs didn’t come out, that’s alright.

  2. Perform the full slurred version
    (C Slur Study #6)
    Remember what the articulate pitches sounded like and try to replicate it.

  3. Perform the divided by tongue version again
    (C Slur Study #7)
    This time, focus on both slurs and articulated notes.

Slur Study No. 1.jpg

Example #1

Slur Study No. 2.jpg