Did my best today.
30 Minutes long tones
20 Minutes flute
20 Minutes scales
1 Hour tunes/improv
I started early in the morning with long tones on sax. Moving slowly in half steps, I focused on purely my sound descending to the bottom of my range. I used a trick I learned months ago, envisioning a tennis ball slowly expanding in my throat to get a more "open" sound. When I started to ascend to the top, I used a tuner and expanded my focus to include tuning. At times, I would intentionally lip up by about 10 cents to train my ear to notice small changes.
Next, I busted out the flute. Long tones as usual. I set my standards a bit higher than usual today. I really made sure to start with my absolute best sound. Sometimes I am forgiving as I get to the lower range, since it is harder, but I forced myself to maintain the quality of my tone as best as I could.
Previously, I was more concerned with whipping my muscles into shape on flute, but now I feel that I can really aim for sound now that I have a decent amount of control.
After that, I did some scale work on diminished scales. Instead of playing in thirds, I chose to play in diatonic 4ths, which at times are major thirds, and at times are perfect fourths. It's a fantastic exercise for several reasons. One, it increases my mental and physical understanding on the scales. Two, it has a very cool sound that could at times function as a lick. Three, it is a way to practice maintaining all elements of technique over larger intervals.
I used a metronome at about 40 BPM and played 8th notes. It's very slow, but it's what I needed to play with good time and technique for the first trial of this exercise. I played it ascending and descending across the full range of the horn.
After that, I improvised over some tunes. I used "Cheesecake" by Dexter Gordon and "Boplicity" by Gill Evans.
"Cheesecake" is in an easy key with relatively simple changes. Mostly ii-V's. It was perfect for experimenting with the simplified licks I've been writing. I tried to have a focus from chorus to chorus; for instance one time I played exclusively in 5. Another time I played exclusively chord tones.
Boplicity was a little more interesting, with some #11 chords and fewer ii-V's. But it was fun because it forced me to be more creative. I bounced back and forth between simple bebop-type ideas when applicable, and playing more "expressively" on stagnant changes. I experimented a lot rhythmically as well. Overall, I'm trying to find different ways to produce interesting ideas aside from simply pitches.
Was a solid workout overall, but not as long as I would have liked. Had some personal issues to resolve that ate up time. It's okay because it cleared up stress that would have bothered me the rest of the week.