Several days visiting my father in Charleston, SC has allowed me the time to explore the edges of my technique. Relishing the open schedule, and sunny warmth of South Carolina, I had a great practice session yesterday. I always begin with slow scales.
Slow scales (quarter notes @ 60 or slower) allow one to connect all ranges of the instrument with full, legato air, smooth fingers moving "on the air", and to standardize voicing through out the ranges. I start with mezzo-forte to warm up, and then mix in some forte and pianissimo. I often add some extremely legato tonguing, to test tongue position and tonguing "on the air".
After moving through half the circle of keys, I switched to broken scales, in sixteenths, and also sextuplets. Broken scales are a great way to focus finger motions and fine tune concentration. Playing broken scales (both in groups of 4 and 3) without music is excellent for finger/mind concentration.
I then moved to measured trill exercises with a metronome, at least one for each finger motion. Starting slowly, half notes, and moving through all rhythms, to 32nd notes, making sure to keep the pulse clear without tensing the hand or the body. Measured trill exercises are one of the best ways to develop finger discipline, and also to develop subtle awareness of high speed finger rhythm and pulse. Staying aware of the beginning of each group of 32nd can be tricky at high speeds. Try not to accent to hear the note better. Play at a softer dynamic and "tune" your ear into the rhythm and notes to keep track of the number of motions. I also switch beginning notes to the top one (instead of the bottom one) to emphasize the other note pulse.
During all this, I work (but you don't have to) on circular breathing, quality of breathing, voicing, embouchure, extreme high range. The main goal is pure legato and even-ness of tone throughout the range.