Friday, July 9, 2010

Supplement for Week 2 of FBSMC 2

What about Loud Playing?

Perhaps in your practicing this week some of you are asking, "Can loud playing build embouchure and air efficiency?" I would have to answer yes to that. Loud playing can build muscle strength and grip in the embouchure. But too much of it can cause the tone to lose certain properties like high overtone ring, sweetness and responsiveness.

If loud playing can be integrated in a balanced way into a person's practice diet, it can be very helpful in building endurance, size and depth of tone and projection to name a few things. Plus we learn something about our lung capacity and the limitations of our range in this louder dynamic. It might stretch us into finding other ways of manipulating our embouchure. This is fine as long as we don't lose the basic overall structural integrity of the embouchure.

Adding more powerful volume levels is good. It can be great to practice them outside if we can. This is where the importance of concept comes in because our bodies, no matter how strong we can get them, have limited fuel and energy levels. But, the power of the mind, once realized, can have unlimited resources and be a very important facilitator in our quest for more power, and more importantly timbre and sonic expansion which is hopefully musically connected at its base.

Certain kinds of practicing are like strong potent vitamins. A little at a time, with care, is the way to go. Listen to what your body is telling you ! When in doubt, STOP. Then start again refreshed !

1 comment:

Norman Bolter said...

Allen left a comment which I wanted published but did not happen or show up in the comment section. So here it is:
Really great stuff, Norman! Thanks for giving so much of yourself!

I want to say thank you Allen for saying that. I try to give the knowledge that has come to me through my own personal needs and discovery. Also much of it comes from working with people for over 42 years now. That is why I wanted to teach really. It was because I thought music and learning how to play was so great I had to tell others about it and experiment with them. I would have people over to the house for hours and hours at a time. It was great and they seemed interested. I would get so excited when they got the hang of something, I still do!

I hope you are well and I really appreciate your support Allen. I'm sure you still have that beautiful rich tone! All the best to you!