soft playing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by wrigrn, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. TrumpetTheKid

    TrumpetTheKid Pianissimo User

    May 1, 2011
    Sacramento Area
    Just want to chime in with my experience with soft playing, a couple weeks ago I posted a thread about an embouchure/endurance issue I had, (I won't waste time explaining it hear, you can just search my post on my profile if your interested) and after starting to practice playing softly (as opposed to my previous idea of practicing as loud as I could to build endurance then play the proper dynamics only in rehearsals and concerts) all of my embouchure and endurance problems disappeared and my playing became much more consistent and in addition my tone started to become more strong and mature sounding (also another thread I started a few weeks ago) and my extreme upper and lower registers became better sounding, although I didn't actually gain range. Basically, by practicing playing softly I managed to resolve all the issues I had been facing and overcome a huge playing plateau I had been stuck on. So long story short, I'm a strong advocate of practicing softly.
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    It actually gives me some peace to know that I'm not the only one who goes through a similar thing. I think right now my biggest failing as a player is a lack of variety in what I play. For the most part, I have 1 gig that I prepare for and do maintenance for my playing, and it's the same gig I've had for the last 10 years - rolling out horn lines in a rock and roll wedding dance band. I know that this is taking the thread off track a little bit, but it illustrates the idea of focused practice toward a gig oriented goal.

    On the occasions where I do get hired to do a brass ensemble church gig, I have to do a fairly large shift in my process of how I'm practicing, which brings us back to soft playing, and adding it back in to the practice session so that I can be functional in that kind of setting - the high volume, bright, cutting playing I normally do just won't work in every environment.

    What I really miss is the overall ability and consistency I had when I was gigging in multiple genres (big band, quintet, concert band, ceremonial band) all the time because it left the various aspects of my playing more or less at their peak all of the time with only minor switches in practice and mindset in order to prepare for one of them, unlike what I go through now where I feel like it takes me a week or sometimes more to get things back together when I have to gig in a legit setting as opposed to shooting out blaring horn lines. :D
  3. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    Thank you Patrick (trickg) and Robin (rowuk) for your candid answers to your routines vs. actual gigs - and seems to summarize my quote.

    Getting better (at whatever you need--- tonguing, range, endurance, musicality) -- requires concentrated effort on differing skill sets, and different practice regimens ----
    AND NOT everyday is a perfect one for the trumpet player.

    and like Trumpetthekid says --- practicing softly can aid in some self-diagnosis of the actual problems we encounter in our playing.

    AWESOME -- play and be happy
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011

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