Great players never fail to impress by their finesse in the softest dynamics! Perhaps better known for their power surges, bolts of pizazz and shear volume, great players also can be relied upon to execute very delicate entrances and exits, the polished skill that marks them the cream of the crop.
One expects the fireworks and the overwhelming beauty of sound, but one usually forgets that every bit as necessary is the ability to drop a note skillfully into its place at the right time, at the right volume and in any register. Oh that agile, poised air column under the artist's perfect control, always on call and ready to serve the meticulous demands of the music!
Every great orchestra employs these athletes. For the best soloists, this subtle control is a given. But how easily is this art avoided and neglected in daily practice! For some reason this work is not fun, seems boring and unimportant. It is like the surgeon who loves heart surgery, but hates to practice perfect incisions. Once on the job however, this accuracy becomes the bread and butter of daily existence for both the surgeon and the musician.
How about the practicing of quiet, clean entrances of all kinds in all registers with the goal of 100% dependability? Be a perfect-note machine as well as the expressive artist. Use not only the broad stroke of the brush but also the fine tip for beautiful details!