Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Maneuverability in pp is the goal. It is vital for the music and the health of the embouchure. Our lips get tired, or "tard" as some of our Cincinnati colleagues used to complain. What's a brass player to do after an orchestral pummeling? The macho in us says, "tough it out, man! Meet fahr with fahr, (fire)!" The truth is that wise, soft, practice of basics for sensitivity is the best way to recover and to prepare for the next blastathon. Regular low decibel practice will help guarantee confidence and security in performance.
Explore the soft range. Learn to control both screaming loud and super soft. Just because the part indicates quiet dynamics doesn't mean you play with no tone or style. PP does not mean pitifully puny! It stands for Powerfully Persuasive!
Note: As the finalists for his job were awaiting the verdict from the BSO trumpet audition committee, the great Roger Voisin himself strode confidently into the locker room. "Hi, boys, he said. Just wanted to see who was going to get my locker key." He then opened his locker, pulled out a muted C trumpet and played for us a very tasty, spiffy-clean Bozza-like soft and agile fanfare. He grinned, hung up his horn and left. He could have won his own job back! Soft was VERY COOL and the lesson was very persuasively imparted!