What's the secret..........??

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by bumper-euph, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. bumper-euph

    bumper-euph Member

    I try to play Euph , but I am having problems playing really quiet , and , in an effort to get the M.D. off my back , is there a way I need to practice to play quietly without losing the notes or tone..:confused:..........I can stay indoors and get nagged , but I quite enjoy playing. :D.
  2. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    As with most technical questions, there are many ways of looking at this - and there are just as many causes/solutions.

    One of the most common misconceptions with quiet playing is that it somehow requires less air - this can affect intonation and stability of production/tone at either end of the register. Of course we have to play more gently, but I would suggest thinking in terms of the same volume of air, travelling in a wider, steadier flow (think of a river widening as it gets nearer the sea).

    I would suggest practicing on long notes (hold for 8 beats at 60bpm, followed by 4 beats rest) in the middle register (probably a middle G would be most comfortable) starting at a comfortable mf and gradually reducing the dynamic on each repetition. Remember that dynamics are gradings; pp is NOT twice as quiet as p, for instance - keep the air flowing, and don't starve the sound. Repeat each note mf, mp, p, pp, ppp...

    I'd suggest the same procedure for each note of the scale going up from your chosen starting note - it's harder to play quietly as we get higher. Keep the air moving so as to support the sound, and so to avoid relying too much on embouchure tension (which can literally throttle the air flow when we need it most).

    Once you've got as far through the scale as you can, rest for a few minutes - then go back to your starting note, and try playing the same as, mf dim. , mp dim. etc. - hopefully this will now be easier.

    Worth working down the scale as well... this all takes time, but hopefully will pay off. The next time you practice, try a completely different scale (starting a semitone above or below your original tonic, for instance).

    I hope this helps. No secrets revealed, I hope - but hopefully this will help you to unlock a few for yourself.

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