To create sound movement must occur. With this movement comes the opportunity for either efficient or inefficient motions, and accurate or inaccurate execution, and all causes can be found in two places: the mind and the body. Closing the gap between what’s in the mind and its manifestation through the body is key to creating more fluid and immediate responses in our playing.
1) What Do We Use?- whatever instrument we play, there are specific body parts that we use in specific ways. Knowing exactly what those parts are, how they interact with others, how they move and how their movements affect the sound is key to being comfortable with playing anything.
2) When Do We Use?- what are the circumstances that call for a specific movement? Maybe it’s a subito piano, or a faster tempo. Explore those scenarios and figure out what is being used at those times. The more scenarios you study, the more knowledge you’ll have about what you do, good or bad, and if it can be “better” or if it’s fine.
3) Why Do We Use?- why in those situations do we use what we use? Are there other options or is this the only way it will work?
4) How Do We Use?- is there ease or difficulty in the execution? If difficulty, is this caused by lack of experience, lack of physical facility, tension, etc.
What are we developing the physical technique to do? What effects are we trying to create?
1) Timbre- what general sound are we going for? Even if the required sound is darker or brighter, the core of the sound should be stable and match the beauty of your normal sound. What in the body facilitates that (a bright, dark and general sound)?
2) Dynamics- can we maintain the quality of sound while playing different dynamics? The common tendency is for the sound to get brighter as the dynamic increases and darker as it decreases. How do we make the character of sound consistent, and what does the body have to do in order to accomplish that?
3) Tempo- can we maintain the quality of sound while playing at different tempi? What does it feel like to play fast, slow and everything in between, within the confines of a bright, dark, general, etc. sound?
How do we develop the technique? Exercises that specifically target each part of the body that we will eventually use in a performance, in various situations including dynamics, tempos, timbre, lengths of notes, etc. Explore and experience.
1) Long Tones
3) Dynamic Contrast
4) Subito Dynamics
6) Rhythmic Integrity