Hi to all my Indaba friends and family! Finally getting back
to you all (or ya’ll since I’m a native Texan). Once again let me say how happy I am to be a part of the
Indaba community and to be sharing our creative projects and efforts together.
One of the things that I have found to be such an important
part of technique and composing music is dynamics. Dynamics are a major part of
music that are neglected by students (which we always are regardless of our
degree of expertise and experience).
There are two things I have always found to be true which my
first and most important teacher told me. The first is to always try to be
around at least one person who is either a better musician than you or at least
as good. The second is to remember you can always learn something from
everyone, regardless of how well or poorly you think they play. Through the
years I have found this to be consistently true.
Somebody will say or play something that you think he or she
really should not be able to say or do according to the level of player you
think he or she is. Wow! I have learned a lot of licks, etcetera, that way.
Getting back to dynamics… Dynamics are the volume and
articulation and energy used to play a note or notes. What it actually means is
Control of energy is absolutely necessary to a great
technique. Here are some ways to practice dynamics:
· Take a scale, let’s say a C major scale, and
play the first two notes: C and D. Then add a note each time you play it: C,D,E
- then C,D,E,F – then C,D,E,F,G – and so on until you complete the scale.
Change the volume of each note each time you play it.
· Play the entire scale many times gradually
lowering the volume every time you play it, making sure you keep the same
· Change the volume of one note in the scale
without stopping. Example 1: C,D,E,F,G(forte),A,B,C. Example 2: C,D,E (forte), F,G
· Skip intervals and select notes to change the
volume on, creating your own melody with the scale. Example:
· Increase or decrease the tempo and, using two
octaves create your own melodies. Example: E,B,G,F(forte),F(piano),E,A,
· Listen and experiment with different tones you
can create with a pick or your fingers.
· Be sure the same clarity and articulation is
within your control, regardless of the tempo or volume.
I’ll be looking for some feedback or ideas from you. Talk to