Friday, October 21, 2011

Candidate A, Candidate B..and my Time Travel Mind-Reading Machine

Now approaches the season when high school players contact me about trombone lessons. Usually at the top of their agenda is the upcoming all-state audition.
Often the audition solo starts out with a soft passage..that's the case this year.
Imagine two people auditioning against each other.

Candidate A - plays a good soft dynamic but doesn't get a good sound
Candidate B - gets a good sound but doesn't play soft enough.

Yes, I know you all want to be Candidate C who plays both with a good soft dynamic AND with good sound. Suppose you can't quite do that...yet.

You have two approaches.
Always sound good and player softer and softer
Always play soft and sound gooder and gooder
(ok, grammer purists..."better and better"...whatever)

So, that student is in the lesson with me and I have to give advice. I can either say:
"No matter what, get a good sound even if you have to play a little too loud."
"No matter what, follow those dynamics even if your sound is a little weak."

What's the right advice?

Well, I only need to hop into my new-fangled contraption the...
(early prototype shown below...patent pending)

I simply jump into the machine, travel forward in time and read the judge's mind as to which is the higher priority. Then I zip back and let the student know which way to go.


Until the final product is available, I recommend that you spend more time learning to play soft with a good sound. I've heard it's possible....theoretically.