Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tone Grafting

Here's a practice trick that might be helpful.  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in playing a phrase that we lose sight of maintaining a good TONE on every note throughout the phrase.

Sometimes, it helps to extract a few notes from the phrase and play them independently, just focusing on tone.

Here's an example from the opening of the Hindemith Sonata...

You know you want your best tone on that third measure but how many of you slow it down to focus just on tone quality?  Like this...

Work on this fermata example, get your best tone and than GRAFT that tone back into the phrase! (Like a skin graft).

What's the danger here?  Simple: unmusical playing, robotic playing etcetera. As always, we have to strike that balance.

Recently I have used this "tone grafting" idea in lessons with good effect.  It's nice to have that recent memory of good tone as you proceed through the phrase.