This week, I wanted to share one of my most-used practice techniques – using your air!
Granted, this isn’t some big secret (after all, we do play a woodWIND instrument!). However, I’ve found that oftentimes when we’re working on a passage, we’re so focused on the technique/rhythm/articulation/other that we neglect to use our best air.
The quick fix?
When in doubt, play it out! Simply put, play louder. By playing at a louder dynamic, this increases both your air quantity and speed, resulting in better air usage. Using good air can solve (or at least improve) a multitude of issues in the practice room.
This is especially useful when practicing passages at softer dynamics. To make sure that air isn’t contributing factor to any issues you experience in these softer passages, play the section at a forte volume. Did this resolve or improve the issue? If so, make sure you focus on using “good air” at the indicated volume.
Happy weekend, and happy practicing!