Are you a musician? Your New Year's resolution might include practice disciplines, range goals, technique goals, career goals, etc. Resolution planning can be tricky; too easy and you feel like you cheated, too lofty and half-way through the year you feel like a failure. If only there was one thing that you could resolve to do that would keep you busy the whole year while improving everything. And there is!
This year, resolve to make every sound you create intentional. The beginning step of this resolution is finding your tone concept. You need to know what you want to sound like before you can do anything on your instrument. If you can’t close your eyes and hear the exact sound you want, the best way to inspire your tone concept is to listen to great musicians. Local live performances and Denis Wick Radio on the Denis Wick App are a great place to start.
“If it sounds right, then it looks right, and if it looks right, then it sounds right.” - Denis Wick on healthy embouchure
How do you bring intention to your sound?
Your embouchure is like a 200lb St. Bernard chasing a squirrel. The squirrel is your sound, and your embouchure and muscles can’t help but adapt to the sound you hear. Lead with your ear. Every sound you make from the first to the last note of your day, make it intentional. Know what you want to hear before you play each note. If what you hear matches your leading tone concept, you relax and your tuning, technique, range, etc. are made easier and effortless. If you do not hear what you want, your embouchure will automatically adjust to align with what you want to hear which leads to inefficient playing, injuries, issues with range, technique, sound, response, etc.
“Music is the boss, technique is the servant.” - Denis Wick
This is not to dissuade you from working diligently at all the skills you want to improve, but without letting your sound lead these endeavors, letting the music lead, you will never fully arrive at the completion of your goal. If you are not using enough air, your if your posture is bad, your sound will tell you. Finding your next mouthpiece, more than anything else, your sound will lead you to it. Everything you need to know and improve about your playing is evident in the quality of your sound, so be intentional about what you want to hear, and you will be surprised how far you can transform to perform in 2022!
Follow #transform2performtips for more great performance tips throughout 2022.