Expanding Dynamics

adjective: dynamic
1. (of a process or system) characterized by constant change, activity, or progress.
2. (of a person) positive in attitude and full of energy and new ideas.
3. relating to the volume of sound produced by an instrument, voice, or recording.

The best musicians play different sections of songs at different volume levels, and they also work to shape individual sections to grow or drop in volume note by note. I think the best way we can groove is working through different times of highs and lows, shaping what we do to grow through fluctuating processes.

This is the type of playing that is the most interesting – for you as well as those who listen to you. Playing more or less at one volume all the time might sound flat and uninteresting. I think moving through constant activity and progress will bring new energy, while resisting change will end up feeling lifeless.

How loudly, or quietly, you play has different effects on listeners, like how boldly or timidly you do something has different effects on those around you. There are intentions behind hits that determine what they sound like, like intentions behind actions that determine what they feel like.

Before you can have such a wide dynamic palette in your playing, you have to have the technique to easily change your volume level while playing. And to become a dynamic person, you also have become flexible and be able to change your attitude.

Using dynamics is one way to be more expressive when you play, and controlling these levels of volume is the first step in effectively using dynamics to be a more expressive musician. Once you control these dynamic levels, you experiment with combining changes in your volume with changes in your tone, in how you attack notes, in how you sustain notes, and in every other subtle change to your sound you can come up with.

I see being dynamic as a drive to keep grooving and the tool in how we experiment expressing ourselves, in how we attack the giants that come, in how we sustain our disposition, and in every other subtle change we make.

How to expand your dynamics. http://www.moltomusic.com/music-practice-tips/how-to-expand-your-dynamics/
cover photo by joanna kosinka

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