All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians

saxophone dynamics

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
8,733
Locality
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
I was taught that pp means as softly as you can play (with control) and ff means as loudly as you can play (with control). So what would ppppp and fffff mean? :) Just kidding Aldevis. I know exaggerated dynamic symbols are common in some music.

An exercise I used with my young band students was to watch the second hand of a clock and start softly on the 12 and crescendo to the 6 then rest and do the reverse. A variation was to start on the 12 crescendo to the 3 and decrescendo to the 6. This could be done in individual practice as well watching the needle of a tuner.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,777
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
Play loud, play quiet and join them up. The trick is to hold pitch and tone while you're doing it. To practice loud turn the backing track up and to practice quiet......you get the idea lol
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
27,133
Locality
Cheshire UK
Don't just blow either practise tonguing whilst blowing quietly :)

Jx
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,329
Locality
London
I was taught that pp means as softly as you can play (with control) and ff means as loudly as you can play (with control). So what would ppppp and fffff mean?

For some reason, Italians tend to exaggerate :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sue

Nurrdeer

Member
Messages
32
My question is how do you quantify dynamics? This is my greatest struggle so far in terms of playing. I can't chose what mezzoforte sounds like, so how can I crescendo from mezzoforte to forte and then down from forte to pianissimo? I guess the problem is in my head as I have no trouble crescendoing from pp right up to ff and then coming back down again. I should note I haven't had much formal music education - most of what I learned was from messing around with my sister and her old sax. Last week was actually my first sax lesson - I have the feeling that there's a lot to learn, and there's no other feeling like that one.
Now I'm all off topic. Any help would be appreciated!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,912
Locality
Just north of Munich
You can't really quantify dynamics. It's always in relationship to whatever else is/was playing. So guess... P, F etc. And practice going there.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
8,733
Locality
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
There has been a lot of good advice given in this thread already. In actual musical performance, the role of dynamics is to provide contrast. Often times exaggerating the written dynamic changes produces the desired musical effect. I used to tell my students that the difference between an amateur player and a professional is that the amateur "sort of" plays the style and dynamic markings in the music, but the professional "really" plays them.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Café Supporter
Messages
6,415
Locality
Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
Most people play pp - ff in a pretty narrow range which would be better described as mf to f. People also miss that pp for 50 in A large concert hall is not the as pp for 4 in a smaller room
 

Popular Discussions

London
Paris
New York
Los Angeles
Sydney
Moscow
New Delhi
Top Bottom