Projecting

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herrerabone
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Projecting

Post by herrerabone » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:52 pm

I mainly play combo jazz, and the majority of players I listen to are close-to-the-mic improvisers. My sound concept has been along the lines of Watrous, Fedchock, etc. so I haven't spent much time working on the "big, fat, lead sound." I've found myself needing to fill the lead trombone chair in a few big bands, and I just can't seem to play loudly to match the band. Any tips on projecting in general? Can someone explain what physically changes when going from playing softly to loudly?
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Neo Bri
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Re: Projecting

Post by Neo Bri » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:59 pm

I guess the first thing is to start to play louder - over the long-term. It sounds like you need practice simply doing it. After a while, it should get better - just keep stepping it up.

I'm one of those people that feels like I should be able to do ANYTHING that someone puts in front of me (doesn't mean I actually can, but I try). This sounds like a good opportunity for you to work on a current limitation you have.

Best of luck!
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Matt K
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Re: Projecting

Post by Matt K » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:04 pm

I think the biggest mistake one can make in this regard is playing out of tune, but with more brightness. If you don't have a solid core to the sound, it won't project no matter how bright it is. At least that is my experience. Hard to explain over text too. Basically when I practice lead stuff, I'll use a drone (as I do with much of my other practice) and focus on making sure that I'm perfectly in tune with whatever it is I'm playing, though perhaps more loudly than I'm accustomed to in other styles.

This applies particularly to color tones. I'd start by making sure my roots, 3rds, and 5ths are in tune with the drone first and then move onto things like dominant 7ths, 9ths, and 13ths. That won't take you 100% to where you want to go. Probably. But it'll get you a lot closer. Playing in tune and loudly is a large part of the battle. You'll probably tend to want to make it go sharp.
afugate
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Re: Projecting

Post by afugate » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:26 am

I agree with the others above. :good:

Years ago on the old forum someone posted a link to Al Kay's PDF about how to play loudly. I found it helpful, so I'm reposting here.

http://alkay.ca/documents/clinic_sheets ... loud_e.pdf
baileyman
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Re: Projecting

Post by baileyman » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:17 am

herrerabone wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:52 pm
I mainly play combo jazz, and the majority of players I listen to are close-to-the-mic improvisers. My sound concept has been along the lines of Watrous, Fedchock, etc. so I haven't spent much time working on the "big, fat, lead sound." I've found myself needing to fill the lead trombone chair in a few big bands, and I just can't seem to play loudly to match the band. Any tips on projecting in general? Can someone explain what physically changes when going from playing softly to loudly?
That's interesting. Watrous can in fact play quite loud. There's an old Kai Winding album "Dirty Dog" where on at least one solo he rings the bell convincingly hard. The section was Kai, Urbie, Carl and Bill, and he did not underplay their volume.

Fedchock just may not be the best model for "projection". Any number of the LA studio guys play great mic and lead and would make good models.
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Neo Bri
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Re: Projecting

Post by Neo Bri » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:35 am

afugate wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:26 am
I agree with the others above. :good:

Years ago on the old forum someone posted a link to Al Kay's PDF about how to play loudly. I found it helpful, so I'm reposting here.

http://alkay.ca/documents/clinic_sheets ... loud_e.pdf
Awesome! Thanks for this. I've downloaded.
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Neo Bri
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Re: Projecting

Post by Neo Bri » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:37 am

baileyman wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:17 am
herrerabone wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:52 pm
I mainly play combo jazz, and the majority of players I listen to are close-to-the-mic improvisers. My sound concept has been along the lines of Watrous, Fedchock, etc. so I haven't spent much time working on the "big, fat, lead sound." I've found myself needing to fill the lead trombone chair in a few big bands, and I just can't seem to play loudly to match the band. Any tips on projecting in general? Can someone explain what physically changes when going from playing softly to loudly?
That's interesting. Watrous can in fact play quite loud. There's an old Kai Winding album "Dirty Dog" where on at least one solo he rings the bell convincingly hard. The section was Kai, Urbie, Carl and Bill, and he did not underplay their volume.

Fedchock just may not be the best model for "projection". Any number of the LA studio guys play great mic and lead and would make good models.
I sat next to Fedchock on some occasions, and though he's totally amazing as a player (and he is), I did wish he would play up with some more volume when he was playing lead. He never really stepped on the gas - he just did the Fedchock thing on lead, more or less. This is taking nothing away from him, just my takeaway.
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Davidus1
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Re: Projecting

Post by Davidus1 » Tue May 08, 2018 2:20 pm

I agree with practicing playing loud. I'm playing mostly bone now but was in the Army as a tuba player for many years and wherever I was stationed I would study with the local symphony tuba player. (Pokorny when he was in St. Louis, Paul Kryzwicki, Philadelphia and others) They always had me out of my comfort zone with using more and more air and getting a bigger and bigger sound. What I found was that if I would stick with it that it then became more natural. I would get comments from others that my sound was really improving and this helped me to understand that I was on the right track. Its frustrating at first though because playing Bordogni exercises and running out of breath far too early can be frustrating. It is also placing demands on the body. I would get a little light headed at first but all this improved. The result was a bigger and better sound. Don't get discouraged and stick with it. Just make sure you are relaxed and not forcing the sound and overblowing. Best wishes!
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VJOFan
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Re: Projecting

Post by VJOFan » Wed May 09, 2018 9:05 am

herrerabone wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:52 pm
Can someone explain what physically changes when going from playing softly to loudly?
This just occurred to me while sitting here at the computer.

Louder is also called increased volume. As most players eventually find out the volume in question is volume of air.

I sat here and thought about how to test that.

I started to make rhythmic /p/ sounds. I tried to make them louder and softer but keep the pace the same.

Guess what? I used more air to make the /p/ sound louder. If the /p/ was fast I also had to firm up a bit in the corners to keep the sound clean.

It can't be a completely analogous motion (/p/ vs. playing trombone) but it does prove, to me, that amount of air used is the primary thing that changes to increase a dynamic.
afugate
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Re: Projecting

Post by afugate » Thu May 10, 2018 5:38 am

Projection is more than just playing louder.

It's about getting the horn to work with you and producing overtones that will strengthen your sound. I've been around players who project even at soft volumes. Their sound still carries to the back of the room.

--Andy in OKC
lobonemike
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Re: Projecting

Post by lobonemike » Thu May 10, 2018 8:22 am

I would suggest listening to a lot of great lead players to add another idea to your sound concept. I think it is handy to be flexible with your sound ranging from Watrous to say Bergeron. As for physical changes, loud playing requires a faster volume of air going through the horn. Just blow and keep your face ever so slightly firm. Good luck!
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VJOFan
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Re: Projecting

Post by VJOFan » Thu May 10, 2018 8:58 am

herrerabone wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:52 pm
Any tips on projecting in general?
In my own playing journey I didn't really start to "project" well until I stopped trying to play loud. Projection was fixed by really listening for my sound in the hall and thinking about putting it to different places.

The sound opens up when you let it go instead of pushing it out.

To summarize this and my previous post, you won't get much sound unless a lot of air is moving but once the air is there relax and let the sound go.
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