Essential Secrets 87: Exaggerate Your Intentions
Exaggerate Your Intentions
Making Obvious Changes to Your Sound
Imagine yourself on stage, moving toward the most exciting part of the whole concert. You’re getting louder and louder until your song erupts at the peak moment of your performance. Does the audience notice? They might hear nothing more than a slight change in volume from medium to medium loud.
The audience is not aware of your intentions. They are hearing this music for the first time, even if you’ve experienced it five-hundred times. In order for listeners to notice your expressiveness, your intentions must be clear, obvious, and over the top. This is true whether you’re changing your volume, tempo, or tone.
Unless you make a distinct change to your sound, your audience won’t hear the difference. The most effective musicians are ones who take their audiences on an expressive, sonic journey throughout the performance. It’s your job to lead this journey.
To quickly master this skill, use these practice techniques:
· Play a one-octave major scale, starting as quietly as you can play and ending as loudly as you can play. Each note should be a different volume. Then reverse the exercise, going from loud to quiet.
· To practice tempo variations, overdo it to the point of absurdity, making the changes so large that they’re comical. Then, adjust the tempo variations back to where you want them.
· Play the notes in every exercise, scale, and arpeggio four ways: short, long, separated, and connected. Then, try these four styles with a song you’re working on.
Make your musical intentions plainly obvious by exaggerating all of the changes to your sound. Develop a wide dynamic palette, the ability to suspend time, and the physical technique to shape each note just the way you want it. Don’t be subtle.
And, you should always be able to give just a little bit more, or, as they say in Spinal Tap, go to eleven.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET