How to play descendos

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Lauren
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How to play descendos

Post by Lauren » Fri May 25, 2007 6:31 pm

they're so difficult....what's the secret to playing them right???? because i can't play them like at all
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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper » Fri May 25, 2007 7:04 pm

Decrescendo means decrease the volume
crescendo means increase the volume

In extremely simple terms, louder requires more air while softer requires less. If you can play loud and then play soft, that's the basic idea of a decresendo - just let the sound begin to taper off rather than making a sudden change.
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Lauren
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Post by Lauren » Fri May 25, 2007 7:07 pm

uhm i know what the hell descendos are i just wanted to know if there was some type of special technique to them
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Post by pied_piper » Fri May 25, 2007 7:47 pm

Well, one way to think of it is to imagine the sound of a bell (think of a big bell like in a church tower). When a bell is initially struck, it starts loud and then gets softer. If you keep that in mind, it might help you to imagine what it should sound like. Decrescendos can be quick and dramatic like a bell, or they may be slower and very gradual.

One way to practice it is to play 4 beats FF, then 4 beats PP. Do this several times. Then play 2 beats FF, 2 beats F, 2 beats MF, 2 beats MP, 2 beats P, and finally 2 beats PP. Follow that with 1 beat at each volume level. If you can do that, all you need to do is make the transition between each volume level gradual rather than in steps and you've got a true decresendo.
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MonikaFL
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Post by MonikaFL » Sat May 26, 2007 8:54 am

I'd like to add -- practice these with a tuner. The tendency is for the pitch to go flat as you get softer... so watch the tuner as you decrescendo and try to counteract that tendency with extra support and gradually aiming the airstream a bit higher.
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Post by flutepicc06 » Sat May 26, 2007 5:36 pm

Lauren wrote:uhm i know what the hell descendos are i just wanted to know if there was some type of special technique to them
Treating someone poorly who is attempting to help you is not likely to get you far either here or in life.

Anyway, are you able to play at different dynamic levels, or are you having trouble with that as well? Decrescendos will come after being able to manipulate dynamics stepwise, so in that respect, PiedPiper gave some excellent advice. I also agree wholeheartedly that you need to practice these in front of a tuner to avoid losing pitch as you get softer. In answer to your question, there's no secret technique, but it will require serious practice. Try playing chromatic longtones slurring between each set of two consecutive notes (i.e. Bb-B, B-C, C-C#, etc.), as you go up, try to get gradually softer, and as you go down, try to crescendo into the second note. Be sure not to lose pitch or tone as you do this, though.

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flipib05
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Post by flipib05 » Sat May 26, 2007 6:15 pm

flutepicc06 wrote:
Lauren wrote:uhm i know what the hell descendos are i just wanted to know if there was some type of special technique to them
Treating someone poorly who is attempting to help you is not likely to get you far either here or in life.

Anyway, are you able to play at different dynamic levels, or are you having trouble with that as well? Decrescendos will come after being able to manipulate dynamics stepwise, so in that respect, PiedPiper gave some excellent advice. I also agree wholeheartedly that you need to practice these in front of a tuner to avoid losing pitch as you get softer. In answer to your question, there's no secret technique, but it will require serious practice. Try playing chromatic longtones slurring between each set of two consecutive notes (i.e. Bb-B, B-C, C-C#, etc.), as you go up, try to get gradually softer, and as you go down, try to crescendo into the second note. Be sure not to lose pitch or tone as you do this, though.

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flipib05
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Post by flipib05 » Sat May 26, 2007 6:16 pm

oops

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Sat May 26, 2007 6:19 pm

flipib05 wrote:oops
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