One of the biggest challenges to a new musician is learning to play with dynamics. The definition of dynamics is: variation and gradation in the volume of musical sound. Dynamics plays a very important role in the presentation of music to it’s listener.
I am sure that you have all attended a show, in which the music takes you on a journey though peaks and valleys. Each note and progression building and falling while delivering soul, raw emotion and spirit like no other. This is one of my favorite things about music. When music is played with this type of passion, it moves the listener, hooks them in and takes them to a new level, leaving them wanting more. To have this passion, you have to play with dynamics.
It is so very important for new musicians to be aware of dynamics. Now as a new musician it is almost impossible to concentrate on playing the right notes, while being excited/nervous and also trying to play with dynamics. Now, no one said that learning to play music would be easy and it will take time for you to develop these skills and that is why practice is so important.
Take an afternoon and sit down and listen to some of your favorite artists. Listen and compare how they use dynamics to present their music to the listener. See how the dynamics of a song really play a pivotal role in the feeling and mood of the song? A really good example of this is Pearl Jam’s “Ten” album.
Here is an exercise that you can try: Practice songs that you like to play and record yourself playing them. You don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money on a recording device for this exercise and the quality doesn’t have to be great. An old video camera or recorder of some sort would suffice. The idea of this exercise, is that it allows you listen to yourself and analyze & adjust your performance to help you master this skill.
Mastering the skill of dynamics will not only do wonders for your live performances, but will also really help you grow as a song writer. It will help you build a story not only though lyrics but though your music; leading your listener on that journey and growing your fan-base every step of the way.