That statement sounds radical in that we think that people will just go out and do anything if God offers them true forgiveness for their sins. What will actually constrain them from going out and purposefully sinning? If someone actually loves God, is saved, then they will want what God wants. They will not do this perfectly, but it will be authentic goodness and not just try harder goodness.
How can this apply to brass playing?
Well, from what I have observed in myself, my students, and in my fellow professionals is that the most common way for brass players to slow their progress toward sounding better is to force their instrument to sound the way they want it to sound. I know that sounds like it goes against the things I was taught in lessons all my life. I come from a very sound oriented tradition of teaching. The thought process is that you chase the sound and everything else will fall in line including your equipment choices and your technical abilities.
I do not disagree with that teaching! What I’m saying is that if you force that sound to happen, you will not actually be following that great brass teaching tradition. You will be trying to improve on the wrong steam. You will be operating on will power and force. And how long do you think you can power through before you slow in progress or get hurt? Honestly, for some almost a whole career of forcing, but it does catch up.
The alternative is to just play radical freedom of sound. This will be embarrassing, so don’t try it for the first time at your next performance. Listen, don’t even try to sound good at first so that you can get the feeling of playing free. Once you are free, and probably be sounding questionable.
Now, you are ready to begin. You will notice things in your playing that are not as you would like them. Perhaps you articulations are now too pointed. Well image beautiful articulations – extremely beautiful. The body will give you what you want with enough “agains” to do its work. Your job is to think of the sounds you do want that counteract what you are hearing that you don’t like. Your job is in the power of imagination not in the control of the body.
One note on sound, brass player often think they are sounding bad when they are playing with power. Record yourself. Get with a teacher to get advice on what aspects actually need changing - you might be surprised.
So what we really need is permission to stink, so that we will play free, so that we will be able to really learn.
If you use this new found freedom to sound bad and brutalize the music, don't use my name. Ok?!
All the Best,