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Does anyone find that they are playing in situations where the main dynamic level is ff or fff most of the time? I'm playing in a big band were the brass never come down from that loud dynamic level, even with background lines. Last night I played in a combo situation, same thing, it was mostly jazz and standards but the volume! Loud electric keyboard, bass and drums. You tell people to come down but then they are right back up. Is this the reason saxophone players seem to be on a a quest for larger and larger mouthpieces? I'm losing my hearing, I think it's a sign of the times. Over stimulation or something.
 

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Too many bands play way too loud. I have played in many situations where "practice" volume is all that's needed, and required (dinner music, background music, community pit bands), but have also played on the other extreme where p=powerful, and f=forcefull (I can't print what fff means!).

Playing in bands where dynamics is non-exsistent, (or nearly so), isn't near as fun as in bands that actually know dynamics! My best solos have been when dynamics were added (given the freedom of doing so by playing with a band that also knows dynamics!).
 

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Yes its the new norm of too many people. Just like thumping sounds are the new idea of what bass supposed to sound like. The obvious problem with playing loud is that it is not dynamic...it is just loud. Dynamics are contingent upon a range. If you already are playing loud how can you accent something by increasing volume? Obviously you cant.

I think its too many people playing with too little understanding of music.

I think this is a growing problem with gear as well. So much of it is centered around being loud vs big. Missing core and tonal substance.
 

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With all the noise pollution being produced today you have to play loud to be noticed or heard.

B
 

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This is the trend, no doubt about it. Even Symphony Orchestras are having similar problems. It's grown from rock and gradually 'infected' every type of music.
 

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Outdoor festival sound is one of my pet peeves and the reason why I rarely go out to attend these types of events. You go to one of these to hear a jazz combo and it sounds like a damn techno club.

If I play with a loud band, or jam, and the musicians are unwilling to do anything about it, or unable to do so for whatever reason, I just refuse to play with them again. My hearing is way more valuable that anything. And ear plugs, even custom ones, don't allow you to play with the same kind of nuances. In ear monitors would be great, but most of the time if you play with a band that's too loud for the venue, you can be sure it will be tough to get a comfortable signal in your monitors.

With all the noise pollution being produced today you have to play loud to be noticed or heard.
Quite the contrary actually. If you play more quiet overall with a wide dynamic range, people will pay more attention because you will grab it from them.
 

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yes - most is just too load.

i think a lot of the reason is that clubs have everyone shouting to be heard and the band trying to be louder. so it just spirals higher. i basically dont go out anymore to clubs for that reason. everyone just playing as load as they can isnt really appealing to me.
 

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Quite the contrary actually. If you play more quiet overall with a wide dynamic range, people will pay more attention because you will grab it from them.
I couldn't agree more.:) My original comment was meant to convey sarcasm.

It has been my experience that the genuine use of dynamics will make a band stand out from the crowd.

B
 

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Remember the old TV commercial, I think it was for a perfume, a beautiful woman whispers..." If you want someone's attention whisper..." I'm pretty fortunate, the bands I currently play with play at a reasonable level. and my custom ear plugs help as well. One of the former groups, I think the bass player was deaf, I was set up near him and on one gig I could feel the vibration in the horn and certain notes wouldn't speak because of some weird harmonic thing... so glad I left that situation. I'm not great shakes as a player and never will be, but when I do play I want to have fun, and that... was not fun.
 

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I really enjoy performing with large ensembles. Still, I share some of the same sentiments as many here. The whole "volume is power" thing really turns me off. In hell, all electric guitar players will play ukulele in polar marching bands. Sort of one endless Santa Claus parade at the north pole for eternity. They will be placed directly in front of the drums and right behind the horses. I have a little Mackie monitor I use when performing with R&B bands or classic rock. If I can't hear the monitor, I don't play another gig with that band. However, I am not "hungry" for gigs as my school teaching job will pay the bills. I would far soon perform in a duo with a piano player who listens than with a big band of "great" players who all turn their amps to "11".
 

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Too many musicians think "Everyone came to hear me play". so they try to make sure everyone can hear them. :tsk:
 

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The first time I was given earplugs at the door of a concert, I said to myself something was going wrong. Was it 20 years ago ? Things have just gone worse. Total nonsense.
 

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My original comment was meant to convey sarcasm.
Ooops, sorry. :faceinpalm:

The first time I was given earplugs at the door of a concert, I said to myself something was going wrong. Was it 20 years ago ? Things have just gone worse. Total nonsense.
Well, I think for some styles of music the reasoning behind it is you need to "feel" the sound pressure. :tsk:
 
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