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I march bari at my high school. I have been told many times that I play too heavy and slow down. My instructors tell me to play lighter. Does anyone have any advice on how to do so? I march a ybs-62 if that helps
 

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I'm assuming they are talking about articulation, i.e. tonguing notes with a lighter touch? If so, my instructor gave me a good exercise to develop the ability to tongue lightly and quickly.

Pick any note in the middle range of the horn and take a deep breath, then sustain the note for a couple seconds and then tongue two eighth notes, repeat, then sustain the last note. Should sound like this:

Tah______Tah-Tah______Tah-Tah__________

Once you can do a group of two notes cleanly, then progress to three:

Tah______Tah-Tah-Tah________Tah-Tah-Tah______________

Once you've got that under control try four, then five, then six.

You'll find that this exercise forces you to tongue the notes with a light touch, otherwise you stop the reed and get a squeak. I end my practice sessions with this exercise for a couple minutes each day and it's really helped me get control of my articulation.
 

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To play lighter you have to THINK lighter.
Don't stomp on the notes but rather tiptoe over them. Or think of each one as a bubble and you have to articulate it without it bursting.
This is possible to do from p-fff.
 

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Tah______Tah-Tah______Tah-Tah__________
Dee______ Dee-dee______ Dee-dee______. Focuses the air into the tip opening where it needs to go. More sound for less breath, and clearer too.

Joe Allard says the sides of the tongue are on the upper teeth. Same thing.
 

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Also, perhaps most importantly, start listening to some players with a "lighter" sound. Most of the exponents of the "cool jazz" school would qualify. On bari, check out Gerry Mulligan, on tenor Stan Getz and Zoot Sims, on alto Paul Desmond. Also, be sure to check out the father of "cool jazz", Lester Young.
 
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