Playing quietly is a challenge for me as well, as in order to do so I tend to constrict my embouchure and weaken my breath support. This leads to a weak tone and a tendency to quiver. I'm working to do the opposite: keep my embouchure relaxed but my breath support solid and the air moving.
I recall the conversation between Coltrane and Davis was regarding having a difficult time ending a solo.Yes. Blow less air into the horn. Coltrane once stated he had a hard time stopping playing. Miles Davis said "take the f-ing horn out of your mouth".
I think we all struggle with that to some degree. The answer, as usual, is practice.
Yes, that's it. I was just supplying some brute force reasoning. I'm thinking the OP has not been playing long. Pure speculation but maybe trying to blow through leaks?I recall the conversation between Coltrane and Davis was regarding having a difficult time ending a solo.
So true. Just to prove something to myself, I once played a two hour rehearsal with my classical quartet on my Lamberson J8 (.120). Yes, I got by with it, but at such a cost. I was spent. It was so much more demanding than just BLOWING as I would in my big band. In contrast, I also played a big band gig on a Morgan 6C - my sound did not get buried as some might anticipate, but I was very aware of the increased resistance.In my experience soft playing is easier using a classical mouthpiece rather than a wide open jazz mouthpiece with a baffle. It also is easier to play softly on a reed that is not quite as hard.
Not sure I follow your point of view.What's the point? Just trying to do it to see if you can? The saxophone was invented to be a military marching band instrument to bolster the woodwinds but with the projection of a brass instrument. You don't have to blast out at fff all the time but its essentially a loud horn.
In your long tone exercises, varying your volume slowly from soft to loud and back will build your embouchure for control at both ends of the volume range.
This exercise has always been one of my favourites (though I don't think all of my students would agree!), I usually go up for 10 seconds, down for 10 seconds. When doing this with students, I'll put a metronome on 60 so 1 beat = 1 second, when doing it on my own, I don't need it anymore. I believe this idea originally comes from the Rascher Top Tones book, which also had an exercise in which you hold separate notes solidly, going up and down the dynamics. I think there was even a video floating around of Rascher teaching this one. Ideally your embouchure should stay put and not move too much, though it will not be like this at first.I think we all struggle with that to some degree. The answer, as usual, is practice.
One exercise that I like is to hold a tone for three measures at 60 bpm, starting off ppp, building to fff in the middle measure, then dropping back down to ppp.
True. I'd go as far to say that if you do choose to use a wider tip opening, then use a softer tip on it. The inability to play softly MAY also be an indication of a leak.In my experience soft playing is easier using a classical mouthpiece rather than a wide open jazz mouthpiece with a baffle. It also is easier to play softly on a reed that is not quite as hard.
Check how much MPC you have in your mouth - it shouldn't be too far in. Try playing with less MPC and see what that does.