12. The most important note of a sentence

The last note of a sentence is the most important! When you are improvising, playing a just made up story, it is crucial that you end the sentences you’ve just played properly. Otherwise, all the ‘work’ you just did has been for nothing. The listener is then confused and immediately forgets how beautiful that sentence actually was. On the contrary, if you have played a poor sentence, you can often knit it nicely with an interesting closing note or line.

How can you do that? Mainly by being aware of it. Just listen back solos you played and feel the effect (positive or negative) of the end notes. Always play your final note with extra attention; be in charge of that note, whether you make it short or long, hard, soft, harmoniously exciting or not; finish it off nicely and with care. It will give you, and the listener, a good feeling.

Always play the closing notes with attention, it really ‘pays off’. Listen to your favourite wind players and listen to how they handle those last notes; goosebumps guaranteed!

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