What's your best advice for a horn quartet that wants to develop a group sound as opposed to sounding like four individuals playing together? We are an adult horn quartet who play together about twice a month, for fun, but now want to "sound more" like a quartet. Any guidance would be appreciated.
Michelle Reed Baker's Answer
I have been blessed to play in a section for 20 years now that all plays Conn 8D's and all have similar sound concepts - so I really had to think about your question!
I consulted with a colleague who gave me some suggestions!
The best advice I can give you is to spend lots of time (at least half an hour of each rehearsal) playing chorales ONLY at about mezzo-piano.
Just listen for sound - that's it!
After several rehearsals, you all should be able to come up with a general sound concept that you can agree on. THEN add the dynamics back in - keeping the sound concept in mind.
Once the sound concept is established, it is a good idea to always keep an ear to the left.... Listen left (the 4th horn listens to the 3rd who listens to the 2nd who listens to the 1st). In other words, think about what YOU are playing less and LISTEN MORE!!
I hope that is all helpful to you - and good luck!