I guess I am a bit of a perfectionist and get freaked out about messing things up or playing too loud.
This is something I've recently struggled with in one of my bands. I'm playing lead, and it's terrifying, and the consistent comment for the first year was that I didn't play out enough. I eventually chatted with the bandleaders about it.
"You always yell at the trombones for being too loud!" I pointed out. "I don't want to be part of the problem!"
"Not YOU," they replied. "We have never heard YOU playing too loud. If we hear you playing too loud, WE WILL LET YOU KNOW."
So I've doubled my volume this year, and to my surprise, everyone seems really happy about it.
The point of this story: if you have a history of underplaying, then don't worry about playing too loud. If you're too loud, THE DIRECTOR WILL LET YOU KNOW.
And one of those "isms" to keep in the back of your head:
If you make a mistake, make it LOUD!
A thing about trombones--Even if nobody can HEAR what you're playing, they can tell when you're screwing up based on what your slide is doing. So just play out--you're not fooling anyone anyway. And
it's easier to hit the high notes when you've got more air moving through the horn!
Just play out!Equipment-wise:
Even when I feel like I am really projecting, I can barely hear my self on any recording compared to the trumpet or sax sections.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a pretty common problem with big bands, and it's why small/bright/paint-peeling trombones are popular--you can cut through all the noise with minimal effort. I think shallower mouthpieces are supposed to help with this, too (?).
Trumpets will always win. Don't beat yourself up for losing to trumpets.
In these recordings, were you playing anywhere near a mic?Practice-wise:
Should I focus more on breathing/lung capacity? Just more practice at higher dynamics?