How do you work on your sound quality?
I seem to get that question quite a bit. I'm not sure there's a magic drink or a special cereal you can take to make it happen but the simple concept of putting in the time. If I had to write some bullet points, I still think it's not 100% set in stone. These are some of the things that I think about but it doesn't stop there. I've heard things from strengthening the sound on a pillow to using bigger sticks. I wouldn't rule it out since everybody's hands are different but here are some things that helped me build my sound quality.
1. Balance from right to left hand.
2. Fast velocity.
Balance from right to left hand.
I know this sounds super obvious but you would be surprised how many people play a simple sixteenth note check pattern and you hear that train coming. Ha!
When this happens, this is when we're just unaware of what we're doing. We have every intention of getting better but we just don't know better because we don't see or hear it. We might not have a teacher or you have never recorded yourself playing and listened critically. Here's an easy fix, practice in front of a mirror and watch yourself play.
If you look good, chances are you sound good. Most of the time, anyways... :-)
You need to be a ninja when you play! Play a whole note at 60 beat per minute. How fast does your stick move? Is it loud? Relaxed? Harsh? Tense? Quick? Slow? These are some questions to keep in mind. Always stay relaxed but make sure your stick moves at the blink of an eye.
Start at the upstroke position and play a note. There should be a down stroke and the rebound bumps it back up to the starting position in a blink of an eye.