Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Friday, Aug. 6, 2010
Today I have my first bassoon lesson with my new teacher. I haven't had a chance to record myself playing my pieces. Should I just do it this morning? Do I have time?
That's a stupid question. Better I should ask, “Does it make sense to do this when I barely have time to deal with the issues it brings up?” I think it does. I shall finish my coffee, have a shower, and get to work!
I didn't record, but I did have a very productive, one hour practice session. I got through my warm-up, the CPE Bach, and Shost 9 – best playing of Shost 9, yet! My hands and wrists are tired and I'm glad to have a break for a while, but I'm not in pain.
...oh, and my lesson was just talking. Oh well. More time to practice.
Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010
Did the key of A today. It was easy, in tune, and awesome! Knowing that I may not get a second chance to practice I went ahead and worked on Shosty and CPE Bach. All was good until the second movement of CPE Bach when I started to lose focus. Aw hell. I quit, rather than wear my hands out practicing mistakes.
Monday Aug. 9
My Van Hoesens on D sucked so bad yesterday that played them again today. I will be playing them tomorrow as well.
Tuesday, Aug. 10
Did a little work on slurring to high D today. My VH key was C, so I figured I be working a lot of the same ranges as my D. I encountered a lot of the same problems. I slowed my VH-es down so much that they became more like long tones – I think I need to do more of that kind of work.
My pitch is astronomically sharp. I tried every finished reed I had and still had the same problem. I feel like my low register is leaking and affecting response, too. I'll have some questions to ask about that in my lesson tomorrow. JH, will you try my horn and tell me it's not my fault? Please?
Whenever I re-calibrate my ear to get it used to how low 440 really is, I'm amazed at how my tone quality changes. When all is working well it becomes more full and beautiful. But now, when I get my pitch down it sounds wobbly and harsh. Dubstep bassoon. Maybe I need to change my reeds after all. Ugh.
Added a daily routine today. Milde scale and arpeggio studies that correspond with the key of my VH scales. Made sense to start today b/c I just happened to be on the key of C. Today I did the scale study at quarter = 80 and the arp study at quarter = 60. That's fair for a single day's reading. We'll see if I can get them faster when I come full circle again. By then my reading should be faster and I'll be more familiar with the etudes.
It's an interesting psychological experiment for me to be doing these now. I had done them in the past with a teacher that did not work out for me, so I have a lot of negative connotations with the book. However, though those kept me from ever revisiting them before, now I can look back on the studies and what they did for me. They helped me improve my concept of key, and helped me recognize dissonances and common figures. They vastly improved my reading skills and were a tool in the development of my flick technique. Revisiting them now throws into focus that I haven't lost, but gained ability in the nearly eight years since I last played them. Good feeling!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Today is my fourth full day of living in a new town and my second fully functional day as a self-realized musician, here. Days 1 and 2 were necessarily without practice because of the stress that packing, moving, and unpacking put on my hands and wrists. I don't yet have a hand therapist here, and I've had at least a low grade pain in my hands and wrists the whole time.
The car accident and the move had the effect of scrambling my brains to the point where I had completely lost sight of my goals for a little while. But now it's time to get back to them. Yet again, I need to re-organize and re-prioritize. My lifestyle here is simpler with fewer friends, obligations, and distractions. Perfect for getting down to work.
Now I'm going through the Van Hoesen exercises in their complete form one key at a time. In addition I'm doing some metronome work with double tonguing and long tones on the tonic of each key each time I sit down to practice. I'm keeping track of the keys I've completed on the back of the exercise sheet.
I have my first meeting with my new teacher this Friday. Not sure whether or not he's expecting a lesson, I'd better have something prepared – besides the pile of questions I have for him.
And that thing (or those things) will be Shosty 9 and CPE Bach. That's basically what I'd been working on before the accident and that's what he'd asked me to work on. Boy, there's lots of work I can do on those, too. My intonation is horrible and I just don't have the control over my reeds that I wish I had. I think it's going to continue to come down to what it always is. Long tones, Pinky.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
1. Maintain concentration for longer. Might be hard because I'm hungry, but I can't procrastinate any longer.
2. Build muscle strength - embouchure and shoulder.
3. Read 10 of the Weissenborn Advanced Studies.
4. Continue scraping on these very hard, mediocre reeds until they become AWESOME reeds.
Concentration fail. Scales in thirds... well I did it. Getting better at minor key signatures. Fluency shall be mine, mwahahaha!
Practicing while hungry really hedges the odds against you. It's a silly waste of time, so why do it? I plan to write a post about that soon. Today, I did it because I procrastinated too long and I have afternoon plans that include lunch. I'm running late for those afternoon plans, but practicing has to take priority.
I can feel embouchure strength growing. Sight reading was fine. Found that my first page of "Stole My Twinkie" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRdLTOXoCUs is gone. A shame as it's my favorite of the etudes. I didn't make it through ten of them because my embouchure was tired and I was losing concentration, but I hope to have another session later today. Another factor to take into account is that the etudes progressively get longer and more challenging. As long as I'm challenged every time I practice I'll feel alright about my progress.