Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 3

Resolve and Realism

Well, I never made it back to the practice room yesterday. How much should I fret about this? It's hard to say. Examining why I never went back to the practice room may be a better use of our time.

I ended yesterday's journal entry with this:

...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... As long as I'm challenged every time I practice I'll feel alright about my progress.

There are a couple of problems with this statement. The first falls in the italicized statement above. Hoping to have a second practice session is not the same as resolving to have another practice session. I also hoped that someone would hand me a fat sack of fifty dollar bills and a fully stocked retirement portfolio. My grandmother understands this concept. In her wise words:

You can hope in one hand and shit in the other and see which one gets full first.

Well, my hands are full of something and it ain't hope, people. If I had resolved to practice again, my day would have been very different. I would have made different choices about how I spent my time. I would have set a time in the evening to be alone somewhere with my instrument and I would have adhered to that.

The next sentence has a problem, too. Read in a wimpy voice "As long as I feel challenged every time I practice, I'll feel alright about my progress." Dear Readers, that is permission to be LAME. I don't want to "feel alright about my progress." I want to win auditions. I want to give stellar performances that make people laugh and cry and give me money. Feeling "alright" about my progress isn't going to get me there, but feeling like the best bassoonist in the world because I've done everything in my power to be that, just may get me there.

Session 1

I have a busy day, but I'm resolved to practicing more than once. What I play this session will be similar to yesterday's session, only better. I've eaten a light, healthy breakfast and am moving forward with a great attitude and resolve.

I have some errands to do after this session is finished, but plan to be back in the chair by 2:30.

The Session

My chops didn't get tired until the end of my scales in thirds. I tweaked my reed a little and it feels pretty good. Has a brassy tone that I don't like, but that may mellow with time. I didn't notice any fatigue in my right arm, but did notice some tension when I began my reading session. I made it through seven studies, one of which was remarkably like a Milde study. I'm not too proud of my reading on that one - I'd like to come back to it and really learn it sometime. Its was #21.

Focus was much much better. Didn't lose attention until after about an hour when chops got tired. It was a good practice session. A couple more hours of that each day and I may just be alright.

Goals for next session:

I didn't pack up my bassoon - a sign of my resolve.

I need to do some technical work on my scales in thirds in certain keys. Not surprisingly, it's the highest range of the instrument that needs the most work. That kind of work is best done with a fresh mind and embouchure. I'm going to work on a piece of music this afternoon. In the next few hours I'll be thinking about my plans and what pieces it would make sense to spend time on.

Because of my day job (which technically happens at night, but is none-the-less a necessity at this point in my life) I'll probably only get one more hour of practice in today. I'd better make it a good one!

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