Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Days 21 through 24

Day 21

Practiced late. Very tired. Finished the Weissenborn!!

Day 22

Practiced late, again. My inclination is to say "Oh man! I need to stop this!" But in reality, I thoroughly enjoy practicing when I'm sleepy. I get into an incredibly focused, trance-like state. It feels soooooo goooood!

I wonder how much I really get done in these times. I practiced anything that I didn't need to read with my eyes closed. I felt much more connected with the sound and my instrument. When I did read, it was much more accurate and less distracted. I felt no inhibitions or pressures.

Maybe the more I get in that mind-state the better. Isn't that the mind-state you need to be in during performances?

The only problem I have with late practicing is when I don't also practice earlier in the day. During my late practices, I'm not very goal oriented. I tend to do what feels good. I think I make huge progress, but am not "working hard" towards specific goals.

...but maybe that's not even true. I did my scales and some new Van Hoesen exercises and I went back over some Weissenborn etudes that were in nastier keys and had high e's and eb's. That's some serious work! Maybe goal setting needs to be done consciously and real productive practice gets done on a subconscious level.

Day 23

Mandatory minimum day. I taught. I love teaching!

I also tried a newly refurbished Puchner bassoon and absolutely loved it! It was old - needed high d and high e keys - but it had a wonderfully sparkly tone, was light and flexible, and had even tone and intonation. It was also very light - maybe a good thing for my CTS. It's really got me thinking.

At the very least I need to get some work done on my Fox. I shouldn't have to struggle to keep the pitch down in the lower portion of the instrument as much as I do.

Day 24 - Today

Continuing work on Van Hoesen patterns. Going to begin reading the Gambarro book. There are 18 etudes, but they are longer and harder. I'm going to give myself two days to work on each. That means I should be done with the book by August 6th. Wish me luck!


The Van Hoesen patterns were rough. Right now I'm working on broken arpeggios, connection between intervals of 3rd, 4th, and 5th. This is great because it gets me thoroughly grounded in each key - something I'm weak at. It's very very easy to hear intonation problems with this pattern and it works larger intervals than regular scales.

Gambaro #1 was great. It's charming! Hard enough to keep me working, but not so hard as to be discouraging. It had an adagio intro - the kind with lots of different subdivisions of a slow beat. Serious counting work, a lot like Milde. Then it moved onto a technical part that challenges the breathing as much as the fingers. I think my original estimate of two days each is a good one. They won't be perfect, but perfection isn't my goal.

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