Friday, July 9, 2010

... but perfection isn't my goal.

Well, if perfection isn't my goal, what is?

For a while, in my practice, I'm going to focus on quantity of certain things and quality of others. I am striving for perfection in my scales and in the pieces I'm working on that I hope to perform. With my etudes I'm not going to sweat perfection so much. My goal with them is to increase the speed and accuracy with which I read. I hope to learn to recognize more patterns in the music I play and get more comfortable with keys and accidentals.

Sessions 25-32

Okay, I've been delinquent in writing about my practice, but I haven't been delinquent about practicing. I've been practicing every day for over a month. That's a milestone! At this point I feel no resistance to practicing - as if my habit is now TO practice as opposed to NOT practicing. I've found places I can practice when it's not appropriate to practice at my place. My friend with a house to himself and the night janitors at the school are getting used to me.

Today I'll be working on #5 of the Gambaro book. That means I've been doing a little better on average than my estimate of two days per study.

The new scale pattern I'm learning for the Van Hoesen scales is coming along nicely. I'm about to the point where I can play the notes in my sleep - I'm working hard on intonation of those notes and the connections between them. Unfortunately, I'm having a very very hard time with leaps to high Eb and E. Nothing new for me. Maybe I should change my reeds.

I need to figure out a strategy for my next step with Van Hoesen scales. Here's the issue: the work I need to do becomes exponentially harder for here on out. Whereas I've been playing one pattern in every key every day, my next step involves learning a chord progression of five chords in each key - 5 times as much work. The step after that involves seven chords in each key. Then I need smush it all together. The point is this: OMG!!!1! I'm going to need 12 hours a day just to get through my scales!

So these two guys are at a bar...

Guy #1: I'll bet you your IRA that I can eat that bicycle sitting over there.

Guy #2: That sounds like a great bet. Even if you do eat that bike, I just started my IRA. There's only $20 in there. It's worth twenty bucks just to watch you try. Snicker snicker.

Guy #1: Okay! whispers You'll be sorryyyyyyyyyy...

Guy #1 proceeds to a machine shop and has the bike ground into a fine powder. He then proceeds to his local apothecary and has them put the powder into millions of little capsules.

Guy #1 takes two of the capsules with each meal. 50 years later he takes the last capsule, and lives for free for the rest of his life off of the retirement account of Guy #2, who happened to be a savvy investor.

Moral of this story: I'm full of it. Dude would have died of iron poisoning after a week...

Real moral: Break your practice into digestible chunks and you can do just about anything.

Today I'll start working on those chords.

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