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!