Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Evenness & Passion

Listening, listening, more listening all the time. Currently insects singing outside over the dehumidified drone in the basement. Tonight I began transcribing the lesson I had with Tony Geballe last week addressing my right hand in Dancin' Free. As always Tony had good insight into my playing and gave me an approach for the piece and that will improve my right hand in general. Found a comfortable place to work with these exercises on the metronome and enjoyed the practice.

I have always enjoyed working on exercises, looking at technique, the subtle use of my hands. At one point I was told I was spending too much of my practice time on exercises and needed to spend more time with music. A balanced approach to my instrument. These days the emphasis is more on music, but when the music needs assistance out come the exercises. And as I said tonight I really enjoyed them. I am aiming for an evenness of sound and rhythm as I play these arpeggios in triplets at the beginning of this piece. To not rush the rests nor cut the note values of any of the notes.

Recently I have been at three outstanding musical performances. The first was Todd Rundgren performing the entire album of his epic work A Wizard, A True Star. Last Thursday I heard the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra perform Bela Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra and then this past Sunday The Fry Street Quartet performed Bartok's First String Quartet. All of these performances were powerful and the music played with great passion and I was transported. My wish is that I may reliably play with power and passion. With an evenness in my approach coupled with my passion for music and the discipline to work and develop my skills - all is possible.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Juggling Priorities

Could be subtitled - A Day in the Life.

Up at 4:30 today, rested and ready. After grooming and sitting out the door at 6:15.

Good to be at work early as I am behind from my recent illness. Listened to Dancin' Free on the way to work and sang along with the notes. I really have this piece in my ear now, but the opening arpeggios are not in my hand. Went to play "air fingerstyle" with the right hand at a stoplight and realized I need to sit with this and write out the fingering. While Tony was here he helped me map out a systematic approach to mastering these arpeggios. An added benefit to have an engineer/producer who is also an accomplished guitarist.

After 9 plus hours at work home for dinner and delightful conversation with my wife. Spent 40 minutes with my guitar working on the revisions of a piece. Played this for Joann and received her feedback. Off for a 45 minute walk and played with this piece in my head. Back home to work on the menus for the upcoming Guitar Craft course in Seattle this month. Now back for another look at the new piece before retiring.

No matter how busy I am I find that hour to work with the guitar, sometimes more.

After listening to a rough take of this piece I heard where editing is in order for one section and an idea to experiment with in another section. Now I have the bridge to my practice tomorrow.

What have you done today to further that which you love?

Photo by: Sandra Prow

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Write Your Goals

First day at full strength since the flu invaded me. I wrote out my monthly goals and with a bit of terror began addressing the musical ones. Great progress made on one piece. Was able to address my errands and had a nice walk in the sun and one by moonlight. Never underestimate the power of writing down your goals. Many thanks to Tom Redmond for always telling my to write it down.