Sunday, January 3, 2010

Getting Honest

Thinking about live recording possibilities the past two days. If I do a live recording Dandelion Wish needs to be included and there is a section that I continue to play poorly. I had mapped out a three hour period this morning to practice and bring some order to my studio during breaks. After warming up and playing through three pieces I played Dandelion Wish and knew it was time to get to work on this part.

The area of concern involved working on my right hand artificial harmonic technique. I began working at 76 bpm  but knew I can not play it at this tempo and got honest and backed off 4 bpm. The slower I played  there more chatter in my  mind or was it that I was able to notice the chatter easier. I continued to slow down 4 bpm at a time looking for the tempo where I could play these 8 measures.

At 64 bpm I played it well once so I took a break. Did an AT lie down and visualized myself playing this part as I sang the part in my head. I returned to the guitar to find that at this tempo my performance of this part was still unreliable. As I turned down to 60 bpm I knew I was headed for 56 but attempted working this at 60 for a few minutes. My mind was quieting down and I was accepting that there was work that needed doing and now was the time. I have known for some time that when I can breath naturally through a part I can play the part well. I was noticing how I was catching my breath often throughout the process of finding the proper practice tempo.

I said that I knew I was headed for 56 and I did arrive there. I have learned more at this metronome setting about myself and my playing. One day I may just dial down to there first and get to work on whatever problem I am experiencing. At this tempo I saw the confusion in my right hand in the transtions between moving back from the artificial harmonic playing postion to my fingerpicking postion in transitioning from the end of the pattern to the beginning of the repeat. I created an exericse to work with this and had a very fruitful practice session .  I would never have honestly seen this confusion without slowing down the tempo. Now to establish the possible and move gradually to the impossible.

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