brain coordination

RIP TIDE (2-mallet marimba)

Technique – continue building tempo, while improvising more complex chromatic patterns of 3 in LH and 2 in RH, sometimes keeping one hand static while the other moves, sometimes, both moving… Basically, I am trying to get my brain to work with different patterns at same time of different sides of body similar to developing drumset coordination, only much smaller targets!!

Music – read through layout 1-2 (pages 1-5) at 1/4 note = 70bpm and layout 3 at 1/4 note = 60bpm (this is definitely the most difficult section of the pieces

SURFACE DRIFTS (4-mallet marimba)

Technique – more of same

Music – layout 1 and 3 – reading through and beginning to determine stickings on page 1; layout 2 – just reading for now (one hand at a time);

NOTE TO SELF – layout 2 is most difficult reading and technique; I plan to lear layout 1 and 3 first (stickings, tempo, endurance, etc.), while continuing to read through layout 2 to familiarize myself with the notes and to determine the exact technical challenges…. must develop technique exercises to address these challenges in the near future.

looking for patterns

Took a few days off to let skin on middle fingers heal.

RIP TIDE (2-mallet marimba)

Technique – more of same with technique

Reading – sight-reading; read through layout 1-2 (pages 1-5) at 1/4 note = 60bpm; reading intervals is getting easier, starting to identify patterns in hands separately, and noticing where I should focus my reading on RH or LH while letting the other simply play the pattern

SURFACE DRIFTS (4-mallet marimba)

Technique – working on interval changes, strengthening outside mallet in LH especially

don’t forget to sight-read!!!

RIP TIDE (2-mallet marimba)

Technique – building strength and tempo to play moving, chromatic unison rhythms at 1/4 note = 200bpm (today developing exercises to move forward at about 1/4 note = 130/140bpm)

Reading – read through layout 1-2 (pages 1-5); sight-reading GH Greene rags

SURFACE DRIFTS (4-mallet marimba)

Technique – working on strength (rebuilding calluses on middle fingers), as just really getting back into practicing 3-4 hours a day

4-mallet sight-reading – Bach chorales

No work on actual music for Surface Drifts… skin on middle fingers is tender!


figuring out the page layout

Before I began today, I determined how I could best layout the pages on the music stands to avoid needing to turn pages at key moments – for practice purposes, and perhaps performance if the piece is not completely memorized. This was actually pretty easy for both of these movements. Five layouts (of 2-3 pages each) for Rip Tide and three (of 3-4 pages each) for Surface Drift.

RIP TIDE (2-mallet marimba)

Read through all pages slowly – hands together

It always seems difficult to start reading… need to get used to these intervals; can/should not read through this piece as linear patterns in RH vs LH

Tempo goal is 1/4 note = 200bpm – right now reading at 1/4 note = 75bpm

SURFACE DRIFTS (4-mallet marimba)

Read through layout 1 again at 1/4 note = 50bpm (performance tempo is 1/4 note = 100bpm)

Need to start determine stickings

starting from scratch

RIP TIDE (2-mallet marimba)

Read through layout 1-2 (layout 1 = pages 1-3/layout 2 = pages 4-5)

NOTE TO SELF: need to READ every day to get used to interval content and look for potential patterns)

Basic exercises useful to develop this piece – 3-note/2-note patterns as RH/LH and LH/RH to develop eye and mental coordination; GH Green 16ths ex 1/4 note = 120. And, double bass drum technique!!

SURFACE DRIFTS (4-mallet marimba)

Read through layout 1 (layout 1 = pages 1-3)

Start determining stickings

Basic exercises useful to develop this piece – scales with 1212 and 3434 sticking; endurance with various roll types – ripple 1243; DV; SA in both hands, but not in unison; 1234

sabbatical projects!!

So, I’m on sabbatical this semester and really excited that I am getting to dig into several musical endeavors… most significantly, a major recording project and performance tour (tentatively titled manipulations of nature). A month out of the Fall semester, I have finally gotten in to a pretty good practice routine and started thinking that maybe some of my students (…yes, I am still thinking about you) would be interested in having a glimpse into what my music learning process looks like in real-time.

As most of you know, I am totally interested in and committed to the process of learning = the process of life = the process of making art, and the art of critical self-assessment and giving feedback to others. We have all talked about this in some iteration, and I have often given samples of how I organize my time in the practice room, how I set goals for myself (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly), how I track my progress, how I deal with the highs and lows of practicing, among other things. I have always kept a practice journal, and have dozens of notebooks and calendars with my notes dating all the way back to 1998 when I started my undergraduate degree at Capital University, and I have again found myself doing this as I work on learning music for this particular project. It works for me. It has unfailingly gotten me where I need to be for almost 20 years. In any case, my process might not be the thing for you. But there may be something useful (and possibly humorous… because, yes, even I curse at myself in the practice room on rare occasions) for you to take away from it.

So, what I will be doing here for a while is using this space as my practice (b)log. At some point, I will be including sound samples of the music I am working on and asking for your feedback on what you hear. All is fair game… As you know, I ask you to stand up and play music that is only partially prepared in front of me and others and to accept critical feedback on a weekly basis. I want you to test your boundaries and push yourself to provide me critical feedback as I wade through this process.