Morning reading: Alcantara, Indirect Procedures Chapter 18 – Stage Fright
Warmup/Improv/Technique – Going in, my intention was to work on endurance, as well as double kicks (two 16ths in a row) at faster tempos, on BD; I also wanted to work on playing in triple meter, leading with my left hand, feeling alignment between left hand and right foot playing together, dynamic control of all limbs. I ended up playing for about 45-minutes straight, working through all the above mentioned technical aspects through improvising melodically, but also sightreading through a few triple meter Les Parks rudimental snare solos over BD on 1 and 3, and HH on 2, and playing with phrases/dynamics over a changing tempo shuffle. I am sure more went on in that 45-minutes, but overall, I feel like I touched on everything I went in to work on, and was able to do so with a more musical approach.
The reminder from Alcantara’s book chapter about integrating technical and musical practices has really shifted my mindset in practice. I notice that since I have been thinking more about musicality during ‘technical’ practice, my hands are warmed up MUCH faster, and I am able to notice tension creeping in and can adjust myself quickly, rather than existing in a state of thinking about avoiding tension… which really only left me in a constant state of tension. I have always viewed my technical practice as a meditation, almost letting my hands move while my mind drifted into nothingness. I don’t think that is inherently a bad thing, and I do feel like what I have been doing these past few days/weeks is meditative in another sense. It is more productive and mentally/musically engaging, and is keeping me inside what I am doing rather than outside. (There is a chance that I have not actually understood the purpose or practice of meditation, but that is for another time and place.) I do believe there is still room (or need?) for me to do technique in the meditative way that I used to, but this more musical approach to technique MUST be present as well.
I did not get back to practice today… a bit tired, and felt such immense productivity in my morning session that I feel okay not doing more and letting my brain rest.