something happened on the way to the… funny farm??

Surface Drifts (first session)

AT floor work

Long warmup – DV, SI exercises; played through Ewazen chorale 3x, then did some lengthy (and slow moving) modal improvisations. Very early during this warmup,  I felt EVERYTHING fall into place – physically, mentally, musically, technically, spiritually, etc. The stars aligned, or something. I don’t know how else to describe it, but I wanted to hold on forever. Physically, I felt no forcing, no tension; I was just there playing my instrument. I then became very aware that I was feeling the non-tension and hearing all the notes at the same time. I am sure this is what I am looking for all the time, but I feel I shouldn’t focus too much on this.

Mm. 1-25 memory check, mm. 26-31 practice/learn notes – played through all 2x, looking at music when necessary (integrating right and left-hand grace notes separately in different passes); worked on mm. 26-31 (memorized, with hesitation) no metronome , but trying to build tempo; then worked on mm. 1-31 with metronome at 1/8 note = 80bpm – which is about the tempo I have been falling at without keeping it strict with a metronome, so the right starting place for building.

Mm. 40-end memory check – played thru 2x glancing at music when necessary (more often than I’d like)

DID NOT GET TO….Two-handed grace notes mm. 9/23/28/40


Rip Tide (second session)

AT floor work

Warmup – exercise created for this piece at 120bpm-152bpm

Read thru all (BD, cymbals included) at least at 90bpm (without metronome), some sections were much faster. Not bad for having left the piece for over a week. Again, I am surprised at returning to this after such a long break with minimal loss in comfort.

THEN…I tried to work on the whole piece (in sections) until comfortable at 120bpm (this is the tempo I ended with in the last practice session). BUT, I apparently lost my focus somewhere and began getting frustrated. So I stopped the metronome, took a quick break to do AT floor work, and came back to it. Continued with this practice without the metronome for a few sections, trying to push tempo and then identify where I am after playing through. I was only able to do this for about 15-minutes, and frustration was setting in. Sigh… I don’t know why the metronome all of a sudden became my enemy!?!?! I think, for today, I will blame it on the fact that my practice room is 76 degrees, and I get cranky when too hot. 😉

Anyway, it is time to stop and think ahead…

My main objective, for this piece, for this week, is to determine each section’s max tempo again, and build tempos from there. I’ve got to get out of the 120bpm rut!!!

Ugh… what a day.

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