what?! exercise can help you play better?!

It is a windy 60 degrees out today. I opened the window in my practice room so I can accompany the wind. šŸ˜‰

Surface Drifts

Warmup/technique – working into it slowly this morning by playing soft, outlining ii V Is in closed position, trying to think of the overall key rather than the specific chord in the progression; exercises toĀ strengthen inner and outer mallets; metered SA rolls in RH/LH separately and together, playing triplets at 1/4 note = 120bpm (4ths sand 5ths); metered ripple rolls (1243) playing 16ths at 1/4 note = 120-130pm (4ths and 5ths).

Strange feeling today… my left hand feels stronger than my right, and the outer left hand mallet (mallet 1) feels stronger than usual. I have taken a few days off 4-mallets, so it seems strange, BUT, I have also been doing physical exercises (…a workout, so non-instrument related) that are strengthening core and upper body. I have always worked out, and in recent years been active cycling and running. However, when I saw that I was gong to have to play double bass drum for Rip Tide, I realized I also needed to strengthen my core and overall balance. It has made a huge difference in my running and cycling abilities, but also the physicality of playing! On top of that, I feel much less tension in my left shoulder and back than I usually do (fyi – oldĀ shoulder injury, so this has been a long standing battle for me).

Throughout whole piece – block chord roll sections (playing 16ths) 1/4 note = 65bpm; SA roll through all roll sections (playing 16ths) 1/4 note = 80bpm.

Ways to record mm 60-end for Gatonska (when I get my recorder back):

  1. metered block chords (playing 16ths) at 1/4 note = 80-100bpm
  2. unmetered SA rolls at 1/4 note = 80-100bpm
  3. unmetered ripple rolls (1243) at 1/4 note = 80-100bpm
  4. various rolls = ripple and SA (as I notated in music) at 1/4 note = 80-100bpm

At this point, I am not even sure which way I prefer… they all offer something completely different and interesting.

Worked on the middle layout (with the overlapping 5s moving in opposing chromatic directions). Super hard! But, I am finding the right hand part is easier to remember, so I am trying to work that into muscle memory first and justĀ reading the left hand along with it. It is definitely going much better than last week, and coming together more quickly than I though it would. Yay!!

Rip Tide

Read through pages 6-end just to test myself on yesterday’s progress. Pretty good. My hands, eyes and ears were quickly drawn back into the motion of the piece – that means it is starting to get in me, and I don’t have to think so much!

Orchestra music

Received parts for orchestra concert next week – marked parts (choreography, etc.), read through all, practiced mallet parts and determined what areas need most work for this week of practice.

Other things…

Zoom recorder update – issue is not fixable, apparently… so, ordered a discounted upgrade today. Hopefully we will be recording by this weekend!

This was a long day of practice, my head is tired, but my body feels good.

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