November 25, 2011 at 1:10 PMActually, one thing I am really, truly thankful for today is isolation. I hear so many tales about people who would like to overhaul something in their technique, but have too many pressing issues in front of them, like orchestra, juries, gigs, or other obligations. I don't have anything tying me down but me and my time. Bundling up, I take walks with my dog and think about form and technique.
I will break my practice sessions into several short, focused bits throughout the day. During these sessions, I analyze my playing to root out the source of my three main frustrations (inaccurate, slow fourth finger, insecure double stops, insufficient fourth finger vibrato) and prescribe specific exercises to tackle the roots of the issues. I can keep them as simple as I need for the time being, being mindful and focused on 100% success. As the new habits begin to stick, I will gradually increase the difficulty of the exercises. At all times, I keep as much tension out of the equation as possible. If my muscles get confused, I pause or shake it out and wait until it's clear what they need to do. (I know, this all sounds a bit vague, but I don't really want to bore you with the tedious details.)
With nothing else to distract or tempt me, I feel perfectly content with my own personal Siberia. It may sound harsh, but my mind is clear--and my, the snow is smooth and lovely this time of year!
Even so, I get these late-night cravings for St. Louis and swing... Here's a rendition of Fatboy Rag, performed by Swing DeVille. That's Matt Wyatt, my friend from Kansas City, in the corner.
I can't stand cold and even here in Tn.(which is supposed to be the south!) is sometimes way too cool for me, so any satisfaction you can get way up there.....go for it!
It is heartbreakingly beautiful today, though.
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