December 11, 2007 at 5:15 AMAfter a miserable jump into practicing right after work the other day (and Buri's textual slap on the back of the head for even trying), I came up with a different way of approaching practice time immediately after work. So, I tried this tonight, and it seems to work. I'll try this routine a few more times to see if it still holds true (or if I just had a lucky night tonight).
1- How Slow Can I Bow?
Bow all open strings as slowly as humanly possible
Bow double stops at the same excrutiatingly slow speed in perfect 5ths, 3rds & octaves
(This is almost like listening to Gregorian Chants...)
2 - How Smoothe is My Slide?
Yost exercises in a syrupy (or melted chocolate) kind of way
At this point, I should be thoroughly relaxed and NOT thinking about work at all. At least I was tonight...
3 - A Simple Second
I have problems still in second position. This exercise is to play a simple piece all in second position. Since it is the holidays, "The First Noel" works nicely.
4 - ~I have rhythm, who could ask for anything more?~
OK, cheezy, but to counter a few counting problems - simple 2 octave scales in different and varied rhythms. Tonight I chose the rhythm of "Hey Look Me Over - Consider Yourself at Home" (a piece my orchestra is playing in our next concert). By the way, it takes an IMMENSE amount of concentration to play a scale in a different key than the tune that you picked the rhythm from.
By the time I got done with this tonight, I was able to really start practicing Bruch intensly. Work was 200% behind me and I was in a musical frame of mind, warmed up and limbered up. It made me more aware that a focused repetative practice on trouble spots (Yost shifting, playing the notes in the troublesome position in a different sequence) is a more effective use of my time in correcting those errors rather than just trying to play the piece from beginning to end each and every time.
I know, I know... my teacher has told me this many many times. It just took a little slapping around and a fresh approach (and a deadline) to change my habit.
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