Sunday, May 6, 2007

Sunday night cello thoughts

Sunday night is the night I usually remember that I have a cello lesson on Monday morning that I am in no way ready for. But, I have long ago realized that canceling due to lack of adequate practicing is not a good idea, and tends to lead to yet another week of less than brilliant practicing.

This week, I am actually fairly well-prepared, having recorded myself over and over again (comparing five different bows, three on trial, one loaner, and mine), and listened to, and tried to learn from, the recordings, working on intonation and expression. Either I am getting slightly better, or I have gotten used to how I sound in the recordings.

In any case, memory is coming along, thanks to multiple practices with the five different bows, and use of various analytic techniques. I haven't gotten out the colored highlighters yet, but I intend to. I have a zillion of them that I use in my work. I normally avoid highlighting music (it gets too raucous for me to look at), but for memory work, it makes sense.

I've been working on the fiddle music, too. Friday night, in fiddle session, I watched the bass player and copied some of his rhythms for the pieces on which I play accompaniment. I couldn't hear him from across the room-full of musicians, but I was glad to see that there was some similarity in our approach. The bluegrass festival is a little over a month away, just 4 more sessions before the big event (plus a pre-concert thank-you barbecue/jam session next Saturday for all the bands, which I am shyly attending, wondering if there will be another cellist). I have ordered a lightweight folding camp stool for the performance. I am not going to try to stand up and play this time!

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