Search This Blog

Friday, January 15, 2010

Reworking things

After falling silent for almost a week, I just wanted to post something to get myself back in the habit. Will write more tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Eat, play, love

I am not practicing today due to several contributing factors. First of all, we are expecting 3-5 inches of snow overnight. This normally leads people to the grocery store, but since I'm pretty well stocked up, I ended up at World Market. I walked out with a bottle of Chilean wine, Spanish chorizo, anchovy paste (also from Spain), and Asian chili paste. Not sure how any of that will help me through this snow storm, but they have provided me with plenty of inspiration.

Of course, as soon as I got in, I opened the bottle of wine, and though I only had two glasses, I didn't feel like practicing. I did, however, feel like thinking and reflecting, and that's what today's entry is about.

"Eat, Play, Love" is my mantra for 2010. To eat well, to play music, and to love. I've never read the book, but I've always been drawn to the title. I'm going to do everything I can to live out the first two, and let my love for music guide me wherever it can.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I'm a little disappointed in myself for not sticking to the practice goal of one hour a day. I've still been hitting my mark with the scales and Hanon exercises though.

I feel a little fuzzy and distracted. The last couple of days have been interesting in non-musical ways. I'm hoping it's a permanent distraction, but I guess only time will tell.

I think it's curious how success, with me, breeds distraction. I realized how easier it is to learn scales by grouping them according to their fingering. Playing D major was a piece of cake because I've already practiced C and G. I should have moved on to another topic, but instead I just started doing something else.

Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Monday, January 4, 2010

Minor Frustrations

Yesterday I attempted to blog about Hanon Exercises 1 and 2, the scales I practiced, and most importantly the rhythm exercises I started doing. It wasn't until 11:55 last night that I realized that my blog didn't post.

I spent a whole paragraph talking about how I much I liked working on rhythms, and what I was doing to improve my gross motor skills. I practiced with octaves in each hand, C in the left and E in the right. I was blissful, even in the moment of writing it. I got up out of bed just to read what I wrote again only to find that it didn't post. (I might as well enjoy my own writing, since I have no subscribers.)

I think it was my iPhone, or more correctly, BlogPress, which is the app I use to post. I've typed this blog the "old-fashioned" way just to be safe.

Today I plan to practice the scales I mentioned in a previous post, more rhythms, and to continue working on Hanon Exercises 1 and 2 so that I can move on to 3 by the end of the week.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Quitting before getting started

Last year I bought Jazz Keyboard Harmony by Phil DeGreg, read the introduction, played through one of the exercises, then closed the book. This wasn't because the book was bad, but interestingly enough because whatever I played from it actually sounded good. If that's hard to understand, it's pretty similar to someone stopping treatment once it starts working because they start feeling so great.

After I recorded that short progression of nine chords, I felt like I had really accomplished something. I have been playing it back to myself over the past year either to: 1) remind myself that I found something that will lead me to the beautiful sounds I'm yearning to make, or 2) remind myself that I have wasted all this time not learning how to make these beautiful sounds. Whatever the reason, I'm finally starting back at square one. I really think that this book will start me off in the right direction.

I'm starting with Chapter 3, which uses only the guide tones. My goal is to make it through the entire chapter by the end of January.

So now I have three goals for January:
1. Learn all the Major scale fingerings.
2. Make it through Chapter 3 of Jazz Keyboard Harmony.
3. Brush up on counting rhythms (something I was pretty good at when I played clarinet.)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone