20. May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

Whew. After this morning’s show I really did wonder if my brain was on permanent holiday. Not so. Tonight went fine. I also went back to a reed I had used at the beginning of the run — it wouldn’t work last week, during the heat, but seems happy with this cooler weather, while my reeds that were happy in warmth rebelled this morning. Go figure.

Of course I still find things I want to play better … but the day I’m completely happy is probably the day I should quit. :-)

20. May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

This morning’s show was … well … interesting. I don’t believe I was the only one who wasn’t fully functioning; I heard some incorrect lines on stage, and timing wasn’t the same. I think it’s just that 10:00 AM is awfully early to be performing!

But ME? Sigh. Every reed felt wrong and behaved nothing like they did before. Notes were “misplayed” (otherwise known as playing the wrong notes … totally unforgivable!). And my embouchure was incredibly weak. I finally put cigarette paper over my lower teeth—something I’ve learned to do when my mouth is rebelling. I didn’t sleep last night, so that didn’t help things.

I just hope I’m more focussed tonight. I don’t like making mistakes, and I don’t like being so tired. I do like playing well and making good music. So I’m hoping ….

20. May 2008 · 4 comments · Categories: Links, Ramble

Niget Kennedy has brought up the classical music biz and drugs.

Why does this make me laugh a little? I dunno. Maybe because he has been so proud of being a bad boy. And now this.

He just likes to grumble, it seems. Maybe that’s why he’s a good musician?

20. May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Quotes, Ramble

It is also time to make scales more fluent, in-tune, and beautiful. And don’t forget that chromatic scale! Take music books you don’t generally work out of, and sight-read often. Ask your teacher to help you sight-read. It also helps to play duets, either with your teacher or with a friend.

One can never be over-prepared for an audition! Keep in mind that obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.

-Olivia Gutoff

I found this at David Thomas’s blog. Read this entry to see it in context.

I, too, have told students they have to practice until they can’t play it wrong. So darn true.

I’m glad to read about scales as well. I had a university student quit because I required scales. I like reading that others agree with me! I sometimes tell a student, “Okay, the strings are playing a pianissimo tremelo and now you have a huge solo. It’s the B major scale and you have to make it lovely. Go for it.” (I choose different scales, of course, at different times.) It is surprising how unmusically we sometimes play our scales.

And how some think scales are entirely unimportant.

Seems to me he is saying, “Ow! Ow! Ow!” over and over. Horn players, beware.

Seen first at Classically Hip.