Wednesday, August 02, 2006

La-a-a-ast Le-e-e-e-so-o-o-on

After a 10 day hiatus I had another lesson last night. I was nervous because I think I still wasn't completely over the teary lesson. Then again because of that lesson I have been tring to focus more during practices, to try to better understand which areas need improvement. My current top area of focus is breathing and support, with tonguing coming in second.

It's a good thing that my breathing and support have improved somewhat because the my lesson last night focused on more vibrato studies. She had me do the pulse exercise a lot faster than what I had been doing at home. I was able to keep up with it for the most part, but after just a few minutes it felt like Olympic training! When she had me play the Sarabande from my Corelli with vibrato I got tired by the 6th bar. This brings the whole concept of endurance to a brand new level.

While I was initially afraid that introducing vibrato may do more harm than good, I think it's actually going to work out well. Trying to get vibrato is forcing me to support correctly because otherwise I can't do it at all (or a do a weird, throaty one that doesn't sound good). And using more air is going to help with my tonguing issues. I continue to revert to my heavy saxophone tounging technique. In order to play merengue jaleos I had to learn to use the middle of my tongue because tonguing on the tip made the sound too short and generally wasn't quick enough. Now I have to retrain myself to use the lightest touch possible with just the tip. Right now my tongue tends to get in the way of my air stream so that my playing sounds somewhat discontinous and less musical. I'm excited about this last lesson because once I can get these two concepts moving along, my playing will sound more balanced.

We went over what I should play for my Wind Ensemble audition in September. I had been feeling that the Corelli is not the right piece for that and she agreed. So she'd like for me to start working on the Marcello concerto, which she called a "stretch" piece. After hearing it this morning I'd call it a "big stretch" piece. I only have to prepare the first movement though, which is doable. I do agree with PY's comment on an earlier post that I need easier music to work on expression. Maybe I will use some methods I have at home for that and for sight reading practice. Oh, and I can also work on it tonight when I meet with my duet friend. Which reminds me, I need to start getting ready to leave. See ya!


Waterfall said...

Good luck! I'm working on two "stretch" pieces right now and am sooo ready for something a little easier. I hope the Marcello works for you without being too "stretchy"!

dulciana said...

Yes, good luck on your stretch piece! It's good to have a stretchy one in there along with some easier things.

Pattyoboe said...

Heh ... now I have a song in my head. "Bend & stretch, reach for the sky, on your tipeetoes, oh so high."

Sorry ... now YOU get it! (Tag, you're it!)

Anyway, do the stretch. Then do the not-such-a-stretch. Both are good. We never want to get too complacent, but too much difficult stuff and we get pretty frustrated very quickly, don't you think?

oceanskies79 said...

Duets are fun. Enjoy.

Pardon me, what are "stretch pieces"?

Hilda said...

A stretch piece is something that is still a bit difficult for you, but not impossible. It is at least one level above your playing level. So it will take greater effort to be able to play it well but you should reap greater rewards.