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Sunday, April 29, 2012


Next Sunday, May 6th, I’m playing duets with some of my students on a Cleveland Classical Guitar Society open recital. Three of the pieces—The Flatt Pavan, Drewrie’s Accordes, and Bach’s Two Part Invention No. 4—require scales at a modestly quick speed. This last week I worked on those, trying to get my rest stroke alternation out of the wind tunnel and into the air.

So far, the result has exploded in the hanger. I did a run-through with one of my students yesterday. My rest stroke alternation felt so clunky that I had to rely on free stroke most of the way. Needles to say, I’m disappointed with this. After a year and four months of work, I expect better.

For the moment, I’m assuming this is a temporary setback. Perhaps I need to calm down a bit and let all the work I’ve done settle in. I suspect I’m nervous about putting rest stroke on stage, and that’s sabotaging my fluency. So this week I’ll try again to get my rest stroke alternation off the ground. Although I can certainly do the upcoming performance with free stroke, that would be a cop out. I’d rather try and fail with rest stroke than succeed with free stroke.

By the way, my teenaged student had no problem with his rest stroke alternation. Interestingly, his career goal is to become a cardiac surgeon. Maybe if I ask him nicely, he’ll graft his right hand onto my right arm.

——[My next update will be May 6, 2012]——

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