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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Road Not Taken Is Sometimes the Right Road

Please forgive this late post. Usually I try to have something up by the end of the first weekend of the month. But this weekend was a holiday and I had family in town. So I couldn’t get to writing a post until today. This post will be brief.

August started badly. By about the second week I got very discouraged, and had to admit that I was getting nowhere. The situation was this: although I could hit i and m alternation pretty well at 90, I simply couldn’t crack that barrier. No matter how much I tried, 90 was a wall I couldn’t breach.

Yet today I’m more optimistic. Over the last two weeks, I’ve tried something new. Almost immediately the 90 barrier melted away. This morning I hit 120 on a fairly extended scale. Further, I tried this new approach with one of my students yesterday. Up until then, her fastest scale speed with i and m alternation was also about 90. Within one hour of working with my  approach, she hit 104 cleanly. I asked her to keep at it, and we’ll see how she’s doing at her next lesson.

It’s too early to know whether I’m on to something. And I’d like to try it with some other students, to give me a more varied sample than just two people. Nonetheless, I’ll start writing up in detail what I’m doing. Since I need to cover a lot of ground, I’ll go back to posting every week. I hope I’ll also have some good progress to report.

Ironically, my new approach is something I’d found last year. But rather than pursuing it, I instead drifted off in another direction. Now I’m thinking I might have made more progress had I singlemindedly pursued what I’d found last year. In my defense, there was much to deflect me. Interestingly, I’ve also noticed that the 2011 post in which I discussed this new approach drew no comments whatsoever. Which leads me to think that if I and everyone else fail to see that a different approach might work, then maybe it’s a sign that it’s the right approach.

More anon.

——[My next update will be September 10, 2012]——

1 comment:

paul croft said...

I've never met any "normal", non guitar-playing person who moves 3 and 4 whilst drumming 1 and 2.

I've said before its a complete red herring: all other instrumentalists develop finger independence and its just as essential for us - it not more so.

Paul Croft