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Monday, October 15, 2012

A Bad Week Gets Better

Short post this week. My new goal is to record the Mudarra Galliard at a metronome setting of 100. (For my taste, this is a good performance tempo.) It became my new short term goal after a disturbing incident last week. While practicing a six string descending scale, I found I could hit 120 with fair consistency. So I decided to try hitting scales in the context of an actual piece of music. Dusting off the Galliard—which I’d previously worked on for months—I found I could barely hit the scales at anything above 80. Yet going back to the six string descending scale, I could still hit it at 120.

Needless to say, this sparked a minor temper tantrum.

After I calmed down, I began working the problem. (If nothing else, this project has forced me to learn patience.) Two days later, I was consistently hitting the first scale of the Galliard at 100. What particularly encouraged me was how good it felt. My hand rippled through the scale like it was nothing. And the sound was that silky smooth rest stroke sound I love so well. Of course, the long scales at the end of the Galliard aren’t there yet. But hey, that gives me a reason to get up in the morning to practice.

Later that day I worked with a student on the Courante from BWV 996. He’d watched the Jason Vieaux video lesson on this piece, and wanted to know how Vieaux had done a particular cross string trill. After figuring it out, I demonstrated the trill to my student. Happily, my right hand was still working well that day, and the trill rolled trippingly off my fingers. “Hey, look at me, I’m Jason Vieaux!” I exclaimed.

So the week began badly but ended well. And now it’s the Galliard at 100 or bust. Next week I’ll delve into this in more detail.

——[My next update will be October 22, 2012]——

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