Music Learning Notes (Classical Guitar) 30/08/2020

Today, I set up my new conductor’s music stand and very optimistically prepped my CG practice corner for a three hour practice session that never happened. This means I’ve so far taken two music rest days and I’m writing this post to shame myself so that I will do three hours tomorrow.

In my defense, it’s been quite a week. I’ve been really tired and the see-saw between very positive and somewhat negative emotions takes its toll on someone as sensitive as me.

Heatwave+fatigue+power outage earlier+perimenopausal PMS is not a happy combination so probably it’s for the best I didn’t play any music today.

But the music stuff’s been all good this week. I got my new music equipment and while the first vendor didn’t have the strings I wanted, they did have the Dunlop guitar+fretboard cleaning set which I had been eyeing. So I got that, a cute little clip on tuner and the conductor’s music stand on sale. The stand will come in handy for the heavier books. And because I don’t have the fretboard completely memorized yet, it will be helpful to have Noad’s fingerboard chart on one stand while I play newer pieces on the other stand. I’m also excited to polish and clean Raoul. That was supposed to happen today. Tomorrow then.

Another plus! I think this will be a far more efficient way of getting my iPhone at the right angle for zoom classes and future Insta-Live Sessions. It was on discount so I didn’t spend that much. I also then got the D’addario Pro Arte Hard Tension strings on discount from another online vendor so I ordered two sets for standby. The strings are a pain in the ass to string up (the Darco strings I used in Australia were easier despite also being Hard Tension), and I had to re-tune constantly for two weeks but when they play, I really love the sound and timbre of them. They make Raoul sing even sweeter.

Oh, and I also did my first instalive session last Saturday. I thought I was bloody awful. I just up and decided I wasn’t going to overthink it, so there I was in a sundress and uncombed hair, no makeup on, just having a go at warmups and urgh such a trainwreck. It’s a good thing no one was actually in my Live session but I did save a recording to analyse All The Things.

The good news is that there were actual moments when I played not too terribly. The sad news is that I looked awful and that made me very sad. Next time I do a block of practice first, comb and tie up my hair and wear a long sleeved thing. Also lipstick and eyeliner because one needs one’s confidence boosters.

Also wanted to note that setting up my new music practice station away from the sofa has been really beneficial. Finally the footrest was not too high, and I adjusted the height of the chair and the stands. It meant that I automatically was putting less pressure on my hands and fore-arms and playing’s been easier. I also now use the orthopedic elbow guard I got last year when I sprained my elbow on my right arm. And it’s made such a difference! So I’m quite happy about my new music setup.

[note: apart from mentioning what I am practicing etc, I am going to refrain from discussing classes etc on this blog for the sake of privacy etc. Have deleted unnecessary stuff. Things are going well, I just need to work hard and stay the course.]

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Music Practice Notes etc

I haven’t been sight-reading new material like I wanted. I did play some of the Prelude to my darlingest BWV 1007 but I was so anxious about the Dowland and the Guzman that I just worked on that because I wanted to play my best for class.

Other things I played this week: Bach’s Sarabande from the Violin Partita #2 a few times because I utterly botched it during my first IG Live session/performance anxiety + thought block. That was really upsetting!

Also started working on the Mauro Giuliani Left-Hand Etude #1 from the wonderful Pumping Nylon book, and some exercises from Noad which is as always so helpful. Earlier this year it helped me understand Dowland’s meter a bit better. I also worked on the scales from the old .pdf #2 gave me but I’ve been rather…disinterested? I’d better fix that before next class (`ulp).

But mostly I just focused on the Dowland and Guzman piece because I am so in love with both pieces. I do know I have to fix my rhythm a bit more especially in the more rhythmically complex bars, I also feel for the Guzman piece it would help to start working on sound texture and register. Because there are repeats, some sections should be played softer and some louder.

Oh yes, I also played Gary Ryan’s Memories of Summer which will be my third exam piece. I’m quite sure these three are the ones I want to play next year. But, I also want to play ALL the pieces from the book, except for Holidays which sounds dreadfully boring.

This coming week, along with the scales and the Dowland/Guzman pieces, I need to sightread something new as I don’t want to lose those skills by over-focusing on the same pieces, and I need to play older pieces so I don’t forget how to play them. And tomorrow, I need to do three hours. My music-learning space is all ready for it. I shall do a combo of warm-ups, and then play a few rounds of the two pieces before I focus on the detailed homework I’ve been given.

Okay self, let’s do this. Onwards and upwards!

But first I sleep. Me not like heat. I wilt like my plants.