Days 31 and 32, Tools

Wow, I missed a day!  Sorry everybody.  The last few days have been pretty dense for me.  Had a dress rehearsal / concert yesterday (Mahler 1 and the Korngold violin concerto) as well as a two hours practice and two hours of clarinet class spent listening to seven people play the Weber 2nd concerto (much more interesting than I anticipated!).  I was so spent by the end of the day, physically and creatively, that I’m pretty sure after the concert all I did was read and sleep.  Today was more spaced out, two hours practice, two hours of rehearsal, one hour of lessons.

In  brief, here’s a brain dump of stuff I’ve been thinking about:

  • Recording myself playing with the metronome.  Am I really, actually playing with the metronome?  It’s easier to tell when I’m listening as a third person.
  • The idea of creating a charismatic sound.
  • Setting long-term goals.  I’m getting good at the day-in day-out of practicing but I think a missing link is a bigger picture of my goals.  I need to sit down and write out my goals for the next six weeks.  How do I want to sound by that time?  What do I need to do to get there?
  • As suggested by Burt Hara, trying to do an “audition” every single day, for my recording device.  I’m going to try this out for the next few days, see how it feels.
  • Sometimes reeds and mouthpieces and the way we use them can be like writing utensils.  The best pen in the world will be inky but not too inky, and fine tipped.  That way almost no pressure at all is needed and the pen expresses more nuance than you even realized you were trying to use!  A bad pen will be inconsistent, fat tipped and require that you apply a lot of pressure to make it work.  It’s a chore to use.
  • Today I discovered yet another awesome thing about the iPad: using it as a mirror / video recording device while I’m playing!

apple fangirl

I can use it to video record what I’m doing with my embouchure, or I can use it as a mirror to see if I’m doing anything ridiculous like arbitrarily lifting my left shoulder when I’m playing in the 2nd partial.  Would a mirror serve just as well?  Yes.  Is it as cool as an iPad?  No.  As I try to make adjustments to the outside of my embouchure, this is definitely helpful.

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