Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Fumbling around

After two rehearsals this week (orchestra and Cellocracy), I am quite frustrated and rather disappointed with my performance. It's not as if I was sight-reading; I've been working on most of this stuff for months, if not longer. But I played as if I didn't know which notes were which. At least, when my fingers (rightly or wrongly) went to play an E - or whatever - the sound was at least a "clean" E. Worse, not only did I mess up the notes, whenever there was a significant rhythm change, I fumbled it. Whew. Not good.

I confess. I have not been practicing these on a regular basis, usually only the day before and the day of the rehearsals. I feel guilty each day as I put away my cello, knowing I should have spent some time on them. Yet...

So today, I forced myself to stop my warmup/scales after a half-hour and to stop working on the Suzuki material after 45 minutes. That left me at least 45 minutes to go through my orchestra material. Today, I went through everything, playing pizzicato slowly, and going back to mark the remaining trouble spots. Tomorrow I'll focus on the remaining trouble spots, and most of the old trouble spots. I've found that these issues sometimes resurface when I'm tired or when I get flustered for whatever reason, so it helps to refresh them on a regular basis. Friday, I'll play all these pieces with my bow, slowly. Saturday, I'll work on bowing the trouble spots. Sunday and Monday, I'll work on playing everything at full tempo. Monday's rehearsal should reveal the remaining weak spots, which I'll readdress on next week. [I'm writing all this down here in lieu of a practice log, mostly to document for myself what I intend to do.]

I really hate to back off my Suzuki/Mooney work, because I have been making steady progress there. Still, I have to be able to hold up my end in these two groups, and my recent neglect has become painful.

Last night a fourth cellist came to our Cellocracy rehearsal! That means we should be able to add some quartets to our repertoire. She already has commitment for the day of our upcoming concert, and won't be here this summer for our summer concert either. But it sure is nice to hear four cellos together...

I've been listening recently to Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' 2007 album, Raising Sand. What a fascinating and surprisingly pleasing collaboration! Apparently, T-Bone Burnett came up with the idea of pairing them together and then persuaded them both to give it a shot. David Dye recently presented an interesting interview with them on "World Cafe". My only regret is that Plant turned down a reunion tour with Led Zeppelin in favor of touring with Alison ;) [not that I'd ever get a chance to see Led Zeppelin live, but I was sort of hoping that a tour would rekindle the spark and they'd come out with some more of their signature style of rock].

Thanks for your input on BFS&T! I'm still figuring out all the differences between Blogger and WordPress. :)

I made a change that I think will make life easier for you. Give it a try and let me know if I tweaked the right setting.

Off to throw the cello in the car and drive for an hour to a gig. In rush hour traffic and pouring rain. Good thing we love it so much, eh?

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home