Tuesday, June 30, 2009

 

500th Post


It seems that number 500 ought to be something deep and thoughtful relating to cellos and to blogging, so I want to work on this for a few days rather than dash something off in one evening.

First, something about blogging cellists: I still try to keep up with this world, even though I myself don't blog nearly as much as I used to. I am still following about 235+/- blogs and comment feeds on a daily basis via my Google Feed Reader. The 188 "active" cellobloggers are linked in my sidebar, along with links to another 92 "dormant" celloblogs. I've noticed a trend among us bloggers that seems to repeat itself over and over. The typical celloblogger (myself included) starts out enthusiastically describing their cur...
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[A few days later]

I guess this is why I don't blog that much anymore... any inspiration quickly gets bogged down in details about word choice, sentence structure and a variety of editing issues, and soon fizzles out like the one above did the other night. At 500 posts I'm not really finding much satisfaction anymore from regular blogging. Rather than try to sort out why (which I've attempted to several times); I'm going to just accept that for now.

But on the other hand, this milestone has found me considering whether or not I'm getting what I expected when I first started out playing the cello...

And the answer is 100% YES! Well, not exactly what I expected, but certainly I'm getting all the satisfaction I could have hoped for after 3 years, 7 months, and 2 days of playing the cello.

I'm currently working on the Marcello Sonata in E minor from Suzuki Book 4. Although I find the Allegro relatively easy to play, I'm not doing it at anywhere near the intended tempo, but I do see myself getting there, eventually. And it has been a lot of fun learning it and gradually increasing the speed. Also, after two weeks of tapping out the complicated rhythms in the Adagio, and another two weeks working out the complicated fingerings and shifts - just pizzicato, I finally started playing it with the bow - very slowly - this weekend. And it went really well!

Tonight at our Cellocracy rehearsal (just the two of us this week), we picked up a new book of duets (by Sebastian Lee) and played through the first four rather quickly. What particularly struck me was how I was able to listen to both parts even as I was trying to find my own notes. On one of them I realized one part was all in half-position and was able to adapt to it without a whole lot of effort. We ended tonight's session feeling rather pleased with ourselves.

As I reflect on my journey so far down this long, rocky, dusty road, I'm feeling quite confident (for a change) and rather surprised at where I am [except for those dang double-stops - not a whole lot of progress there, yet].

So, after 3 years, 7 months and 2 days of playing the cello and trying to describe that experience in these past 500 posts, I find myself looking forward to tomorrow's practice session, if not so much to trying to compose another blog entry.

Comments:
Congratulations, both on your 500th post and your cello progress.

One thing I like about blog readers is that one can keep track pf intermittent bloggers (like me).

All best,

Eric
 
Navel-gazing. It's a term a blogging beginning violinist used when I was just beginning to blog, in the last post she made before flaming out of the blogging world altogether. It's what we do as beginning cellists, too, that drives us to want to record our impressions.

And then we enter the world of repetition, where it becomes difficult to write anything "new" because it seems like we are doing the same thing day after day. I'm glad you are still writing intermittent entries, because you can see that with a little time between, the "nothing new" becomes "quite different."

I think the stage after that is the pattern discovery stage, but I could be wrong. Looking forward to another 500 entries, even if they are sporadic.
 
I have really enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you.

It's been really nice to read other cellist's blogs to find out that others face similar challenges.

Congratulations on your progress. I've noted many times how you've written about being able to do something easily that a year ago was really hard. I think that aha moment of realizing that your skill really has increased is so satisfying.
 
As one friend once told me, "what's to write about when it's the same old, same old". R tells me good repetition is key -- writing about practicing the same thing 8,000 times does not make an interesting read :) Rome was not built in a day, but every brick laid consistently does add up. We just get impatient sometimes. Having a journal or WIP screen capture does show the progress over time that we cannot see daily or even weekly.
 
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