Saturday, January 06, 2007

Right on track

At the beginning of this year, I wrote that I aim to practise at least four days per week, for at least 15 minutes each of the days. I am pleased to share that for this week, I have been right on track.

On Sunday this week (which was the last day of last year), I definitely have practised more than 15 minutes on the double bass. Quite a considerable part of my "no-gimmick New Year's Eve" had been spent on practising.

On New Year's Day itself, which was Monday, I have also managed to find at least 15 minutes to practise. In fact, I had spent more than 15 minutes to practise that day.

Tuesday was a public holiday. I wasn't feeling well that day, in fact, I was experiencing quite a bit of pain and discomfort for most of that day. Nevertheless, when I felt slightly relieved of some of the pain, I took out my dear double bass to practise that evening. My intention was to practise for 15 minutes only, but I ended up practising close to an hour.

Wednesday was the day that I had orchestra rehearsal. Prior to the orchestra rehearsal, three of the members of the double bass quartet had a session together with our tutor, and I was playing on the double bass for at least an hour. Even prior to the double bass quartet's session, I had spend something playing the G major scale. Orchestra rehearsal which started at 7 p.m. and ended at about 9.30 p.m. meant more playing on the double bass.

Thursday was the day that I had double bass lesson. In addition, on this Thursday, after I had returned home for my music theory class (that ended at 9 p.m.), I set aside some time to practise. I decided to make good use of my practising mute, which has helped to reduce the volume of the double bass by at least half. I remember it was getting close to midnight when I kept my double bass back into its padded bag. Admittedly, I was shuttling between the computer and the double bass that night...

I realised I was started practising at an odd hour on this Friday: 6.30 a.m. in the morning. I had only managed to get the double bass parts to Emily's Suicidal Tendencies the night before, and was too tired to go through it. So I decided to wake up a bit earlier yesterday just to go through the parts. I spent about half-an-hour working on it before getting ready to go to work.

In the evening of Friday, I attended the rehearsal to rehearse Suicidal Tendencies. Despite having looked through and practised the parts earlier that day, I still had difficulties with some of the passages. I had difficulties gaining awareness on how the double bass parts should relate to the other instrumental parts, and managing the switch from pizzicato to playing below the bridge, then back to regular arco. The Suicidal Tendencies rehearsal, however, turned out well despite these glitches. In fact, way better than I had expected.

Despite the fact that I was struggling with some of my parts to be fully aware of what was going in, I like the way Suicidal Tendencies sound. The aural experience of helplessness and wrenching-agony was what my ears had heard when I was listening to the work while playing it.

Back to the practising mode, I hope that practising my parts for Suicidal Tendencies with a metronome over the next few days would help me to do better justice to Emily's writing. Do come and listen to it on 10 Jan 2007. You may like it too. Not in the conventional way, but in an experiential and senses-provoking way.

Now, here's about this Saturday: I practised a bit of G major scales and Keyper's Romance and Rondo earlier this morning. I also work out a bit of the Tchaikovsky's Neapolitanian Dance from 'Swan Lake', and working to play it with as minimal finger-effort as possible.

In retrospect, I have, for this week, managed to achieve my target. Not only did I managed to practise 4 days per week, for at least 15 minutes on each of the days, I have exceeded the target that I have set.

Right now, I am not sure if I would be practising tomorrow, though I hope to at least keep 15 minutes aside for practising tomorrow. My body seems to be sending me signs of mental tiredness ever since last night. I wonder if these have been signs of a declining state of health, or if they were merely signs that I had not have enough good sleep the past nights. Gosh, I am feeling so awfully tired and short of concentration right at this moment that I simply don't wish to write a conclusion for this post. End it here then.


Simple American said...

Its good to see you are on track. Hope you can write this 51 more times. ;)

oceanskies79 said...

SA: Yes, I wish this will be the case.