Ever since my teacher and I switched our approach to how I’m being taught and how I’m learning, practices have been rather odd. For example, I was working on two octave A melodic minor. Going up, fine, going down, fine. Until the very last note. It just sounded ugly. I’ve never been so unhappy with the sound of a single note in my entire life. It was just awful. As a result, I spent over an hour figuring out how to make this note prettier. As in I played the A in first position on the G string the entire time. First I wasn’t happy with the bowing, so I worked on that. That got better, so I added the vibrato. I worked on the vibrato itself for a while and once happy with it started just playing a drone of the A with vibrato and listening for what else was wrong. My beautiful transitions between up and down bow tend to turn to garbage with vibrato. I work on playing a drone using different parts of the bow for more practice. Put it all together, it’s still not ideal, but it’s significantly better. By the end instead of being ugly it sounded more soothing and almost exotic. My husband said it was beautiful and it was definitely the best vibrato he’d ever heard me do, which is good to know the improvement wasn’t just in my head.
In the end, all I’ve managed to do is make one note of my A melodic minor scale sound pretty. That’s it. But it’s one awesome note, which is better than the zero awesome notes I had before. At least that’s what I tell myself so I don’t loose my sanity from working on a single damn note for an hour.
Finally after being done working on that note, I went back to the scale and worked on other aspects of it and heard some improvement. Then I decided it was good enough for now because I really do need to learn the new Haydn song before the weekend. I’m sure if I told my teacher I spent all my practice time working on a single drone she’d kill me. And then I wouldn’t exist and my teacher would be in jail. Which wouldn’t help with me learning to play the cello. But as long as I don’t force her to kill me for not working on the Haydn piece she’ll be totally stoked (and probably laugh at me) for spending an hour and a half playing a single note.