Finally… a productive practice session! In yesterday’s lesson we talked about doing the same conversing while playing exercise, but without having the music in front of me. I was thinking I wanted to try this next week when I realized that I have all three songs that I’m working on already memorized. I have for weeks, yet I keep playing with the music there in front of me and I have absolutely no idea why. I’ve never played without having something there in front of me to look at. So, since I thought of it, I decided to practice today with nothing to reference. I don’t need the music there, so why do I keep using it? Same goes for a reference pitch — I can tune accurately without it yet I still insist on one. I have no idea why I keep doing this!

The results: today has been one of the most productive practices I’ve had in weeks. Having nothing to look at has made me far more aware of my body, particularly helpful with shifting, which is great since I’ve spent the entire time working on the fundamentals of shifting technique. I also found I have to concentrate less on intonation and I’m not sure why of that either. But it seems to have helped greatly! Also, subdividing out loud is also about ten thousand times easier. And keeping the entire song in my head as a whole rather than as a sequence is far easier and I’m more able to feel where the notes are going not just where they are in the moment.

Somehow not having music in front of me — which I often never really looked at anyway — has eliminated at least a little bit of the excess thinking that happens so frequently inside my head. Fantastic!


4 responses »

  1. Glad to hear you had breakthrough… Question about going without a reference pitch…. I don’t actually understood how that all works; like for people with perfect pitch, since orchestra tuning is usually sharper than normal. Now, I can’t distinguish between a 440 and 442 or 443 A yet, if ever, but does your fingers and ears automatically adjust to playing sharper? I think you do if you have good relative pitch, but I know my wife says her students with perfect pitch have trouble transposing…. Just curious….

  2. No my fingers and ears do not automatically adjust. Well, the do if I’m playing with someone else but not if I’m playing solo. They just keep going to an A440. I’m sure if I spent time practicing with an A as anything else I’d get used to it though. It really does throw me off a whole lot though. :/

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