sylvansafekeepe: (Violins)
But it's filled with lawn care equipment, so there's not a ton of space. And the kitchen has better acoustics.

So, in an effort to actually improve my playing, I bought a Griffin iTalk thingie that records stuff to my iPod. I can now tape myself practicing, then find all sorts of things I'm doing incorrectly. Discoveries so far:

1. I play way too fast. Like, 40+ BPM over what I hear on most recordings, to say nothing of dance tempos. This obviously causes all sorts of problems, but creates answers as well. For example, most of the times that I'm having difficulty playing something, and am feeling completely hopeless and incompetent, it's because I'm trying to play the damned tune at one-and-a-half times the speed it really needs to be played. I knew I had a tendency to speed up while playing, but I didn't realize it was this severe. The flip side of this, of course, is that if I learn everything really fast, I'll have all sorts of time to do weird stuff with tunes when actually playing for dancers, since I'll feel like I'm playing in molasses.

2. My ornamental triplets (or trebles, shivers, whatever the hell you call them) always occur at the same speed, regardless of how fast I'm actually playing the piece. I'm unsure whether this is supposed to be the case or not.

3. On a similar note (pun intended), I can't pick out bowed triplets I've played on the A or E strings. I'm not sure why -- I can hear those that I play on G or D strings. And I'm not doing anything differently when I play them. Two possibilities: one, the recorder is relatively crappy; it's entirely possible it just can't pick up the breaks if the note is above a certain pitch. Two, it's the strings; I'm trying out Evah Pirazzis with a Goldbrokat E, to see if they're as good as everyone raves about (conclusions so far: I really like their sound, but I'm torn between them and my usual beloved D'arddario Helicores, which have a lower tension and cost $40 less per set). I wonder if the Evah A simply produces fuzzier triplets than other strings.

4. I'm excessively fond of tunes in A minor or D minor. This isn't a bad thing, but I should try to expand my horizons a bit. Also, all of my current noodling seems to eventually turn into Paddy on the Turnpike. This isn't a bad thing, either.

Dedication

Sep. 10th, 2008 02:10 pm
sylvansafekeepe: (Violins)
I don't think I've ever spent 2 hours solely dedicated to playing one tune over and over again. Until now.

But oh man, learning Jean's Reel solely from recordings was worth it. The largest issue was that nobody seems to play it quite the same way.
sylvansafekeepe: (Violins)
Personal Goal:

For the near future, make a point of learning one new tune per day. Yesterday was "Whitefish in the Rapids". Today's goal is "Owny's Best Jig". Other tunes in the queue include Monday Morning Reel, Molly Rankin's Reel, and Le 24 Juin.

Overarching objective for the week is figuring out "The Little Cascade", which is really easy in terms of notes. The problem is that my standard bowing pattern for reels doesn't work at all for it, and I should figure out what actually does. I want to get around to learning Mrs. Joyscream at some point as well, but the dots don't seem to exist on the web anywhere, and both of the recordings I've found have chunks that are difficult to pick out.

Figuring out bowing is aggravating. It's become something of a weak point for me, technique-wise, and this problem is exacerbated by the fact that I can practice fingerings at work without too much difficulty, since I don't need to be typing constantly. However, my right hand is perpetually on the mouse.

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