Perhaps, amongst the stacks of books in the music section of a huge library, there is a music student scribbling down her music practice notes. Perhaps that student is me. Let’s try this, then. I’ve tried doing this in my other two blogs. Somehow it didn’t feel right. And I don’t think it’s a wise idea to waste my emotional/intellectual energy in places that mess with whatever synapses govern various anxieties. There’s a reason why I’m super picky about who I allow to interact with me.
Perhaps, perhaps this is the right place.
One can hope. Somehow the act of writing these things down keep me focused. I don’t know why. I think it’s the way I am wired. I’m isolated a lot and live in my head a lot. Externalizing some of these thoughts helps me think about them in a more structured way. Mystery to me too!
Problems that need to be addressed
- Position of my fingers above the fretboard are not curved enough at the right angle.
- I have yet to find an optimum angle for the positioning of the guitar on my knee. I’ve tried one guitar support and the suckers won’t stay stuck. It’s something I need to work on particularly since I am not a flat-chested male guitarist.
- Smoothness of transition between bars. I still hesitate on the downbeat and this is a problem with the piano also. I either am too fast on the downbeat, or I hesitate. I’m not entirely sure the remedy is working with the metronome but I do need to work on my navigation of the tempi and feeling the pulse.
- My navigation of tempi, feeling the pulse. Especially important because of my fetish for compound time signatures. If I want to credibly play and compose in these signatures, I need to feel and master the pulse.
- Barres — I’m actually WAY better now but my fingers are still awkward with barres.
- Over twenty-five years of classical guitar and I only this year started learning how to do vibrato (and I learned tremolo last year). There’s no short cut here but I need to do vibrato exercises every day.
- Bloody problems with hesitation between bars and that blasted downbeat.
- Tempi, metronome. Blargh blargh.
- Positioning of fingers above keyboard. Sometimes I feel that the different ways I position my hands/fingers over keyboard and fretboard confuse my fingers/hand. I need to school them properly.
Problems related to both: Time. I don’t have a lot of it. I have to balance this with my dayjob and with being an author. Lately I’ve started being resentful that so much time is taken from my writing. I miss writing. I miss being in the flow of it and feeling entire worlds unfurl from beneath my fingertips.
As my friend Paul said in last night’s very cool writer’s google meet — “I start feeling very irritable when I’m not writing.”
Yeah, that’s where I’m at, too. But I am also a musician who is determined to do better. So, I’ll have to make this work, somehow.