Monday, March 07, 2005

sunrise, sunset

Afternoon: I took a long weekend without guitar and enjoyed my South Park & Curb Your Enthusiasm binge. The time away from my instrument affected my technique. I wasn’t sure what I was going to work on today but I went I started playing it was quite evident that had to some technical exercises. I lost a lot of my tactile sense of my instrument. I felt the way I do when I play the piano, awkward. I can envision what I want the sound to be - I can even sing it, but when it comes through my fingertips it comes through inaccurate. It’s almost like a delayed response. Needless to say it was quite frustrating to be in such a state. To reconnect to my instrument I worked slowly. I through down a quick click track on two and four and an E drone. I worked on triad improv, arpeggios, and chord soloing using the E, A, & D triads. The first thing I noticed was that my time was off at faster speeds, so I kept my playing to quarter & eighth notes. Triplets at the set tempo were on the edge for me. Sometimes I could get them, sometimes I couldn’t. I would record myself playing in the loop station and then listen back. I would try to keep the recording down to about a minute or two, so I didn’t get to far into development. After listening to the results a couple of times through, I reduced my available notes to the B7 chord tones. I through down a click track and a B drone and worked out in the 7th position. After a while, I graduated to playing in different positions.
The other exercise I worked on was a phrasing exercise. I took out my William Blake book of poetry and worked on setting his lyrics to melody and rhythm. It was a fun exercise and a bit nostalgic, because I haven’t done it in a while.
All in all, I’m sure the practice session was productive, immediate results were not seen; which is understandable. I’m just so surprised at how much I lost from taking a weekend off.

Evening: I was happy to work on some Wanye Krantz exercises this evening. I worked through 3 formulas:
1 3 5 b6 7 in E
1 5 b6 6 b7 in Ab
1 2 b3 b5 b7 7 in D
I worked all three in a moderate to up tempo click track and drone note. I used the entire fretboard instead of just one position and in general had a pretty good time. The exercises sounded interesting on playback and it reinforced the idea of the separation of what I’m thinking and what I’m sounding like. There was a lot of thought involved improving through the 3 exercises but the music didn’t suffer. I was quite amazed at how quick my ideas came and even though they were scattered as I was thinking of them, they seem to have had an order when I listened to them on playback.
It was definitely a fun exercise and it was nice not to have all the problems I was having earlier in the day. It was like playing with a hangover this morning; I was so sluggish. All those problems are gone now. Now it’s back to my everyday problems. Things to work on…….
Tomorrow I’m back to my transcribing. I’ve got Bill Evans & Wayne Horvitz on plate. Yum….


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