Neck was stiff this morning, enough to be bothersome but not enough to inhibit movement. After my stretches it was better, so we’ll see how today’s practice affects it. From reading this, you might think that I am in some sort of rehab for an injury. I have arthritis in my neck and sometimes I do things in my playing that aggravate it, like pushing my neck into weird and completely unnecessary configurations. I’m taking a cautious, mindful approach to getting back in performing shape because if I overdo it, I won’t be able to do anything for awhile, let alone play. No pity called for, it’s just another challenge on the journey. You’ll see a lot of comments about posture, alignment, and observations on how different parts of my body feel as I am playing. This is how I monitor and minimize unwarranted physical stresses in my practicing. If I don’t, I injure myself, it’s that simple. Maybe some of the things I try can be helpful to you in working on your own challenges.
– tone warmup from Trevor Wye’s tone book, page 11 or 14, I can’t remember which, I have it memorized. It’s about energizing the air to make smooth leaps
– sound is nicely smooth and steady
– I’m letting my head turn more to the left rather than looking so straight ahead, don’t push it, let it turn!
harmonic on C up to Bb3
– unusually good expansion of ribs, all the way down into pelvis, is this what it means to feel the support in the pelvic floor? hmmmmm….
– right arem is still feeling strained
– air is nicely full and direct
Paganini Caprice #11, the staccato section to end
– all breath attacks, combining exercise with sight reading
– not really separating the air sufficiently for crisp attacks, but have no problem navigating the leaps
– tone is pretty good, air is moving forward well
I seem to have found a really good set up from the floor up where the expansion is really good and free, and the music can really flow out (if I were playing any music!) My right hipbone feels a little out of place, but it seems to work; I can maintain a good alignment all the way up. Can I do this sitting? If I can remember how to do this consistently, will have to translate it to a sitting position, that is where my real posture problems lie.
Right arm and elbow want to fly away from my body (come back, elbow!), creating stress, but that can be worked on
– timer went off, but finished to dt on single pitches, G#m to CM
– have to keep air focused on single (good) spot on the strike wall, otherwise the tone goes splat all over the place
– double and triple tonguing are already better, less air disturbance on the articulations
– what is with the D#’s!!? better check for a leak