glitch25: (piano)
As a growing musician and performer, one of the things I've been learning to take to heart is the idea (one shared by lots and lots and lots of performers) that there really is no substitute for hard work and long hours at the craft.

Being that music is not how I sustain my financial well-being, I take that to mean that my long hours of practice and study are not consecutive. But all the same, I have been making a regular effort to put in time into my musical studies. Even if it is 20 minutes here or there.

I think one of my frustrations that I'm learning to overcome is the fact that I feel so far behind. I have the privilege to spend time with LOTS of very talented and incredible musicians of various flavors, and I get to regularly witness the fruits of their labors and I sometimes take certain things out of context and get frustrated with myself that I feel like I have so little to offer and so much work to do to be even a quarter of the musician that these people are.

It's stupid, really. Most of my musician friends have been playing their instruments and performing since they were young kids. Presumably non-stop or at least in and around it to some degree. They have put in their time (and still are). It is useless to compare myself even trivially since I have not had all that time put in. My dedication is relatively new, and even though I came to the latest table with some skills (guess those years of piano lessons weren't a total waste!), I still have lots of time to put in. But I still have to remind myself that it doesn't make me less. It doesn't mean that what I have to offer is valueless.

Beyond that though, the comparisons at all are still useless. I am on my own musical journey. It is a path unique to me as are the paths of those friends of mine. As with most things, the goal is less about how fast I traverse the path and more about how much I absorb along the way. And I feel fortunate that I've been regularly given a lot of nifty things to absorb, and that my journey of late has been pretty damn awesome. :-)

Along the lines of hard work, I recently reminded myself that it is useful to not get too focused on any one thing for too long within the greater whole. By this I mean that I have been working on a piece I started some 20 years ago. I've talked before about the fact that by in large, I had learned most of the piece except for about 16 bars of a middle section that for some reason, I never made the time prior to learn. Up until recently, when I would start to play it, I would just stop when I got to that point. But over the last year or so, I decided that with the availability of a keyboard and space to sit down every day, I was going to knock out those 16 bars and finally finish something that I started so long ago. And little by little, I have worked out that little section, and can mostly play it reliably. Unfortunately, what I realized the other day is that I had stopped putting in time to play the REST of the piece, and when I tried to play it end-to-end, I struggled with the rest of it. XD

It isn't all gone or lost. But I definitely need to put in time to play the whole thing now that I've come closer to mastering the missing middle bit. And that aside, there are a few other little spots that need polishing up.

When I chose Gershwin's Prelude #2 so many years ago, it was because I really enjoyed Gershwin, and of the three, the second seemed the least technically challenging. I would say today that I still agree with that assessment, and it has been fun getting to finally pull it all together. It also means that I've actually willfully decided that I'm up for more challenge and want to tackle one of the other two.

That, and there's this Rachmaninoff piece I've been really wanting to put to bed. And maybe a little Chopin. And definitely more Beethoven.

To say nothing of Brubeck, Corea, Hancock, and then all the other little things I want to pull together.

And that's just piano. There will be more drum stuff too. And guitar. And mandolin. And definitely violin.

Like any other impassioned musician, I'll be putting in time until I'm dead. Good thing the genes say I should be around for a long long time. :-) I'm gonna want it!


Oct. 27th, 2014 07:44 am
glitch25: (Default)
Relatively zoomy weekend this time around. Friday I spent working on cleaning up house some including laundry, dishes, and a few other things. I also spent a good part of the night in the kitchen making Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas for a potluck on Saturday. Coupled with some English muffin pizzas for dinner, it was a busy night in the kitchen. :-)

Saturday, I hung out with [ profile] sheistheweather for most of the day, first hanging out with the Dancing Hands crew filming the latest ASL cover (and, as it turns out, offering my services as tech crew. I'm just a good button-pusher), and then hanging out later at the Moonstone Samhain circle. Good day all-in-all and got to see a bunch of people I haven't seen in ages.

Sunday started with more laundry and household stuff along with some piano time. Then [ profile] vixenesque93 and I spent the day together enjoying kitty time, Gone Girl (which is a very fucked up movie), and then, after a detour at work to check the continuing status of things post-windstorm, we had dinner together with [ profile] solcita. [ profile] solcita and I continued the evening with a viewing of an old favorite of mine, French Kiss, and an otherwise mellow evening.

Pretty good stuff!

This week will be a little crazy. Two anniversaries back to back including a couple of weekend get-aways coming, and lots of other shuffling both home and at work.

glitch25: (star trek)
I will get my butt in the seat and start knocking back a few of these.

This is a jazzy version of the Picard's "Inner Light" theme for you TNG fans.

glitch25: (Default)
So the carousel spins. :-)

I've been digging out old sheet music looking for things to study. I cleared out space and can get to the piano now, and the other day, I sat down for a good little plinking session. Wasn't overly productive, but it was nice to just sit and play. I've been contemplating putting my little camera to use and maybe taking and posting some videos of my work. More as a record of progress than anything else, but then at least I can share too if I'm particularly happy with a performance. I have Bach, Brubeck, Gershwin, Guaraldi (as in VINCE!), and Rachmaninoff on the plate, along with some interesting transpositional projects I'm mulling over to write piano parts for things never intended to be played on piano. :-) So we'll see how those go.

On another front, the small bit of electronics I've been playing with for my Halloween costume is blooming a tiny interest into a full fledged interest, and now I'm researching some nifty electronics projects. Part of the fun is to assemble kits, and the rest is to learn to make modifications or even build my own. I have a lot to learn, but that is what makes this fun for me. I'm starting my soldering fun with a little project called a MintyBoost. It basically takes 3 or so volts from a pair of AA batteries and boosts it to 5 volts and pumps it into a USB jack so you can use it to charge anything that would otherwise be charged by USB cable, thereby adding time you can be away from a mains-connected charging source. I foresee using it mostly to charge my phone, but it could charge my iPod or pretty much anything else. My first fun with it will be to see how to make the battery bucket deeper so I can charge for more time. Fun stuff!
glitch25: (piano)
So every now and then, I sit down to a piano and tinker. Depending on the mood, I drag out a trusty piece I've learned (or learned enough to play for a little bit) and play around with it.

Something I forget is that not many people know I play (inasmuch as I do, since really, it's been ages since I've done anything with it), so I surprise people now and then.
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