Sunday, February 21, 2010
I've been trying to do more practicing, and less reedmaking, and working on technique, based on the idea that I'm limited by my fingers at the moment. And I'm starting to get a bit of a routine established. For warm up, it's easy to go crazy with scales, trying to do all major and minor, all keys, varied articulations, then add thirds, fourths, chromatic and whole tone, etc. I've had practices where I have completed a full cycle of something, but having worked through that, I'm generally out of energy and time to do anything else. I'm also fond of the interval practice advocated by the Kovar exercise book, and also by Ray Pizzi. The idea is to do an interval up, same interval down, first as whole notes, then as 16th notes, repeated through octaves over the whole range. Kovar starts with F, F#, F, E, and goes through every note, every interval up to about an octave. Again, this would take all day, if you work on each one seriously, with the tuner and metronome on. But if you stop early, you do the same ones over and over. So I use a script to give me a note and an interval, and do typically two or three. I do scales the same way, several at random picked from a wide range of types of scales. I still have major under my fingers better than the various jazz scales, but it's a start. My goal is to not spend more than 10 minutes or so on routine, which gives some time to actually practice something. And closing with the super long tone exercise, 8 beats per note, four notes per breath, two octave chromatic, seems like a good way to build endurance of several kinds without actually taking all that long. It's training, and should be thought of that way.