Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lesson #1

So I've started taking regular lessons. My goals are to clean up my technique, and advance my bassoon playing skills in a more general way. I have other goals too, like the live looping I've linked here occasionally, and learning enough harmony etc that I can keep up around my house. M is not fond of playing note police, felt he spent maybe too much of his education being policed, and doesn't enjoy that aspect of teaching. That's fine by me: I'm pretty good at being self-critical, perhaps too much so, so I just better show up with the notes prepared. He enjoys working on phrasing, and is good at it.

We spent awhile talking about what I wanted, and could do. For performance opportunities, he mentioned an oboe friend who runs student recitals, which he sometimes crashes. Royal Conservatory exams is another possibility. This is quite a bit of work, you have to have a lot of pieces prepared all at once, but some do it. Some adults also participate in Kiwanis. And next year's Bassoon Bash of course.

After discussing what I was after, I played Louchez 5, which I have worked up. The notes were fine. We then spent 20 minutes or so working on the first couple of lines. There's a lot of concepts that I simply don't have, all in the area of phrasing; how much how hard when, based on what the music is doing harmonically at that point, tension and resolution. My head was swimming after awhile, with overlaid structures of louder/softer, emphasis and crescendo, leaving me confused as to exactly how loud I was supposed to be at each note when. All good, though; this is what I'm paying him for. I came home after my Moose lesson with substantially improved sound.

My marching orders:
o Scales and arpeggios to warm up. 16th notes, w/ metronome, C, F, and G. Scales must be automatic, so do same ones daily. Don't need to do it more than once. This is in contrast to my previous practice of tons of long tones/intervals etc, all done slow then fast.
o Milde scale exercises. We'll start at the beginning, and go through.
o Solo repertoire. Mozart, for reasons I'll go into later. And we picked the Elgar Romance, as a melodic piece to work on, which will contrast with the more technical Mozart. Other ones suggested that looked interesting to me was particularly the Villa-Lobos, a Vivaldi Sonata (in C?), Besozotti, a Faure, and... can't remember them all. There's time, there will be others.

Fair bit of stuff, really. For next week, I'll try and prep the first two Milde's (C scales and arpeggios), and the notes of Elgar. I've been working on memorizing Mozart, and I guess I might have to play that too. We'll see. But I want to try and keep it simple, for the moment. With etudes, tone, and reeds, I have lots to do. And I'd like it to be clean, as clean as I can. That's the anal perfectionist in me. That aspect clashes very badly with my basic laziness and fickle interests, not to mention the free and improvisational ideals, but hey, it's part of me too. Plus trying to keep make progress on making reeds, plus my job, family, rest of my life...

Reed: G5. Worked great, really, no complaints.

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