A lot. Groan. Memory is a biggie. As I’ve been practicing memorizing scales I’ve realized that I am having a lot of trouble with remembering patterns. I know the scales and I can recite them and I can play them if I read the music. Other than C and F major I can’t seem to play them from memory with any consistency. At my lesson Monday with Scott Bacon he suggested that I try to visualize the notes. I’m hoping that will help.
At my lessons both Scott and Lynn, my weekly teacher, will play a pattern that they want me to repeat. Well I’ve been working on one easy pattern that Scott taught me – C to E, down to Eb to B, down to Bb up to D down to C# and so forth – since June. I still can’t play the whole thing accurately from memory. Lynn will play arpeggios in different patterns and ask me to repeat them. They need to be ridiculously simple or I struggle with them.
Then there’s physical things. I’ve learned that I sometimes gurgle notes because my fingers don’t exactly match my attacks. And my dexterity in general isn’t that great. 32nd notes may always be muddy – sigh. I’m taking medication on an ‘as needed’ basis for the stomach pain I wrote about. I’ve discovered that if I don’t take it my tone has developed an annoying vibrato since I feel slightly shaky. I’ve only been taking this stuff for a few weeks and I don’t take a lot of it yet it has this effect. Hopefully the pain will go away soon so I can stop taking this stuff.
Breathing properly is also an issue. I don’t have a problem with it if I remember to do it (ha ha) but there’s a guy in my community band who really can’t take a big breath. I have the word ‘breathe’ written in big print on my music. I also have a mild heart arrhythmia that will interfere with horn playing occasionally. Just try playing a nice phrase when your heart decides to skip a few beats and then go off rhythm for a few seconds (and the metronome doesn’t help with this one.)
One final note about memory – I can’t find my tuner. I brought it with me to my lesson with Scott. At the same time I got my new tuning slide for my horn (which is why I brought my tuner.) As I was putting my horn back in my car Scott brought out the old tuning slide. I wanted to put it somewhere safe so I took my tuner out of my horn case and put in the old slide. I put my tuner in my suitcase. I have confirmed with Scott that he saw me put my tuner in my car behind my suitcase. That’s a slight discrepancy from my recollection but it did leave with me in my car. When I got home I opened my suitcase in my bedroom. I don’t remember taking the tuner out of the suitcase and I can’t find it anywhere. I have searched my car at least six times and my house numerous times and this is driving me crazy. I ordered another one yesterday and my old one still hasn’t shown up. Maybe one of you know where it is.