Monday, March 9, 2015

master the slowness, you must

Date of Rehearsal: 03/07/15
Orchestra: Chamber
Repertoire Rehearsed: Benny and Lenny

I am continuously impressed and amazed with how quickly you guys can adapt to new directions. I always make you guys do weird things like making you learn music without sheet music, having you make weird noises with your instruments, have you switch octaves at the last minute, making you play in odd meters, play really high up in finger board, and have you guys play in different meters simultaneously, and use weird harmonics, etc etc etc... But you guys handle them like they ain't no thang!

I think we got a lot done at the rehearsal. Went over the parts for Stand By Me, and went over the weird rhythmic overlays and tempo changes in my dubious arrangement of America.

For Stand By Me, I'd like us to copy the variations in the vocal melodies exactly as it is done in the Ben E King recording that we are following, so that we don't play each verse the same exact way every time.

For America, please go over it WITH A METRONOME under tempo. Set to all eighth notes. And by under tempo, I mean really under tempo where you can play them at your 120% accuracy and in control. And this is my advise not just for this piece but in any piece of any genre you will ever work on. The logic is simple, "you can't play fast what you can't play slow". Whether you are trying to get through ridiculous 16th note arpeggio passages, or just trying to produce a gorgeous tone in a slow passionate melody, or trying to navigate through complex syncopations and meter changes, or just simply trying to maintain a steady tempo or repetitive bowing patterns, or trying to play very high notes in tune, or anything at all. You can't do it faster if you can't do it slowly.

So, master the slowness.

(I sound like Yoda...)

We got a lot done, and still had time to enjoy the beautiful snow capped scene during our break. It was so beautiful, I thought it'd be nice to take a picture, BUT....

My stupid finger got in the way... I used to make fun of people who took pictures like this...

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