Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Practice and More Practice

I have been trying to get back into the habit of practicing cello again. I took a short break, just while I was getting used to working retail at Macy's. It is just amazing how quickly you can lose your touch when you stop practicing for any length of time. Truly, if you want to become accomplished, you must set aside the time to work towards that goal.

My goal is to be accomplished on the cello. I want to play confidently, and to be able to enjoy all types of music on the cello. Right now, I am stuck in Suzuki Book 3. I completed about half the book before I had to step back and re-evaluate. I simply cannot get passed the latter selections because they are too advanced for me. I can play these notes, and I can even sight read the pieces pretty well -- I just cannot play them on the instrument (well enough). This is clearly a technical issue for me, and I think it is just lack of experience on my part.

What I am finding is that I am able to play fiddle music really well. I like it a lot, though sometimes the cello part is boring and repetitious. I like the dynamics of playing fiddle music, and I like the notation (short and choppy). I have gotten really good at some selections like "Cripple Creek" and "Home Away with the Girls". These are fun pieces that challenge me, but don't overwhelm me.

I am working on Bach's "Allegro Moderato" from Book 3. I can play the intro fairly well, and I can work through the harder positions (3-5th) now. I am not playing up to speed nor am I playing with any fluidity; but I am making progress.

I really am not sure what to do. I continue to work on my Foundational Studies book, and I have made excellent progress here. I found it difficult to get passed the tens (etude numbers); but now am working into the twenties. I can actually play these pieces well, and at a good tempo. I really enjoy this book a lot, and think it stresses technique right where I am at, rather than pushing content that is clearly above my playing level. My understanding of this series is that if you can play the entire set (all three volumes) with ease and speed; then you can consider yourself accomplished. Well, that is a lofty goal, but a good one.

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