Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Metronome Slow-Play/Forte Practice Completed

This was a grueling three months worth of work. I had meant to start this in November, but I was caught up with composing the last bits of Sonata One, so I didn't get started until December. I've made just a ton of progress, so I'm quite happy about that, but this process has been mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting... which is why I only do it once per year.

Additionally and concurrently I have been working out like a man possessed - and the additional physical strength has helped my playing as well - but I had a major crash event last night and this morning. I had worked up to 45 minutes to an hour on the Bowflex every day, and I have added six miles of walking with a bit of jogging at the end since the weather has improved, but I got twenty minutes into my workout last night, and simply could not continue. I had nothing left.

This morning, I completed the final piece with the metronome and was planning to finish last night's workout, but I had a severe sinking spell and literally had to take a nap! Well, I've learned to listen to my body over the years, so I'm just going to relax with a beer or two this afternoon and spend tomorrow getting caught up on some chores I've neglected (Like washing my filthy truck).

Got a call for a very high-zoot wedding gig near the end of the month just a few minutes ago, so that was a good pick-me-up. The place I'm playing is a super-secret and wildly remote ranch where, of all people, Mick Jagger likes to unwind. I like low-pressure big-buck gigs. Last time I played there I almost got tipped more than I charged!

Jim has had a few delays getting some of the components he needs to finish up work on the Nylon Fly, so I'm a bit bummed about that, but I have been very good about not bugging him because I really, really want this guitar to be perfect. In fact, I've never contacted him once: He's initiated all of our email exchanges. If you ever have custom guitar work done, note this. You never want to get impatient and rush the luthier. It boils down to the ancient question, "Do you want a fast job, or a good job?"

Anyhoo... here's my set now:

I] Irreducible Sonatina:

01] ***(120-50 @ 2/4) I: Sonatina in A Minor
02] ***(110-50 @ 6/8) II: Menuetto in B Minor
03] ***(90-45 @ 6/8) III: Alegretto in C Major
04] †*(NM YET) IV: Trajectorial Variations in A Minor

II] A Minor Suite:

05] ***(100-50 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 1 in A minor
06] ***(160-75 @ 2/4) E-Axis Study No. 2 in A minor
07] ***(80-35 @ 3/4) Sarabande in A minor, 3rd Lute Suite - J.S. Bach
08] †*(NM YET) Irreducible Fugue No. 1
09] (Gavotte II in A minor, 3rd Lute Suite - J.S. Bach)
10] †*(NM YET) Irreducible Fugue No. 2
11] ***(80-35 @ 6/8) Tears in the Rain - Joe Satriani
12] (Sonata Zero IV: Fugue)
13] †***(160-100 @ 4/4) Classical Gas - Mason Williams
14] (Sonata One II: Sonata)

III] C Major Suite:

15] ***(100-50 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 2 in C major
16] ***(160-75 @ 2/4) E-Axis Study No. 3 in C major
17] ***(120-55 @ 4/4) Bourree II in C major, 4th Cello Suite - J.S. Bach
18] ***(140-70 @ 2/4-3/4) G-Axis Study No. 2 in C minor
19] ***(140-70 @ 4/4) Ode to Joy - L. van Beethoven
20] ***(140-70 @ 2/4-6/8) G-Axis Study No. 5 in C major
21] (Mysterious Barricades - Francois Couperin)
22] (Lineal Study in C major)
23] ***(180-90 @ 6/4) Guardame Las Vacas - Luys de Narvaez
24] †*(NM YET) Desert Song - Eric Johnson

IV] E Minor Suite:

25] ***(100-50 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 3 in E minor
26] ***(160-80 @ 2/4) E-Axis Study No. 6 in E minor
27] †******(140-85 @ 4/4) Bourree in E minor, 1st Lute Suite - J.S. Bach
28] ***(140-70 @ 2/4) B-Axis Study No. 2 in E minor
29] (Gymnopedie No. 1 - Eric Satie)
30] ***(140-70 @ 2/4) G-Axis Study No. 4 in E minor
31] †*(NM YET) Spanish Fly - Eddie Van Halen
32] (Sonata One I: Tocatta)

V] G Major Suite:

33] ***(120-60 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 4 in G major
34] ***(140-70 @ 2/4) B-Axis Study No. 3 in G major
35] *(140-70 @ 3/4) Minuet in G major, Anna Magdalena No. 4 - Christian Petzold/Attr. J.S. Bach
36] ***(140-70 @ 2/4-3/4) G-Axis Study No. 6 in G minor
37] (Jesu, Mein Freude - J.S. Bach)
38] ***(140-70 @ 2/4-3/4) G-Axis Study No. 1 in G major
39] †(NM YET) Lineal Study in G Major ||||\ ||||\ ||||\
40] †*(NM YET) A Day at the Beach - Joe Satriani
41] (Sonata One III: Scherzo)

VI] B Minor Suite:

42] ***(120-60 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 5 in B minor
43] ***(140-70 @ 2/4) B-Axis Study No. 6 in B minor
44] †*(NM YET) Minuet in B minor, Anna Magdalena No. 15 - Christian Petzold/Attr. J.S. Bach
45] †***(90-60 @ 6/8) Sonata Zero III: Scherzo

VII] D Major Suite (Drop D Tuning):

46] ***(100-50 @ 9/8) Figuration Prelude No. 6 in D major
47] ***(180-90 @ 4/4) Bourree II in D minor, 3rd Cello Suite - J.S. Bach
48] *(120-60 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 23 in D minor
49] (Bourree - Jethro Tull)
50] †***(100-65 @ 4/4) Eu So Quero Um Xodo - Dominguinhos

VIII] F-sharp Minor Suite:

51] ***(140-70 @ 10/8) Figuration Prelude No. 7 in F-sharp minor
52] †*(NM YET) Irreducible Fugue No. 3
53] †*(NM YET) Yankee Doodle Dixie - Chet Atkins
54] (Mood for a Day - Steve Howe)

IX] A Major Suite:

55] ***(100-50 @ 6/8) Figuration Prelude No. 8 in A major
56] ***(160-80 @ 2/4) E-Axis Study No. 5 in A major
57] ***(150-70 @ 2/4) Etude VI - Leo Brouwer
58] †*(NM YET) Irreducible Fugue No. 4
59] (Lineal Study in A major)
60] ***(90-45 @ 4/4) Stairway to Heaven - Jimmy Page

X] C-sharp Minor Suite:

61] ***(120-55 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 9 in C-sharp minor
62] ***(160-80 @ 2/4) E-Axis Study No. 4 in C-sharp minor
63] *(120-60) Heavy Nylon

XI] E Major Suite:

64] ***(100-50 @ 12/8) Figuration Prelude No. 10 in E major
65] ***(160-80 @ 2/4) E-Axis Study No. 1 in E major
66] ***(110-55 @ 6/8) Caprice - Rodolphe Kreutzer
67] ***(140-70 @ 2/4) B-Axis Study No. 5 in E major
68] ***(120-60 @ 4/4) Fighter Pilots

XII] G-sharp Minor Suite:

69] ***(80-40 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 11 in G-sharp minor
70] †**(80-40 @ 2/4) G-Axis Study No. 3 in E-flat major
71] †**(140-80 @ 2/4) B-Axis Study No. 4 in G-sharp minor

XIII] B Major Suite:

72] ***(180-90 @ 5/8) Figuration Prelude No. 12 in B major
73] ***(140-70 @ 2/4) B-Axis Study No. 1 in B major
74] (Menuetto in B major)


All of the pieces with asterisks are pieces I've successfully gotten down to half speed. Three means I've done that three times with them (Over the past three years), and one means this was the first successful attempt.

A cross before a piece means I have not successfully been able to get it down to half speed, and successive asterisks mark the number of attempts.

If you look at 39] you'll see 15 hash marks after it. That was a new piece I just finished memorizing. The first time I hit those, I play them 15 times through without the metronome and add the hash marks. The second time - again without the metronome - I'll play it 15 times again, and remove the hash marks: The third time I start with the metronome work.

This makes the process very organic, as each piece is on it's own little conveyor belt toward being added to the set.

I'm going to go back through the pieces just successfully completed and those not until I fail to successfully add any new pieces to the completed list (And have three asterisks by all the completed ones), but first I seriously need a break from this.

Next item is to do the transcription of the Satie piece, which I'll start on after my Friday gig is behind me. Right now, I need another beer.



That's a spectacularly beautiful girl, IMO.

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