Chinese Proverb

"Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I'll understand." - Chinese Proverb.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lesson #51 (Jazz #11 02/26/2012): Lead sheets & Rep (Back to School Blues)

There is so much stuff I want to do with the cello - so many classical pieces, songs, genres (jazz, blues, fiddle, celtic, pop - everything!) - I want to be able to do it all! I just can't wait to get out of the beginner stages already - so frustrating!

What's really interesting about Clayton is he's played a lot of different genres using the cello, and it's really nice to know that he's able to adapt and give advice on other genres. He's just SO AMAZING! :).

Lesson notes: 

  • I'll be practicing with a jazz group this upcoming Saturday, and the person who organizes the practice sessions, Daniel, emailed me a copy of their lead sheets so I took it to my lesson to see what I could do to prepare for the practice session next weekend. 
  • The lead sheets/songs are harder than what we are currently working on, so Clayton's first advice was, until I know my role in the group, to play the harmony. I think that'll be really easy (I hope), which is totally fine with me, since I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb during my first practice/jam session there. He also mentioned that if they don't have a bass player, he would teach me how to do a walking bass line sooner than later since it was on our To-Do list, but we haven't gotten to it yet. 
  • I'm actually not too worried about the practice session either, which is kind of weird, since I'm typically pretty shy about playing in front of people - I wonder why that is...?

Back to School Blues
  • I'm still having issues trying to count, bow and do my left hand for this, but as soon as I turn off my brain and stop counting I can play it! He said that jazz is about feeling the rhythm, and although its important to be able to read the notes and swing them, its more important that I can feel it. Although he still wanted me to be able to read the notes as well. I think I'm definitely over thinking this, especially if I can play it if I stop counting! 
    • He also recommended that I take a 4 hour Baroque dance workshop this Saturday so I can really feel the rhythm and know how the minuets are supposed to be played, which I thought was an excellent idea and am really excited about attending. Wow - this Saturday is going to be FUN! 
  • Setting up my jazz goals:
    • I'm not sure if I want to start recording my jazz repertoire or any of my jam sessions... but I definitely want to set up some kind of goal system like my Suzuki videos so I have tangible proof of my improvement - not sure what that will be yet...

Anyway, it's been one year and I've been bummed about my slow progress, even though both my cello teachers say I'm progressing fine, I can't help but compare my progression to other beginner adults who have progressed much faster (like my coworker!). And their my teachers, so of course they have to say that, right? ;).

Anyway, Clayton gave me some advice on improving: 
  • Let the cello tell me when it's in tune.  
  • Make sure that I ALWAYS practice with intention.  He says mindless practicing is one of the biggest wastes of time.  The smarter I practice, the faster I will improve.  
Which reminds me, I really should go back to using my Practice Logs so I can have more efficient, productive practices.

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