- Now that I know what I'll be doing with the jazz group, we discussed putting together a plan to start working on aspects of it during our lessons. So far, everything I've learned seems to be compartmentalized with no underlying tie to each other, which Clayton mentioned should actually be very connected to each other.
- Next week, we'll start going over the Blues Scale progression from Jamey Aebersold's book. I told him that I was in no rush to learn/play jazz since it seems to be really difficult for me, and when it finally sinks in - it'll just happen and click - no rush. :).
I told Clayton that my co-worker Mike and I had decided on playing duets together out of Carl Fischer's Progressive Duets Volume 1. He said that was a good idea and good practice for us too. I recorded Adam playing the two duets, but he wasn't available this weekend so I went over it with Clayton since I'll be practicing this with Mike on Friday.
A few corrections in bowing and notes in this piece. I thought this would be a fairly straight forward and easy piece to play, but Clayton mentioned there are always things to work on, which for this piece there was A LOT! Although it was really fun playing the duets with him. :D.
- Measure 5 & 6: I was rushing through the first note and playing the second note before Clayton finished his part. He said that when I play with other people it's really important to listen to what the other person is doing.
- Unfortunately, I wasn't very comfortable with this piece so it was kind of hard listening to him play while playing my part. I guess that's a good indicator that I still need a lot of work on this piece!
- Missed notations
- I definitely missed a lot of notations in this piece as well. I've been practicing B instead of B flat!
- I haven't really been practicing extensions either so this was a little difficult to do, which was also throwing off the rest of my fingering, like making my G on the D string flat.
- D.C. al Fine - I didn't know what this meant since it hadn't shown up in Suzuki Book 1 yet, which simply means start at the top (beginning) and play until I see the notation Fine.
- Clayton warned that he could hear that I was pushing down on the bow, instead of moving the bow horizontally because the sound wasn't as open. He said I had improved but to continue working on this.
- Make sure that I play the dotted notes with the correct bowing - I was so focused on trying to find all the B flats and getting the extensions correct that I completely forgot to do the bowing for this!
- Bow distribution:
- Measure 3: stay at the tip of the bow so in the next measure I have most of the bow to use.
- Measure 7: get more comfortable with this bowing, play it with the bow only and the add the left hand.
- Measure 10: alternate between up and down bowing, instead up doing two up bows.
- Think: majestic, trumpets blaring, fanfare, excited people in attendance, lots of energy...
- Use more bow!
- Transfer the excitement and energy to my bow.
- For this piece, watch my fourth finger G on the D string and then just move my first finger to the B flat in an extension. I shouldn't have to make any gross movements with my elbow or hand, the feeling should just be my first finger reaching up to get that note.
- He said watch out for my hand going tense when doing an extension - it's common for beginners to tense up their hand when playing double stops (that would be me!).
- Double Stops - Clayton highly advocates double stops as it provides a way to test to see if I'm in tune and creates 'hand positions,' which will be helpful in the future.
- For this piece, leave the fourth finger G while extending to B flat (I think he said it was a minor third, but my memory is failing me).
- When checking my intonation, don't push down on the bow when playing to strings, just rest the bow & draw/pull the bow to get the sound.
- I've been checking my fourth finger with the lower open strings to check my intonation, but Clayton would like me to start checking other fingers as well. For this piece, I can check:
- Second finger F with open A string
- B flat with 4th finger G
- Watch out for open notes when playing duets: these will be dead giveaways whether we are in tune or not.
- This can be played with more energy or more light and smooth, Clayton thinks since its by Schubert that its probably more on the smoother side with more connected notes.
- He said to think about a nice picnic in the country side with nice fluffy clouds. He always provides great imagery before we start a piece, and I always find it to be totally silly and fun, but it always works! Lol! ;). Everything just sounds different when I think of something first before playing.
- Don't rush the notes, I was playing the beat on 2 instead of on 'and': 1 & 2 & 3
- I totally played straight through the dynamics in the beginning of the first section (soft) and continued everything in forte, and then missed the crescendo in measure 13.
- Overall this was quite a bit easier to play than the first piece since it was in G Major with no extensions.
I recorded Clayton doing the next two pieces The Red Sarafan and Step Dance.
We didn't play this together, but he said to watch for the dynamics and notations, especially for Red Sarafan.
For Step Dance measures 25, 26, 30 and 31 he suggested that I work on my faster bowing (either off the string or on), but for the other measures the bow had to stay on the string.
Wow, the time just flew by during this lesson! :).