Friday, June 12, 2009

Goal for the weekend

If I can get Corpse Bride recorded it will be a successful weekend. Last night was a very promising practice session, so wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Cowbell?

Lesson was today and it went pretty well. Corpse bride page one was nearly flawless. the bridge and the end not so much. It was ok, I just had to go slow. In Dreams went very well, and he assisted me on the two parts I was trying to figure out how to spice up.

So, I told him that I wanted to work on one hard piece (Corpse Bride), one easy piece for improving (In Dreams), and one curriculum piece so we have something to work on week to week.

He thought that was a fine idea and suggested Styx and Blue Oyster Cult. So, I have two long pieces to work through that are both awesome. Come Sail Away and the Christopher Walken popularized Don't Fear the Reaper.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Good weekend of practice

I got good time in all weekend. If I can do a few more of those I'll have recordings very shortly. The first half of Corpse Bride went exceeding well, and really, it's more like the first 2/3rds.

I do have one problem though. I probably need to get 3 pieces going. I had too many and cut it back to two for recording purposes. One hard piece and one "easy" one. But since it's taking multiple weeks, I don't really have anything to do at practice with Larry. We went over a couple deals last week, but then settled into some chord work. I should go ahead and work on something he's given me too, and just do a new one that isn't performance quality each week. There's a large difference between good enough to progress and performance quality. The last 10% of a song takes nearly 10 times as long than the first 90%.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Here's the plan

I need to start writing more even if there is no progress as it will give me more practice motivation. I'm getting in front of the piano more lately and making some nice progress.

In the next couple weeks I ought to have a piece or two ready, but you know how life has a habit of interfering.

One of the better things I've done lately is some left hand improvisation. I've been playing In Dreams from Fellowship of the Ring. The music I have has left hand as single half notes on nearly the whole song. I started it that way. Which had me playing C,B,A,G. Larry quickly changed me to playing full chords, and it requires inversions. I put it down for a while but came back to it as I needed an easier piece. This time Larry suggested broken chords and coupled with Sudnow's dislike of thirds in left hand chords, I pulled the melody line up an octave and have been playing left hand with root, 5, root (up an octave).

I'll try to record this as an instruction piece, but it may be more trouble than it's worth.

Corpse Bride is much much better. I had a few folks over last weekend and played it for them. It had quite a few mistakes, but was obvious I could clean it up with maybe 4 hours of work or so.