Tuesday, January 01, 2008

One day down...

...and lots more left ahead in this new year.

Tomorrow will be a work day, of course. Today should have been, but I puttered around, went for a walk, puttered around some more and suddenly the day was over, more or less.

I don't feel too bad about that.

I dug out some old music books my teacher gave me several years ago. Back then, I had no way to use them. He must have known the day would come, and I'm sorry he's not here to help me get through the rough early days.

The books are somewhat difficult for me, because they make the assumption -- as all but instructions for absolute beginners do -- that the user already has some piano skills.

Nonetheless, they contain the things I will need to know and do before I can progress very far. These books are mainly for jazz players, which is good; I love jazz, and playing it well is often more demanding than dealing with other popular music forms.

Classical music? I think not. If I every get my chops up sufficiently, I'm sure I'll learn a few such tunes in case anyone wants to hear them.

But the most difficult part of all, which I have never seen taught in books, comes after all the chord/scale/key change exercises: making the transition from pushing keys to putting some genuine feeling into the music. I know from past -- many years ago -- playing that getting the music to "sing" is an art few really master.

This is also a different approach than I took when first learning music. I played largely by ear, and never made the transition from one- to two-staff music reading. Now I feel the need to fill out my knowledge.

Of course I'll be lucky if I can set aside an hour a day for this work. There is much that needs to be done, and this is only a sideline. The one I care the most about, for sure, but still something that must be confined to those "extra" hours.

Tomorrow: writing. And, if I'm lucky, receipt of checks I've been expecting for a long time.

That would make a dandy start to the new year!


Anonymous said...

well, when you come here you and the Mrs. can compare notes:) she's learning (driving the kids and i OUT), taking lessons etc. last night she took a video and posted it on youtube. she bought a baby grand piano last year. i wished she'd bought the one with the player.... as it stands now, i'm thinking it will be at least 3 more years.....before i can stand it:)


btw....it does help her relax so i'm not about to complain too much. wish you good luck with it! and stick to practice like white on rice! i love jazz piano

sugarcane said...

Remember that regardless of what's going on with your daily life, to take some time each day to just play. It really will help. And, next time I see you, you owe me a song.

Anonymous said...

Thanks!!! I am starting to feel my determination building...thank god. LOL. Good Luck with your attempt as well!

Abby said...

I have a book on jazz chords but have never had much success with it.
The more I play the better I play, but I don't really get much better at reading...
I wish I knew more theory.
And right now I really need to practice!

Abby said...

Oh whoops, I had no idea Abby even had a blog... she has been on my computer today. Excuse me while I mosey over!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

In my professional opinion, it is best to play by fingers on keyboard, and listen by ear.
I play by mouth, however that subject is best left alone. Listening is best accomplished by ear, almost universally.
However you choose to do it, it's good that you are getting back into playing.
H O'Fly