I keep forgetting to shed technique.

I’m not feeling very composey at the moment, but I’m in the woodshed with the viola and not the piano. I should be working on Hanon on the piano while I’m in this mood, a mood to just do something purely mechanical without emotional value. At least then, when I’m finally in the mood to write something, I will still have gained ground.

The viola work is paying off somewhat though. Oh, I’m still a beginner, but I’m getting better. I think the center-mount chinrest will help since moving over the tailpiece with the Guarneri-style I have now has improved things. And I continue to be surprised at the efficacy of slow practice. I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. It really does help — Perlman said in a little video he put up on YouTube that “when you learn something slowly, you forget it slowly.” He’s right. I’d never heard it put that way, but he’s right. Practice slowly, get your brain used to thinking of all the myriad things you have to keep in mind as you go, and it will sink in slowly and deeply. One could spend hours going through his videos. I’m glad they’re all still up there, unlike RBP’s podcasts, which have apparently vanished. I’m glad I downloaded many of them, but I didn’t get them ALL. Anyhow.

I just have to start thinking of the piano in more woodsheddy terms as well. Sure I can play it, but I can always play it better. I’m not a beginner but let’s face it, I’m not Martha freakin Argerich, either. If I can’t write a damn thing at the moment, I can at least still improve my technique against the day when I feel like putting something down on paper again. And I won’t feel like such a nonmusical blob anymore, like I do now.

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