Ratcheting accomplished.

So I did it, and it wasn’t too painful — it made things more playable and hence made me feel like I could get more done — and more written. And it wasn’t that bad — just two eighth note octaves removed.

They may end up back after I get my bearings on it as it’s written now. And removing the two 8th octaves enabled me to concentrate more fully on another issue that was cropping up and solve it — an octave leap I have to do between two sets of 8th notes.

Basically, the whole right hand is nothing but 8th note triplet after triplet after triplet, literally. Triplets as far as the eye can see. And there’s one point where I hop upwards by an octave in the middle of a measure. It sounds nice and gets across the idea that I want to get across, but it’s … well, it’s hard. And removing that other problem sort of enabled me to concentrate on dealing with this one.

This does indicate to me that I can probably put those 8th note octaves back eventually, because I could do them, I just couldn’t do them and the octave leap one after another without my brain getting tired. This means that, like all other problems on an instrument, it’s mental much more than physical. Once again, we play our instruments with our minds. It becomes clearer and clearer to me as time goes on just how true this is — no, it’s not about “fast-twitch muscle fiber” or anything that showed up in some sidebar in USA Today. It’s about the mind. As long as the hands work decently, the mind is what drives them. Let’s face it, nothing that we do as musicians is all that demanding even taking into account the physicality of a piano. It’s demanding as instruments go, but we’re not talking about a 500lb clean-and-jerk here. These are small muscle groups we’re dealing with. We don’t have to eat like Michael Phelps to do this.

The mind is the governing factor — doing what you need to do at speed consists of remembering to do it. Nothing more. That’s why slow practice is so good — you are training your mind to notice every little thing you must do in order to play a piece properly, and if they mind has been trained meticulously to recall every little thing slowly, it will do so at speed.

But anyhow, it’s moving ahead. I think I’m probably going to take another “vacation” after this piece, which has had me doing things I never thought I could do, and take it easy a bit, like I did by going into CM after murdering myself with the Six-Flat Elephant.

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