Leading with my left hand

Apparently, I can’t play the Hanons without leading with my left — my left hand is always ahead of my right. Of course, that would happen no matter your handedness; one is going to be ahead of the other. Still, it’s a gigantic pain. Oh, well. Onward. >_O

How to get consistent about Hanon

I need a paper calendar, which I will print out. Each night, I will take Hanon to the woodshed — although not all the way out to 120bpm(!) — and will mark a big red X on that day. I will aim for an unbroken string of Xs for some unspecified amount of time.

I’ll have to do it bit by bit — some Hanon at the start of a session at the piano, even just a writing session, followed by writing, noodling, etc. Then, a bit more Hanon, more noodling, and more Hanon to close. This will enable me to get a good amount in without overheating things too early on, since an unbroken streak of Hanon often takes too much out of me to enable me to keep going with actual music.

All I need to do is print out some monthly calendars and get cracking. 🙂

I wish I could do this as well with improv, and I may if I can fit it in, but for now, I need to determine how much of everything I can fit in. Oh, my “kingdom” — such as it is — for a winning lottery ticket.

Hanon redux

Once again, I can feel a difference in my ability to play immediately after doing Hanon, but I do have to do it in small sips. I’m sort of titrating myself upward with the metronome two clicks at a time and going very slowly to keep from shredding my hands (the homemade rice-filled cold packs are quite nice), and also to get used to the demands. I don’t want to do too much of this per night since I really don’t want to overdo it, but I do want to do some each night. I also don’t want to move forward without really getting a given exercise down. I don’t move the metronome up until I feel like I’ve gotten a really good feel for a given pace. I can’t do the standard thing of playing 10 times flawlessly only because by the fourth up-and-down my hands are burning, and it’s not a matter of mistakes so much as flubbing from exhaustion. I’m more interested in accuracy and expanding my motor cortex, not so much pianistic cardio. But 4 times flawlessly is okay, with breaks until I add two more bpm.

I think I’m going to get the CM Hanon exercises down up to about 90bpm with occasional inconsistent bursts up to 108 as the exercises direct, but it would probably be best for me to just do them up to about 90bpm in all tonalities first, keeping the breakneck pace for later, if at all. I can see warming up with the Hanons in the keys of whatever pieces I’m working on before getting down to business in the future.

So. Hanons up to 90bpm in all tonalities, with occasional sprints to 108 out of curiosity. 🙂

Hanon — feeling the burn

Hanon’ll do that to you. I’ve decided that no really, I’m going to do this. Being not in the mood to write does indeed mean that I can get purely mechanical things done on the piano as well as on the viola. It’s just a bit more evident on the viola since I have none of the technique I need to really communicate anything at this point; I’m still at the “learning to walk upright” stage, so it’s nothing but mechanical learning right now, or at least mostly.

I forget that at the piano, I can still learn more technique, even as I swear at myself because I can’t do certain things. But I sit at the piano, and sometimes I feel that stress of Time For You To Do Your Ideas Justice Now. It’s nice to remind myself that I don’t always have to do that at the piano, that I do indeed have room to improve, and that I can improve and need to stop thinking that I’m “just good at” certain techniques and “just not good at” others. Time to get good at them. RBP once said this in a podcast about how she had to kill herself to get a good upbow staccato, whereas she seems to have been born with a machine-gun ricochet. She didn’t just shrug and say, “Well, guess I’m good at one and not at the other.” She got good at the other.

I’m probably going to have to get cold packs, though. It’s surprisingly to me how I can indeed feel a muscle burn from Hanon, and if I want to do this well enough to really improve from it (and stop writing to my limitations), that probably means doing it to the point where I’ll want to have cold packs around. This is going to take a shedload of Hanon, and I am not about to injure myself or pull one of those childish stupid human tricks of proving I’m “hardcore” by playing through pain. I think one can make them out of rice.

Hanon and looking at the keyboard

I can’t do Hanon and look at the keyboard at the same time. It’s too much at once. I’ve never been a big fan of DO NOT WATCH THE KEYS. I figure we have eyes, we might as well use them. But Hanon moves too fast for eyes. I’m also trying to do them in occasional other keys, which can get sticky.

On the whole, I’m both frustrated and heartened. The latter because I can sense that my ability to do fast fingerwork is much greater than I once supposed, and the former because I simply do not have the time I’d need to get it that good.

It’s very nice though, when you don’t have the mental free space to do much, to just crank away on the Hanons and get some improvement under your belt, even if the 30,000′ stuff isn’t accessible at the moment.

Hanon. Oh my god.

I hate it I hate it this is boring crap …

Hey, I can hit that 10-tuple without even noticing first time every time now.

I love it I love it this is really great …

I think I’ll do a Hanon per night. Weekends are just accumulated Hanons from that week. I’m sure they’ll start to irritate me at some point but for now the improvement in just one night is nice to hear. I have to make sure I do them relaxed and that I’m not getting that annoying *click* in my left wrist. Add up enough of those clicks, and suddenly I’ve got RSI. If that means I do them slowly and ultra-relaxed, then that’s best. Nevertheless, they’re damned useful.