Saturday, June 08, 2013

Saxindia: Journal Day 1

Saturday June 1st 2013

Probably my first day of holiday in a very long time. Woke up late, ate, and slept again. Reflecting upon a year in music it's been one full of work and travel but little practice. Fourteen hours to be precise (as I do keep note), simply not enough.

The positive things are that I have performed alot, and that the confidence is there. Strangely it only takes a week or so without a concert and I start to feel twitchy and nervous, even if like now I really need the time off.

Studying Carnatic music in the last year has probably provided the greatest benefit. My ear has really opened up, and I am able to learn longer phrases and rhythmic patterns than before since it is all taught aurally. It still needs alot of work, but it is going in  the right direction. It is like a muscle, it needs regular exercise and practice to keep it fit.

In general rhythmic work has been the basis of almost all of my work in these last years, but now I realise I need to keep working with harmony and chords especially if I'm to play well with bands that have standards or similar material as their base. I have noticed in the last gigs that I have become somewhat stuck in this area as no new real input has come other than through transcribing and listening. I am relying on my ear a little too much now and some new concepts need to be looked at.

First on the agenda are minor ii - v's. I noticed during gigs that when they appear in progressions that do not resolve, odd keys or in chord sequences unrelated to the home key i'm fumbling to find things to play. The ear is not quick enough in these situations, and you simply need a more solid harmonic technique. I will start by simply working out some ideas in various keys, revise my scales and come up with some patterns. Hopefully that will open me up to further ideas and I'll take it from there.

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