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Incremental Improvements.

Last week was an absolute grind. Fresh off the successful AFA grant notification, I literally spent almost 2-3 hours a day practicing. My nightly routine would consist of:

  • Around 7:30pm-9pm: Get the kids in bed, work our Instagram account while I wait for them to fall asleep

  • Around 9pm-10:30pm: Tidy up the house, do the dishes

  • 11pm-11:30pm: Guitar practice warm up

  • 11:30pm: Practice pieces, drilling, learning notes

  • Around 1am or so: Go to bed

I know this schedule simply isn’t sustainable, but I was also anticipating a work trip to Halifax that would take me away from the guitar for at least 4-5 nights. So, I just put my head down and went hard. What’s tough to swallow though is that I don’t have much to show for it. I’ve been working on this piece by Mangore that has this awesome tremolo throughout the whole piece. Based on the first few pages, I THOUGHT it was going to be relatively easy. I was very wrong. In fact, I considered removing the piece from my rep list given the difficulty level. I spent the week note pounding and gaining strength in my right hand for the tremolo work. I even found a technique book from 10 years ago that I can use to build my foundation. I’m not even close to learning it but needed to grind out this stage of learning with incremental improvements. It’s simply the name of the game right now.

In the end, I chose to keep the piece in the concert because of how well it will hopefully showcase the capabilities of the guitar and Cliff’s craftsmanship. It’s an absolutely beautiful piece of music that requires the entire neck of the guitar and is unlike any of my other pieces. With that, I’m starting to get a bit concerned with my progress on these performance pieces. I had planned to start lessons with a guitar teacher by the end of the month. I don’t see that happening given where I’m at and the amount of gigs I have in June.

I’m considering doubling up on my practicing to make up for the gap. Perhaps I could even practice in the morning before the kids get up instead of go to the gym… Regardless, these small changes need to get a lot bigger for me to progress as planned.

Check out this piece that I couldn’t get rid of lol!

-- Noel

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