PracticePrompt Blog

Practice Log for 02/04/2011 at 21:56:30

Posted in Captain's Log by elwynrees on April 2, 2011

Level 1: Sight read two pieces from Making the Grade (G2 section). Yesterday (Lennon and McCartney and Pick a Pocket or Two (Lionel Bart). I think I preferred the latter.

Level 2: Reduced study time to 5 minutes and enjoyed this piece (ABRSM Can’t Swing a Cat in here [thump]). I also started work on the next Level 2 piece

Level 3: Reduced study time to 5 minutes and picked out a new piece (by Bella Bartok).

Personal Jesus: Re-started work on this piece….

Total practice time for 02/04/2011 : 114 minutes

The levels 1,2 & 3 went fine. I had a stock take this morning and realised that due to taking nearly 2 months off for various reasons, I am now way behind. Although the current level 2 & 3 pieces have been current for months, they have each only had 16 or so days of practice. As they are both in the polishing stage, two new pieces were picked out and the Level 2 given a 30 minute run through. It was much easier than anticipated. (I’m hoping the dozens of pieces being sigh-read are helping!!!).

I increased the tempos for the Hanon exercise and Left hand focus (mostly ascending triplets) exercise. My left hand has greatly improved during the last 4 months or so doing these exercises. For the first time, at this new tempo, during the Hanon, it was my right hand that was messing up!

Spent a long time trying to create a list of all the Level 1 sight-reading pieces I’ve covered during the last 5 months or so. This was a pain. I ended up putting it all in a microsoft Excel spread sheet. Tip: always add your sight reading pieces to a list of some sort at the time you play them.

I sorted out all my sheet music and found lots of grade1 collections (the current sight-reading level), but I can’t remember whether I have sight-read it or not (create that list, you’ve been warned). So I think I’ll play through them anyhow.

Looking at these Grade1 scores, they are seem easier now, no doubt due to the 100 or so pieces covered in Making the Grade, one or more sets (9 pieces) of G1 ABRSM collections, and the Dorothy Bradley Hours with the Masters (book 1), together with a number of pieces from The Joy of Romantic Piano (book 1). I guess this is nearly hundred pieces!

Skimming though the G1 ABRSM pieces (which I may or may not have sight-read), they looked much easier, much easier than 6 months ago (from a sight reading perspective).

So I’m thinking or running through a couple of ABRSM G1 collections, then in a couple of weeks doing another Diagnostic Prescriptive Sight reading test. To further support this test, I’ve bought ABRSM specimen exams for levels 4 to 6 and will tack these onto the collection of level1 to 3 from the libary.

I restarted work on Vikagoeswild transcription of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus (Johnny Cash version). It’s the best its sounded! I get really carried away playing this. I love the ending, that I’ve tweaked a bit, gradually filing out the chords for a thunderous ending in a Rachmaninoff style with each repetition of the riff getting thicker and heavier. I really struggled with this last year, and it still remains a challenge. But it is sounding better than it did when I last played it (last October). Today I played through all my study tasks, using the score, trying to correct bits that I’d simplified, or quite simply got wrong. One noticeable improvement is "stamina", all the scales, hanon and exercises over the last year have greatly improved, my left hand in particular. After one session this piece feels achievable. It’s frightening when looking at my study log to see it had nearly 90 hours of practice (plus all the hours of Hanon, Scales and left hand exercises). Bottom line, it sounds better now after one formal practice session than it did at the end of the last regular practice season.

So, a great day’s practice and oodles of fun!

Number of tasks: 26

Task details (Time finished, Type, Title, Duration):
07:40 Sightread : Level 1 (Independant Level) – Grade1 :10 mins
08:09 Sightread : Level 1 (Independant Level) – Grade1 :10 mins
08:20 Study : Hanon Ex5 metronome 168 (84) :5 mins
12:01 Sightread : Level 2 (Independant +1) ABRSM Grade2 201112 C2 :5 mins
12:07 Warmup : C major focus patterns for left met108 :5 mins
12:28 Sightread : Level 3 (Independant +2) ABRSM Grade3 200506 C2 :5 mins
13:33 Sightread : Level 2 (Independant +1) ABRSM Grade2 201112 A3 :30 mins
18:02 Pieces : Personal Je… Main Riff LH alone. Make automatic :1 mins
18:04 Pieces : Personal Je… First ‘theme’ Hard phrase 1 :2 mins
18:06 Pieces : Personal Je… First ‘theme’ Hard phrase 2 :2 mins
18:08 Pieces : Personal Je… First ‘theme’ Hard phrase 3 :2 mins
18:10 Pieces : Personal Je… Second ‘theme’ Phrase 1 :2 mins
18:13 Pieces : Personal Je… Second ‘theme’ Phrase 2 :2 mins
18:15 Pieces : Personal Je… Second ‘theme’ Phrase 3 :2 mins
18:17 Pieces : Personal Je… Second ‘theme’ Phrase 4 :2 mins
18:19 Pieces : Personal Je… Second ‘theme’ Phrase 5 :2 mins
18:22 Pieces : Personal Je… "Hook" (first appearance tightly voiced) :2 mins
18:24 Pieces : Personal Je… first ‘theme’ (as octaves) watch RH thumb :2 mins
18:27 Pieces : Personal Je… Bluesy break 1 over main riff :3 mins
18:30 Pieces : Personal Je… Bluesy break 2 over main riff :3 mins
18:33 Pieces : Personal Je… Bluesy break 3 over main riff :3 mins
18:37 Pieces : Personal Je… Bluesy break 4 over main riff :3 mins
18:40 Pieces : Personal Je… "Hook" (open voiced for repeats and ending :3 mins
18:43 Pieces : Personal Je.. R&R 3rd phrase pentatonic octaves loop :3 mins
18:45 Pieces : Personal Je… Intro and first ‘theme’ (single notes) :2 mins
18:48 Pieces : Personal Je… Second ‘theme’ (a) build up in stages :3 mins

Practice Log (version 1.3)

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