Wednesday, September 2, 2009

100 Days of Practice, Day 64: Double-digit deflation.

My buddy Tom, a guitar player, yesterday asked me if I was still doing the 100 days. Yes, I said, raising my arms in a "whoo-hoo" arc of triumph. "But I did take yesterday off. My hands hurt." Innocently, he replied, "Yeah, I remember a few years back I went a couple of years without missing a day."

Insert deflation sound here.


I said, "Well, what about when you have a gig? Do you still practice on those days?"

We know the response, right?: "Oh, yes. Those days I practice even harder, working on what I'm going to perform at the gig."

Deflation continues.


Then, he went on to tell me how last week, he'd been in a hotel with his family of four, and still managed to practice just about every day, including a session in the subway, where he made a grand total of 50 cents.

<...and continues...>


Tom is the man. A nearly impeccable player with a performance master's degree from New England Conservatory. People like Tom make you look at your measly 100 days and say, "Big deal." Then again, Tom's playing in a group with me, so how bad?

Looks like the 100 may need to start from the beginning again, when it's done.

I always liked this quote: "When you catch the bus, you can stop running." Problem is, with music, the bus is always just over the next hill. There's always something to move forward to, good enough is never enough.

And for that, we can be very, very thankful. Otherwise, why would we bother?

2 comments:

Debra Murphy said...

I went to see my daughter in a play in Maryland last weekend and discovered 'whistle whistling', a way to practice in the hotel at 11 pm when we got back from the play. I had loaded five tunes I am working on into my ipod in a folder called, Learning Tunes, listened to them on the plane to Baltimore, then again back in the hotel, then whispered them on my whistle several times. It worked!

Susan Gedutis Lindsay said...

I remember so clearly a master class in college with baritone saxophonist from the World Saxophone Quartet, Hamiett Bluett (spelling may be very bad here...) He said there's no excuse not to play every single day. Someone brought up the case where you might be in a hotel room, dorm room, etc... where the walls are thin. He said, "Then practice playing quietly." So, you are right on, Deb.