Monday, September 28, 2009

100 Days of Practice, Day 90: Ooh, wow. 90.

Well. 90 days. My sherpa told me that "they" say it takes 90 days to make a new habit. If that were true, I'd have been practicing every day by now, and it would be easy. Hm....

Wait. Can we revisit the whole "is a gig a practice session?" question? Didn't we all agree that "playing" (AKA "gigging") is not really "practice," per se?

For example: Friday, played alto all afternoon with Stage Door Canteen at the Scallop Festival. That's a lot of playing. Saturday, played a three-hour gig with Steve at Plato's Harvest organic farm in Middleboro. (The turkeys.. white, feathered, and loquacious... REALLY dug us. Seriously... the turkeys all came running when we started playing. See more pics at Plato's Harvest's blog.) That's a lot of playing. Sunday, rehearsed for three hours with Caravan, in preparation for our upcoming October shows. That, also, was a lot of playing.


But was it practice? And did I actually play longtones at any point during any part of those three days (even five minutes counts as a practice session)? And if the answer to question 2 is "no," then what WAS that nine hours or so of playing this weekend? Not eligible?

What makes a playing session worthy of its name?

-One must wear Hair Shirt. Sit alone. Play long notes. Breathe deeply. Contemplate one's unworthiness. Suffer.

-One must don cilice. (If you would like to purchase one, or perhaps a hair shirt, these people can help, by God. Your practice sessions will improve radically.)

-One must suffer: work on stuff you can't do well, already. Don't just enjoy the stuff you know already. That's so... so... not practice-ish.

-One must endure mind numbing repetition, with a pained looking smile, so that anyone who peeks in at you in your practice room understands how hard you work at enjoying yourself. Also, adding some pain into the process makes it possible for you to charge more at gigs. Remember: This is work!

-One must believe in "progress" as a goal. One must not accept mere "plateau."

And if you believe all this, you may choose to visit my real estate blog, where I have this lovely waterfront property for sale....

2 comments:

Peig said...

day 90

Ok so practice???? Sometimes I play everything I know and think of that as practice, meaning moving my fingers in the correct movements, timing, and correct notes.

Other times I work on a new tune or a part of a tune that I stumble over. And of course rolls.

Not sure after 90 days what practice means to me anymore. But I do know I am playing better, my instrument is more comfortable, I am listening better and more often.

AND....finally have courage to try a slow session tomorrow night. All thanks to my 90 days so far!!!!

Thank you Soul Mamma..........

Susan Gedutis Lindsay said...

I have no idea what it means anymore. For me, it's starting to be "if it includes long tones, it's pratice."

Hope the slow session goes well! Want to hear all about it. How awesome!!!!