Monday, October 20, 2014

Practice Journal: October 13, 2014

Here's what was up last week. For previous entries see here and here.

And now for something completely ... slightly different..... An hour (or so) of tunes. It was getting late in the evening by the time I had a chance to play and I felt like playing some of my favourite tunes - "My Melancholy Baby," "All The Things You Are," "These foolish Things," "Out of Nowhere," "I'll Remember April" and "What Is This Thing Called Love."
There was straight melody, improvising on the form, free improvising, improvising on the song phrases (length of phrase) One thing I didn't do (but occurred to me as I was drifting off to sleep) was improvising on the melodic rhythm of the tunes. This is something I want to explore further.

Warmed up listening and playing with "Wild is the Wind"from the Connie Crothers/Bob Casanova album Just For The Joy Of It. I'm not sure what made me head to this tune today, it was in my head so I went with it. Today I listened to the tune a couple of times (just the melody chorus) and then played along adding in notes here and there - not really really working it out, just feeling things out.
Modus Vetus - 1 phrase in all keys. Singing and playing.
I followed this up with a bit more of "Wild Is The Wild" - getting bit of a feel for the melody on my horn.
Tried to do some work with Modus Novus but after about 5 mins it just wasn't happening so I scrapped it and so improvised a little before moving onto Bach Invention #2. I was a little tied sounding at first but things picked up as I dug into it.
I finished things of with a little bit of improvising - held tones and economic note usage. And wound up the night with what I could play of "Wild." 

Quiet long tones - various notes held out at lower dynamic ranges.
Modas Novus - 1 phrase interrupted with the arrival of the plumber.
Overtones - page 13 from the Rascher book (not too bad considering I picked up the horn cold).
Bach Invention #2
Pure Rhythm - page 5, variation 4 on the bongos.  Then alternated between playing some rhythm and then playing Bach Invention 2. This was interesting and I think I will do more of this.
I ended with bit of a noodle and came up with an idea to improvise a group of notes (say 5 notes) and repeat it, then change 1 note (and repeat the new configuration), then change another note (and repeat the new configuration) etc etc. Maybe something to delve into later on down the line.

Quiet long tones - a few to ease the reed in and get some air in the horn.
Melodic Rhythm - took the melodic rhythm of "My Melancholy Baby" and improvised the notes. I want to explore this further.
Modas Novus - sing and play 1 phrase in all keys (chromatically). This is the one I could get into the other night but this morning it wasn't too bad.
Overtones - page 14 of the Rascher book. Today I was trying to play them quietly.
Alternating Bach Invention #2 with work from Pure Rhythm (tapping on my legs variation #4 on page 5)

Singing and playing with "Wild Is The Wind." Today I listened and then sang with the melody. Then broke it down into phrases that I would sing with the recording then try and play on my horn, the play on the horn with the recording before moving onto the next phrase. This is how I often go about learning melodies.
Pure Rhythm  variation #4, 5 and 6 on page 5.
Singing with "Wild Is The Wind"
Rhythm - variation #4 alternating counting in 3 and 4. This morning I alternated between whatever I am working on and some rhythm stuff.
Modus Vetus - 1 phrase in all keys around the cycle of 4ths. Currently I'm working from the 3rd to the root.
Rhythm - started on variation #5.
Modus Novus - 1 phrase in all keys descending in Major 2nds.
Sound work - Letting It Fall and page 14 from the Rascher book. I played most of the page today - more than I normally would on it but I was on a roll.
Bach Invention #2. Felt like it was coming together today. Played it at a few different tempos.
"What Is This Thing Called Love" - taking the songs melodic rhythm and improvising the notes. This is a lot of fun and leads to some different places. Sometimes I found myself taking a few too many liberties with the rhythm - it's hard not to get carried away.
To finish things off I played around with the idea I came up with on Wednesday - improvising then altering groups of notes.

Rhythm - alternating counting in 3 and 4 on variation #5 and #6. Usually I find adding the count in throws me off. More to work on!
Sound - Letting It Fall (a great place to start). Page 14 from the Rascher book - today I focussed on just a couple of lines. Playing on only the mouthpiece (chromatic scale, major and harmonic minor scales, some arpeggios).
Modus Vetus - 1 phrase in all keys (sung then played as usual) around a cycle of minor 3rds.
Modus Novas - as above but in Maj 3rd cycles.
"Wild Is The Wind" - alternate singing a chorus of melody and playing a chorus of melody. Sometimes I muddled the lyrics so a sang with the record a couple of times to straighten me out.

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