Sunday, February 10, 2008

15. Progress Report (2 Months)

I'm now one sixth of the way through the year, and where do I stand? Well, progress continues, but it is still less than I had hoped for.

Some days I'll have a breakthrough, but it's always hard to tell whether I've gotten better or just hit a patch of easier songs.

For example, a few days ago I'd already put in my hours of practice, and was surfing the web for some new sight-reading tips. After looking through, and some other sites, I realized that though I've been working at recognizing intervals rather than pairs of notes, I should extend this concept further. That is, I should try to see all the music in terms of intervals. For example, instead of seeing this (treble clef):

as a a sixth with B in the bottom, followed by a third with E in the bottom, followed by a D, I should see it like this: A sixth with B in the bottom, then move up a fourth, and play a third, then move down one step.

The idea is to eliminate all note names as much as possible, and just look at the movements within the notes in the key.

I tried this out, and immediately saw an improvement! However, the next day my new skill wasn't as evident.

So I continue to slog along. I've read through an entire Presbyterian hymnal -- some of it reading only one hand at a time.

My middle back pain has gotten worse, so now it hurts on jazz gigs as well as during sight-reading practice. I'll be on a surfing trip in a month or so, so perhaps it will heal given a break in practicing. Until then, ibuprofen is my friend.