Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Eat the Frog First

 "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first."  ~ Mark Twain

Has the time come to stop procrastinating and just do the work that is required to accomplish something?

I'm making a public declaration that this will the year that I intentionally practice arpeggios.

I know my arpeggio shapes. I recognize them. I play them... just not enough. Not enough to play pattern combinations fluently up and down the full range of my instrument. Not enough to play major and minor chords with ease. Not enough to execute with the added test of speed.

So, beginning October 15, I am including 15-20 minutes of arpeggio practice in my daily practice. I do the arpeggio practice first. The time passes quickly and seems to be the amount needed to ingrain a particular pattern sequence for a given chord and complete a speed test.

It has been truly humbling. I have a ways to go before I can even pretend to be speedy. I'm identifying some real weaknesses. And I'm counting on a significant pay-off!

What's your frog??

Monday, October 28, 2019

Monday's Muse

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body.  ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Monday, October 21, 2019

Monday's Muse

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.  ~ Steve Jobs

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Value of Attending Workshops

Just back from Ken Kolodner's Sandbridge HD Retreat. Can you believe? I've been attending this autumn beach retreat for 15 years? Before that, I was a regular for nearly as many years at the Swannanoa Gathering Warren Wilson College until after the summer of 2011 when Dulcimer Week was discontinued.

Workshops, retreats, festivals help keep one on track along the musical journey. As we all know, it's not the destination ... you've got to enjoy the ride! It's nice to have some companions along the way.

What's to gain from attending dulcimer workshops?
  • learn something
  • be reminded of something you should have practiced / learned
  • set new goals ... keep raising the bar
  • enjoy different styles of playing and teaching
  • be "wowed" but what can be done with the instrument
  • maybe meet your role model / mentor / guru
  • be inspired, maintain high level of self-motivation
  • play lots of music
  • meet old / new friends
There are plenty of opportunities to get out there in the dulcimer community. Dulcimer Players News is a good resource for information about festivals that occur all across the country. (If you don't already subscribe to this quarterly publication, you should!)

For you Triangle Trapezoids, here's a quick rundown of what's coming up in OUR area:
And don't forget to watch this space for timely info about more local dulcimer events!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Monday's Muse

The easiest way to avoid wrong notes is to never open your mouth and sing. What a mistake that would be.  ~ Pete Seeger

Monday, October 7, 2019

Monday's Muse

Improvised music involves a lot of intuition and I like developing intuition.  ~ Fred Frith