Milestones

Continuing a great streak of successful practice days. I've paid more attention to my meditation practice and physical health which I think have contributed greatly to my mental and physical endurance. The previous couple of weeks were a bit lacking in those areas.

 

The short version:

30 Minutes Bach exercise

30 Minutes rhythmic scales

30 Minutes flute

1 Hour "Milestones"

 

I started off the day in the practice room at 8:15 with the Bach tuning/ ear training exercise I described yesterday. Today though, I bought a tuner app called "Tonal Energy Tuner", it proved to be a great tool. I discovered that mostly I knew which pitches tended to be sharp or flat already, but rarely was I correct about exactly how far off. Often I was overcompensating, perhaps because my muscles have grown stronger, so it's easier to overcompensate by mistake. Several notes I was actually entirely wrong about (they were actually flat or sharp when I thought they were the opposite).

 

So I paid a lot more attention to tuning today. The exercise is great for helping me think in scale degrees; I have great command over my scales but I'm simply not used to leaping in in 5ths or 6ths (especially diatonic 5ths and 6ths as they are often diminished/minor).

 

Next, I played my melodic minor scales in quintuplets, this time adding specific accent patterns. One was: ONE two ONE two three, the other was ONE two three ONE two. below is a video:

After a break for class, I did two exercises on the flute for embochure. One was simple long tones, focusing hard on things like posture, mouth position, and intonation, all with the intent to improve my sound.

 

 

 

 

To improve my high register and expand my range, I practiced the overtone series. Essentially, by playing one of several specific low notes, it is possible to play notes an octave or even larger intervals higher. Below is a demonstration; it's hard to see but I don't change the way I finger the note at all. It's all about creating a smaller hole in my embochure to make the air come out faster.

Later, I was able to play through all of my major scales, one octave. In rehearsal, when we played the one song I will be performing on flute, I noticed a significant improvement in the way I sounded and how easy it felt.

 

After another class, I spent an hour on Milestones. I made a video which is really a snapshot of how I learned the melody. I used the software Transcribe to slow it down to 50% speed, and I'm playing along by ear. This is the Dexter version, but I also checked out the Joe Henderson version.

When I got the melody down at 100% speed (in about 30 minutes), I moved on to mastering the harmony and improvising. I selected a rhythm and played through the changes using mostly chord tones and some simple connecting patterns using appropriate scales. I did this with several different rhythms, tried to utilize ascending/descending patterns, the whole range of the horn, and used different melodic concepts (for instance I tried to use almost exclusively pentatonics one time).

 

I closed out the day with improvisation over Milestones. It's still quite challenging, but I am able to execute way more rhythmic and melodic ideas over the changes than I could yesterday or the day before.

 

 

Happy practicing!

 

ici

 

 

 

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