Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Warm reception at 'The Hall', Lancaster

Not just once but twice today. At 9:45 to a packed Cafe´and then at 12:30 . Both times people went out of their way to thank me for my playing - not of my clarinet but of the studio Grand Piano.

It's worth stopping and asking what is the difference to my reception as a clarinetist in the Market Place, Ulverston.

One or two things are registering as possible reasons and these will be applied to future play - of the clarinet  . One is that with the piano I am listening carefully to what music I am creating and adjusting my playing instantly to what I hear. Therefore what is produced is monitored meticulously. This is not true with the clarinet where I am too preoccupied in the basic problem of playing the notes themselves. I am therefore switching to doing what I do on the piano and making up tunes and listening carefully to what I play and adjusting what I play next to what has just gone before. I am also far more playful and less stressed out this way of playing.

Thanks for all the encouragement to my piano playing - I'll be doing it more often where appropriate!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

First time ever

I really enjoyed myself on the Market yesterday. Much to people's surprise I was even singing as I waited for my hands to warm up in my pockets. Why? Where did that come from? God knows. But I did! It was wet and windy and I'd had a poor playing day on the previous market day on Thursday.

The result was that my playing improved and I have come home with increased condfidence to practice hard so the future looks good. Lots of appreciative smiles and waves were on offer, particularly from children ( who are perhaps less critical than adults). With the clarinet and other wind instruments one is particularly vulnerable to nerves - at times I blow and no sound comes out- or I squeak which is even worse. This is devestating to someone on their own who sets themselves high standards.

Playing in public like this certainly is good training. If you can manage it then you will be really good with a group of other musicians. Trouble is a group isn't easy to come by when you're older and encouragement is generally in short supply as most people are so critical. Breaking this viscious circle takes some doing. You need to be very determined. . . .

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The effect of a new mouthpiece

I shall be using this tomorrow. I believe it produces a clearer tone and can be played louder. It defeated me when I first played it , but now it's becomeing easier.

You can judge tomorrow  - Ulverston Market at 10:30am ish - sounds good here at home!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Monday, 30 December 2013

All set for this next Thursday

I've had a few days off playing and last night I was getting my lips back in shape.

Had a great time practicing and plan to put in some ours before Thursday. It great having this regular 'gig' and greatly boosted by positive comments that keep coming in ( along with the negative ones)

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Stoping the dreaded sqeaking

First my confidence of playing in public is improving. As a result the sound is improving.

Secondly the sound at home is much improved and I'm exploring the value of different mouthpieces to produce different quality sounds. I'm spending more and more time playing at home and this enables me to play better.

One thing that makes me sad is the prospect that our Market will soon close because three stalls plan to stop operating after Christmas. Without a market where will people meet in town?

To the rescue a new initiative please, to bring town's people to come together just for fun!

Who is going to support this idea. We get little encouragement but individuals will perhaps have their own ideas.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

A very warm and appreciative public

Thank you for all the warm contact with people of all kinds as they pass. The sound the clarinet was superb for most of the time. Only when a tentative approach with new pieces did the playing take a dip.

A lack of nervousness makes a marked difference to the playing. It's great to be aware that the performances are clearly improving. Playing without a a backing track went well . The accompaniment needs to creative and interesting - a lovely challenge.

Practise at home leads to a lovely interaction- young children are particularly curious.

Another £3 for the Lantern Procession! And great fun doing it. This is a lovely way of making contact with the public.