Monday, April 25, 2016

Slow jams

I've written about the benefits of playing things slowly in the past.  But some new ideas came to me recently that I wanted to expand upon.

Try playing a taiko piece slow, slower than you're comfortable with.  How does it feel?  Yes, of course it feels slow, but are you feeling where the notes should fall, regardless?  Or is it making things more difficult because you're used to hearing it within a certain tempo range?

Slow training like this makes us appreciate and understand the relative space between notes no matter what the tempo is.  The tendency at a slower tempo is to either try to speed up to what's "comfortable", or to get even slower because the relative space is unfamiliar and there's nothing to lock into.

Getting comfortable with a slower tempo can be mental, in just not worrying about it and enjoying the difference, and/or physical in feeling the tempo internally, locking into that and trusting yourself.  But if neither one is there, you're almost guaranteed to be unsteady.

You might not actually want to play a piece slowly, but next time it happens, consider it a training drill.  Monitor how it makes you feel and after it's over, have that inner dialogue so it's something you can grow on!

No comments:

Post a Comment