Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Back to the Big Four: F, C, T, D

Seems I've trod this ground before but it bears repeating.
Here are the big four...
  • Do you have a resonant, centered tone in different registers?
  • Can you play in tune with yourself and others?
  • Can you hear the notes in your head before you play them?
  • Can you keep a steady tempo?
  • Can you subdivide correctly within that tempo?
  • Can you begin the notes cleanly?
  • Can you control all these elements as you play.. high and low? ...loud and soft? ...fast and slow?
  • Do you know exactly what the piece should sound like?
  • Do you know where you are going to breathe?
  • Do you know where to crescendo? ...whether to use vibrato? ...how much accent to use?
  • Do you know exactly what slide positions you're going to use?
  • Have you heard multiple recordings of the piece?
  • If a solo, do you know the piano part well?
  • If an excerpt, do you know the piece as a whole?
  • Do you know the meanings of all the terms?
  • Can you close your eyes and hear the precise sound of someone really "nailing it?"
  • Are you aware when tension builds in your body?
  • Is your posture well-balanced?
  • Is your playing a natural extension of relaxed breathing?
  • Is your tongue relaxed? Your throat? Your shoulders?
  • Are you so focused on the music that you don't notice what is going on around you?
  • Have you quieted any "inner conversations" about your playing, good or bad?
  • Are you " in the moment?"
  • Do you "disappear into the music" as you play?

I'm sure I missed a few but this seems to be a pretty good list.

Back to ye old performance equation...
P - I = R
Potential minus interference equals result.
Potential = (Fundamentals + Concept)
Interference = (Tension + Distraction)

Hope this checklist helps.