Practice makes better

I am becoming reacquainted with the meaning of practice. And you know what they say. Practice makes better. You know, than before you practiced.

It’s funny. I sort of forgot that it worked that way. I played through a few new pieces a few times and said to myself, “Well, my fingers just aren’t going to do that. That’s unfortunate.” Still, I completed the tedious work of repeating those tricky parts infinity times. And now my fingers are sort of starting to do those things.

I also forgot that I actually love this tedious work. It requires such intense focus that I can’t, at the same time, dedicate any brain capacity to other shit. The hamster wheel of other shit that’s usually spinning around in my anxious head. It’s an escape. My form of meditation.

So it’s been fun, and I’m making good progress. I have the piano down for “Slow Like Honey” by Fiona Apple and “Stay With Me” from Into the Woods. 

Today I took the next step and broke out the microphone.

mic-Blue-USB-condenser

I had a couple hours alone and was hoping to have something to show for it in the end. I don’t. Recording with the mic is definitely not as straight forward as the piano. It took that long just to figure out things like:

  • Where to put the mic (Answer: on top of Physics and Organic Chemistry textbooks. I knew I was saving them for a reason!)
  • How close to get to the mic… and when
  • Where to set the gain
  • Why yes, I do need to use a pop filter.
  • How best to hear myself sing (one headphone earpiece on, one half off)
  • Etcetera

The good news is I got far enough along that I can now redirect my energy towards self-doubt…

  • Oh God, is that what I sound like there? That’s bad.
  • Flashes of the American Idol bloopers reel
  • Do I really need to SHARE this? When the time comes, maybe I’ll just forget to link that post on Facebook and Twitter.

I suppose at some point I’ll just have to rip off the Band-Aid and do it. Until then I’m hoping that with a little more practice I’ll magically start sounding like Fiona Apple and Bernadette Peters.*

*Who sound nothing alike. Don’t ask me how that’s supposed to work out.

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