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Dec 19

LOSING,REGAINING AND MAINTAINING FORM.

LOSING,REGAINING AND MAINTAINING FORM.

In many ways as performing musicians we are like athletes. To give a good performance we need to be in good musical form. Lose our form and we are in danger of losing the gig.

The last 6 months I have been in the best musical form of my life. Singing and playing better than I have ever played. Importantly as well it has been a consistent form from gig to gig. Then this weekend  BANG. My form was right down. I was flat on all 3 saxes. When singing I was struggling to hold the pitch on the long notes. Forgetting words. In tunes that I’ve played on my saxes for years from memory I was playing bum notes, and in some tunes even losing the melody.

WHY DID I LOSE FORM?

When you lose form it is always important to ask why? I’m right in the middle of my high season. I physically cant do any more gigs, and have been on the go like this for weeks now. So tiredness has to be the main factor. Add a little bit of stress, and then I get migraines. I had 3 in quick succession last week. Last week I spent far more time on the blog. The post SYNTHETIC OR CANE SAX REEDS? drew an incredible response, and then I did a follow up post, and watching and responding to comments obviously was quite time consuming. As a result this crept into my daily practicing time. Not difficult to see why I lost form.

HOW TO REGAIN FORM.

This is just good common sense stuff. Make sure you catch up on sleep. I usually take the children to school in the morning. The last 2 mornings my wife has taken the children to school, and let me sleep in. Then GET BACK TO BASICS in rehearsal. On the sax I just play LONG NOTES, and spend quite a bit of time on HARMONICS. This will get your tone back into shape, and working on the harmonics sorts tone and pitching.

Working on harmonics on the saxes has a double whammy for me. I find that when I work on harmonics on the sax, my vocal pitching becomes so much tighter. IT´S ALL ABOUT MUSCLE MEMORY.

Be careful of too much practice when you are tired.

A WORD ON MUSCLE MEMORY.

A good performance and form is all about muscle memory. It´s a brain, muscle and ear relationship.Playing melodies from memory is all about muscle memory. I find that if I play bum notes in a tune, or even worse , lose the melody in the performance, the next time I perform that tune my brain says to me “This is where you lost it last time.” Very often I make exactly the same mistake as last time. I find it very important in rehearsal to go through that tune a couple of times, and reinforce the muscle memory again of that tune to avoid the psychological meltdown next performance.

HOW TO MAINTAIN FORM.

The secret to maintaining form is RHYTHM. Finding and maintaining a daily rhythm and balance of practice and rest. Just like any ATHLETE this requires DISCIPLINE AND SACRIFICE. Particularly in the peak seasons. If you maintain a disciplined rhythm, the BAD performances will be few and far between.

 

 

PERFORMANCE,FORM

LOSING,REGAINING AND MAINTAINING FORM., rehearsal. muscle memory,rehearsal, rest

 

 

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. Sandra

    Thanks very much for sharing your advice, I found it very helpful Saxaxeman.

  2. Renata Hay

    Great post!
    Renata

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