Brahms – a year on

After taking a year to learn my ‘little tune by Khachaturian ‘ I said check back and see if the Brahms took as long….so now one year later…with some time out and reduced practice due to hand operation…..the beautiful first movt of the second Brahms Sonata certainly didn’t take me as long to learn but I think it may take me a lifetime to play well.

Tick at the end of the first movement of Brahms Sonata
The all important tick at the end of the Brahms

As for the Khachaturian, pleased I could still manage to get through it after the hand operation but it really needs constant practise.  I may have to play this piece everyday for the rest of my life!


Just keep practising, just keep practising…

Carpel Tunnel – 8 Months Post Op Lament

8 months of pain in both hands… this actually an improvment from hands that were constantly numb?

It has been very frustrating, one of my main issues before the op was that I felt I was loosing control of he fingers, I seemed to be fumbling.  Sadly that hasn’t improved, there are so many things that I find really hard to do, doing up buttons and writing is even worse than it was before the op.  Gave up trying to pick a pin up off the floor, impossible.  Can play Squeak (clarinet) for a maximum of 30 minutes, not sure if that is good or bad for the hands but not giving in, might be better for the neighbours!

The hands were worse 6 months ago so I guess it is improving, just soooo slowly that I don’t notice. Not the quick fix I had been hoping for.  Got 12 months in my head….just give it 12 months and maybe it will be ok. – will it be the 12 month Jig or Dirge?

Clarinet Mouth – Or Embouchure vs Blowing Raspberries!

The embouchure, or mouth position, for playing clarinet doesn’t just happen. When I first started playing clarinet I found after a short while my mouth would just go slack, no way could I hold it there any longer, completely useless and impossible to play any longer.  Continue reading “Clarinet Mouth – Or Embouchure vs Blowing Raspberries!”

Poco a Poco – Little by Little

Another tick at the end of a piece, well end of the movement.  This is the Khachaturian trio, which I love, but looking back I can see it has taken me a year to reach this point.  It really has been Poco a Poco, little by little, just keep working away and at last another milestone is reached. Really thought I had over extended myself with this one.

Khachaturian Trio, Clarinet.

Khachaturian Trio, end of 1st mvt, clarinet part.

I have now started on a Sonata by Brahms, slower, beautiful and hopefully won’t take me so long to learn (come back in a year and check on that!).


Squeak is sick

imageSqueak the clarinet is sick. I was playing my pieces, thinking it wasn’t going too badly and my teacher will be pleased this week.  Then is started to sound very bad.  First rule of learning an instrument is blame your equipment.  Gave Squeak a hard stare.  Fiddled with the reed, tried different reed. No good.  On closer inspection I found one of the keys isn’t closing properly.  So if I can find a spare finger to hold that key down…hmm not enough fingers.  “Siobhan can you hold this key down until I say release” .    Well that worked…. sort of.  I can see getting through the Weber Grand Duo like that is going to be tricky.  Tried adjusting the tiny screws but think Squeak need professional help.   Poor Squeak.