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Lord of the dance

2015-02. Harley.

          I’ve been practicing … one of the things to do on “The List“, but I’m not taking it off the list because I’m enjoying it.

          As with anything which arrives in pieces and needs to be put together, I followed the instructions very carefully to assemble “Harley” and arrived at the finish line with a completed Saxophone ready to play.  I turned the next page of my instruction booklet and was delighted to find that the finger positions for the basic notes are in the same place as a recorder.  I flicked through the pages and within no time at all was able to play the first six notes … here’s where my memory came back and from many hours spent practicing on the recorder as a youngster and I was even able to play the first few bars of Amazing Grace.

          The problem with my recorder playing in school is that I’d never really learned to read the music and so to keep up with the rest of the group, I’d taken to writing the letters of the notes underneath so that I could still play along.

          Hmmmn, now there was a decision to be made, do I fall into the same trap as before and add the letters, instantly being able to play the old tunes I already knew and had practiced so long ago, or do I go back to the beginning and start again at a much slower pace, but this time actually learn to read the music.

           Ok, decision made, I went back to start at the very beginning, after all ” it’s a very good place to start”, I practiced on the few bars I was given in my book as each note was added and dug around online for a few extra easy practice tunes, short ones because at first my lack of puff gave me a headache after five or ten minutes playing.

          I slowly progressed to playing Alloette, a little French children’s song, the tune was even pretty recognisable, although Hubby couldn’t decide if it was Three blind mice or Frere Jaques.

          After a little more practice I allowed myself to read on in my instruction book and was amazed to find that with just one small movement of my left thumb I could double the number of notes I could play.   Yay !!!

          My latest practice piece is Lord of the Dance, I don’t think I’m playing it anywhere near as fast as it’s supposed to be, but I am playing it, and it is recognisable as a tune.

          My puff has increased, I can play for about half an hour quite easily now without a headache, and I’m slowly learing to read the music, very slowly, and with no cheats this time, but I’m enjoying it … I’m not sure I’d like to be one of my neighbours though, lets just hope they’re happy I’m not learing to play the violin.

          More from before : Making music with “Harley

Meet Harley

2014-12. Harley.

          When my birthday arrived earlier this year Hubby asked what I’d like for a present, since I’d reached one of those milestones where the birthday number ended in a zero, I had to think long and hard about what I’d like to commemorate it.  Eventually I asked for something I’d wanted for a long time, a saxophone.  It only took a little research to discover that the tenor sax is far too big for me to hold so not even an option, and even less research to discover we would almost need a second mortgage to get a decent one so I just carried on dreaming.

          Anyone who visits regularly will know how I feel about saxophone music, I could listen to it for ages, but as for my actual playing of the music, I’m afraid now everyone will be forced to either buy ear plugs or, hopefully, listen to me playing for ages instead as Hubby has put together my birthday and Christmas present and given me not just an Alto saxophone, but a whole caboodle of stands and books and things to go with it too, and since he announced to the world yesterday that he thinks this is part of my mid-life-crisis and my sax is the equivalent of my Harley Davidson motorbike, he’s inadvertently given me its name… Harley.