Monday, February 22, 2010

My latest crush

It’s a jolly good job I’m not taking exams in my quest to learn the sax. At my lesson two weeks ago, Mel said: “I think you’re ready for Rachel and the Boys.” This is a bluesy piece and it’s on the syllabus for Grade 4.  Grade 4 !  I was so chuffed that she thought I could play a Grade 4 piece after only 5 months, that I brought it home and practised it obsessively.

The piece was interesting, annoying, attractive, and like nothing I had come across before (a bit like the heroes in my novels.)  I played nothing but Rachel and the Boys for a whole week and managed to get it note perfect once. The rest of the time it was good enough to pass muster. Dave cheered me on and told me how great it sounded. “You’re going to wow Mel,” he said.

When I arrived at my next lesson, I was all keyed up, anxious to show Mel what I could do. But in front of her, my fingers turned to al dente spaghetti and I couldn’t play it.  I was mortified. I was crestfallen. All that hard work, all my determined practising, and I was useless.

Mel was sweet, as always, and got me to play it with her “as if you are drunk and going for a rambling walk in the park.” But I could still only botch the wretched piece. When I got home, I couldn’t face Rachel and the bloody Boys, and opened my Gershwin book to cheer myself up. And I fell into the arms of another song - But not for me. I think I’m in love with this piece now.*

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*But I would like to ask Gershwin why he always took three quarters of an hour to get into the melody of all his best songs.

3 comments:

Wendy said...

Don't be too hard on yourself, no one can master everything in a few months. You have a little more time on your side.

Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks, WW.xx

Marilyn said...

Now I can't get 'But not for me' out of my head! But it's okay as I really like it. I'm still sourcing a clarinet and when I find one I like the look of, I'll be trying to play Gershwin. (The music shop I was in on Saturday had a gorgeous pink sax but no pink clarinet unfortunately...)