I’m waving my white flag of surrender…well, it’s not so much white anymore, maybe a little burnt, torn and tattered.
Everyone gets into funks and we’re never really certain what causes them. We sit and ponder, feel sorry for ourselves, have a pity party and yet, in the end, all we want to do is stare at the back of our eyelids or watch the coffee table collect dust.
If don’t see the results I want immediately, I analyze the situation and figure out why I’m not getting what I want. I spend hours working out whatever the issues are and as soon as I put them back into context, say a particular phrase I’m working on, I stumble and fall flat on my face. This is frustrating, I get frustrated. Why? Because I feel like what I’m doing isn’t working, actually it isn’t and I’m proving that it isn’t working. But if it’s not working, what else is there left to do? What else is left when you feel like you’ve done everything?
I like writing in my moments of funk-“iness,” helps me clear my thoughts and sort of put things into perspective.
As I was leaving the practice rooms tonight, defeated and a little beaten, it started to rain. Ironic, yes. But then I heard someone in the distance, from their open practice room window, playing some piano piece that evoked the “sturm un drag,” strong minor key with a clearly sad, somber, and depressing mood. I laughed to myself and thought how fitting for my walk home.
The weather has drastically changed here in Cincinnati. In upstate New York we had pretty much two seasons, winter and not winter. It never really rained as much as it does here – so things were pretty consistent – but when it rains all the time and the humidity causes you to sweat bullets as soon as you walk out the door, it reeks havoc on your reeds.
That’s partially my reason, I think, for my funk. I’m not rotating or breaking in reeds enough so that when the weather does change or isn’t at all stable, what I do have to play on PEACES out and I’m left with two stragglers. You can’t really predict the weather and so what cane you play on is victim to whatever the weather is when you broke it in. I’ve always been taught that quantity, as far as reeds go, is far better than having two or three good ones. I’m down to two or three from 15…and that kind of puts me on edge.
If you’re not a reed player, this is probably a bit difficult to understand. Imagine if you were a trumpet player, and for some reason, they found that the best type of material to make your mouthpiece out of was of a metal that was extremely inconsistent and changed according to the weather. The more humidity, the harder it is to push air through the horn. If that makes any sense.
I noticed today, also, that one of my throat tone keys wasn’t closing all the way. I had a sheer moment of panic because, as of now, my funds are EXTREMELY limited and I just can’t afford to get my horn fixed if something is wrong.
Wish I could find a sponsor, a life sponsor. Do those exist for students? Can I write letters to someone? Man, wouldn’t that be AMAZING, have someone donate money to support your career – to help you become a SUPERSTAR!
Ha. Okay, I think I just worked myself out of my funk. I’m smiling now. If you know of anyone that’s willing to take a chance on a up and coming “SUPERSTAR!” let me know. They won’t regret their donation.
I’ll just have to have a plan of action tomorrow, break in more reeds, stop playing on crap, and work more on basics.
Speaking of reeds. I think I’m going to order three more boxes.
Cheers, and thanks for working my funk out with me.