A few days ago, I managed to get back to the piano so that I could tackle “A Study In Bleakness.” Although it is a pretty good piece of music, it could be a lot better. Before starting, I warmed up by doing scales in D. When I used to take piano lessons as a kid, scales were my least favorite activity. I was more interested in getting to work on the pieces that I needed to practice. Now that I am older (and maybe a little wiser 😄 ) scales are more than a drudgery. They are helpful because it not only helps to warm up my brain but going through the same scale that’s being used in the piece can help to generate some ideas.
I had some ideas before about cutting a line of music that didn’t quite fit the pattern of the piece. I also began to think about how I could expanded and fix one particular section that needed a little work. The end of “Bleakness” is an inversion of the beginning but with a few slight differences. What I hope to do is exaggerate those difference and distort them to make the piece more interesting while trying to stay true to the theme of the piece. I became stuck for ideas, so I went into my room so that I could listen to the recording I had made last year. I was immediately stuck by how terrible it sounded. It was too fast and bang-y, ick. It also reminded me that I needed to get better equipment. I went back to the piano and pulled out a device that I used to hate when I was young: the metronome. The Metronome is a device used by musicians to accurately keep time on a piece. The one that I used, which belongs to my mom, looks a bit like this one.
The fact that I was using one voluntarily made me smile. I used to hate the annoying ticking noise it would make when I had to playing along with it. Once I set it to the speed I wanted, between 66-76, I played through part of the piece. I made notations to indicate which parts needed to be slower and which needed to be faster. I’m still not sure how I’m going to fix this piece, or if I should even change it at all. Hopefully, after mulling it over for a bit, I’ll work it out.