Sunday, August 15, 2010

Writing and Playing

Earlier this afternoon, I played through one of the Bach two-part inventions on the piano. I used a technique for learning new music that I've used since I was about five years old: First play through the right hand part, then play the left-hand part, finally play both hands together, slowly. That first time playing both hands together takes some courage. One must be strong and work through the nerves, and then focus so that one's hands operate independently of each other yet still stay in sync with the music on the page.

It occurred to me there are many similarities between playing Bach and writing. For me, the prep work one must do before writing is very much like playing the parts one hand at a time. During the act of actually writing the first page or two, I get a little nervous about it, much like trying to play the invention with both hands at the same time. Usually when I work through the first couple of paragraphs, the rest falls into place, save for a few potholes along the way that I know will take some extra work to get into my fingers. I'll get to that someday. This is similar to that last sentence at the end of that section that you know really sucks, and someday I may be inspired to find better words to fill in the gap.

The main accomplishment from my self-banishment last week was to get through the first couple of pages or so. But there are those nerves, wondering if what I've done is on the right track. Before I did too much more today, I e-mailed back and forth with DC to ask her about a couple of questions that I've had to check and see if I'm on the right track with this last chapter. As it turns out, I am indeed correct. Onward, then. I guess I just need to keep practicing with both hands.


Anonymous said...

I agree with this approach.

Rob said...