Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bagpipe Band Forum - 7/27/07

The Power of Focus (my comments)

I really like Stormy's response. Practice, practice, practice. But I still find if my mind wanders I can mess up a tune I can usually play well. Maybe as I get a few more years under my belt I can relax a bit more.

When I practice I try to concentrate on technique, timing and tone. I try to pick out "landmark" notes in a tune that are keys to how well I'm keeping the beat and timing the phrases. When I play that tune I'm focused on hitting those landmarks just right.

When I compete solo I also like to focus on the judge's foot. I want to see it start to tap out the beat and keep it going. I'm still listening to my playing, but the foot keeps me from being distracted.

When I compete with the band I'm focused on the PM's foot or the bass drum beat if I can't see the PM. Same thing, I hear the tune, but I'm focused on the foot.

With performances I still try to find someone in the audience to focus on; usually someone who is tapping or moving to the music.

Parades are a bit harder to stay focused, but I usually concentrate on whoever is marching in front of me.

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