Yep, it´s been quite a while since I shared something about my nyckelharpa practicing at home with you. Simple reason why: I was not motivated at all, I hd no idea how to fit the playing into my schedule of work, physiotherapy and sports and once I did play, nothing worked out.
The latter one – no surprise, if you play just once a month for half an hour. So after the course in Altenmünster and some chats I had, I decided on changing my tactics in regards of practicing. Before I always tried to play once a week and then for 30-60 minutes. let´s face it, that never worked. And If I did it, then it was no fun anymore after that half an hour latest.
One more thing I did change that my back really appreciated. I changed the way how the strap is putting pressure onto back/neck area. I often had back pain and a stiff neck and painful shoulders, and now that I switched it feels much better, though getting used to the new way of holding it also did need some time and patience.
The outcome? I currently play around 2h a week, and I can see the improvements because I practice nearly every day so my fingers do remember more and I learn faster. But sure, there is still shitty days, like this weekend on Saturday. The first session was terrible as hell, the second one was better but still I wanted to throw the nyckelharpa out of the damned window. I am not good at patience with myself. Never have been, never will, I fear.
Anyways, let´s have a look at some tunes that I played in May and June – which are all pieces that I played first at the course in Altenmünster (okay, one is from last year Altenmünster)!
Fontaine la jolie (Hanter Dro)
I liked it already during the course and it also went well there already, but after not having played it for quite a while (aka a full month) my fingers did struggle her and there to remember and figure out the bowing and which notes to connect where and when not and all of that…
Amazing thing about it is: you can play it in an eternal loop, and drive yourself into some sort of trance. If you haven´t gone crazy beforehand 😉
To be fair, I wasn´t even sure if we really had played it at the course, but seeing that I had noted down stuff next to the sheet music, yep, we have played it. I suppose. And once I started playing it, I also remembered it rather quickly. With this one I partially struggle because when changing the string, the bow is “jumping” – not really visible on this video, but usually that happens and destroys the sound and gives me an unnice feeling. No idea how to really get rid off it. I hope it´s not becoming a bad habit…
This tune was writen by Johannes Mayr, not only my nyckelharpa teacher in Altenmünster but also the person who gave birth to my nyckelharpa. And even though I struggled at the course because the fever made me unable to concentrate when we played this, I loved it. And that hasn´t changed, even though my fingers here and there probably have a different opinion on how great that tune is 😉
Now I only maybe need to play it a tad faster ^^
En avant blonde
Last but not least, “En avant blonde” – no, I did NOT learn it this year but last year in Altenmünster. And I hated it back then because I just couldn´t wrap my head around it and whenever I tried, it sucked. And it got worse and worse to the point I didn´t even bother to play it.
To be fair, no idea why I decided on kicking my ass and repeat it until I get it right – nd not just the first part. And I really learned to enjoy the tune, it´s not even been too hard to pick it up. I am really clueless where the problem has been back in the days.