Friday, June 5, 2009


The drummers play an exercise called "Fear" which is a pretty cool rythm, followed by everyone yelling "Fear!" They do this several times in a row (I guess depending on how much time they have to fill). It's supposed to install fear in the hearts of the opposition, I guess. It's not that scary, really.

Last night at group lesson Pete remarked that he hadn't heard a squeak out of me all night, and I realized how much I had been afraid of playing my low A and having it squeak. Last night when I played it time after time and it sounded beautiful, such a weight was lifted from my shoulders. [deep sigh]

I still have to struggle to make sure my fingers are place correctly on the chanter so as not to let even the teensiest breath of air escape (thus making the whistle, or squeak), but I have the general idea. I wonder why I didn't have this problem before, or if I did and nobody mentioned it because there were so many other issues to address first.

Wednesday's practice was somewhat disastrous.

I had been pushing my limits: had stayed awake too long or taken too short a nap or had woken up in precisely the wrong part of my sleep cycle, such that I could not concentrate on one thought for more than, say, 2.27 seconds. I tried playing through the March set with the band, but right in the middle I completely lost my Train of Thought for a millisecond, came back to the Station an instant later but could not remember where we were in the tune. I knew this was going to continue until I got some sleep, and be frustrating to the better players and embarassing to me, so I gave it up in the middle of the set, in the middle of practice. Jason showed actual concern and asked if I was OK. I avoided that question and said I had to go home, could I please? He reluctantly gave his permission, but asked again if I was OK. I said I would explain it at group lesson, and turned, walked to the car and drove home.

No, I shouldn't have been driving in that condition.

I hate disabilities.

I dreaded giving that explanation, and went over and over it in my head before Thursday night, but then Jason had to leave early so I didn't have to say anything. My Achilles Heel is still secret.

Sort of.

1 comment:

Granpiper said...

I think drummers like to yell. It's one thing that they can do while playing that pipers can't - gives them a false sense of superiority.