I am in serious “training mode” this week getting ready to track my final acoustic and electric violin parts at Richard Cleaver’s Studio/Mixing Room in Kingston. People have asked me what this prep involves. Let me give you a peak into what I have been up to over the last few days.
1/ A Vigorous Workout Routine
Many people do not realize this, but playing the violin is a sport – a full body workout. I deal with many of the same repetitive stress issues on my muscles (and resulting fatigue, knotting and pain) that tennis players and golf players deal with. I mainly use the Core Performance program by Mark Verstegen which has been used by many elite athletes such as Roberto Alomar, Tiger Woods and others. It has been a great help to develop muscle balance and tone. I have a daily routine of Cardio (running and cycling), stretching, core body workouts on the floor and a Physio Ball, light weights, plus deep self massage using a tennis ball and electric massager.
2/ Listening to Tracks and Re-Charting Out My Specific Parts
Mental preparation is 75% of what I am doing this week. The more mentally prepared I am entering the studio the faster and more efficient I will be laying down my parts – this will save time and energy so that I can get my “best, freshest performance” with the least amount of effort. I have chosen to craft and compose my main melodic lines by charting them out out so I will be more consistent as I play them. I am an improviser, so this takes discipline. Of coarse, I am leaving room in the “solo sections” for the creative improvisation as well …
3/ Daily Warm-up on the Acoustic and 5-String Electric Violin
I use Schradieck (the best finger dexterity exercises), 3-Octave Major, Minor and other Modal Scales and Arpeggios, Long-tone scales (for a sustained bow, control and smoothness).
It is critical to get my fine motor skills (left hand fingers, bowing, etc.) sharp, coordinated and ready to go for this coming session (another reason why I have put working on the deck and any other heavy manual labour on hold for the time being until the bulk of my tracking is completed ;-).
4/ Spiritual Prep
As you know from previous posts, my morning Quiet Time is a critical part of my “training” as I seek to grow in my walk with God and stay sharp to His will and ways. I continue to covet your prayers as I record this coming weekend.
Until next time …