2024-06-01: syrinx

at my last lesson, my guitar teacher and i got to talking about muscle memory, and how it relates to guitar. i've been playing guitar for the better part of 15 years now, and have figured out that to really learn a piece, for me, i need to use the music for reference and work the piece into muscle memory. guitar is a difficult instrument in that you're often called on to play several notes at once, and due to the layout of the instrument, and particular chord can be played in many different ways.

& i got talking about how i can still play bits of pieces i learned more than 25 years ago on flute. how something about the simplicity of the fingerings meant that once i started playing a piece, i could just feel my way through it. a combination of memorization and muscle memory, each helping the other. he mentioned that when he was younger, he could learn a hard piece of guitar music in a few days, whereas now, it's weeks to months (which is where i'm at, too). & suggested that maybe a lot of my muscle memory on flute was due to the age at which i was learning these pieces - 15-17.

i conceded it might be true. i also don't totally believe it. so i've decided to give myself a sneaky summer project. get my flute embouchure back. play through my usual catchup pieces (js bach sonatas, taffanel's andante pastorale, etc), and then try to learn and fully internalize a new piece.

i've chosen syrinx. it's a standard part of the repertoire, but it wasn't part of the lessons i took in high school. it's pretty, it's only a couple of pages. apart from a few months at the start of the pandemic, i've let my flute playing languish. i'm off to long & mcquade this afternoon to pick up some papers for my pads. maybe a new polishing cloth.

i'm lowkey kind of excited. let's see how far i can take this.