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Practice Tracks: My Blue Heaven

Barron Ryan

Drag me around…   by Daniel Staemmler

Drag me around… by Daniel Staemmler

I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it! That’s because I’m working on five new tunes for my upcoming album, The Masters’ Apprentice. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be ready to record them and eight other tracks by March of next year. Here’s how I’m practicing right now.

A former teacher (Jura Margulis) shared with me his ‘7 Habits of Tension-Free Practice,’ and the last of which is playing very slowly and very loudly. So that’s how I’m approaching Teddy Wilson’s version of ‘My Blue Heaven.’ I’m practicing loudly at half-speed to get really comfortable with all notes, finger positions, movements, and so on.

Once I can play the entire tune comfortably at half-speed, I’ll repeat the process at five-eighths speed, and keep getting faster until I reach nine-eighths speed. There’s not much subtlety to my playing, but that’s okay for now. I can add that once I no longer have to think about which notes I’m supposed to play.