I’m using the the downtime to study, woodshed, etc. in the hope of coming out of this an even better player. I’ll bet I’m not alone in this quest.
To that end, I’ve been taking the odd lesson or two, participating in some online classes, and working through some study materials. I’ve become enamored by the playing of Duved Dunayevsky in the past few months. I think his Soundslice lesson is fantastic and I’m working my way through it. I’ve attached a YouTube link here from it that is a great example of his playing. I learned the solo note for note as I have other great standard Django solos and have come to an interesting observation: it’s possible to muff and stumble even through slow-paced solos!
I used to think that the fast solos were the hardest to get right, and we all get attracted to the energy of that kind of playing, at first. It’s been a revelation to understand that slower pieces like ballads and other slower-paced tunes can reveal my weaknesses even more glaringly.
One of my instructors said he thought a defining characteristic of this style is playing with authority. I thought that was a good summation of getting to a goal of instrument mastery and confidence.
So, I’m trying to figure out how to work on to getting past several plateaus upon which I’ve landed. I’ll acknowledge that I’m only 5 years into my study where it’s said jokingly that “the first ten years are the hardest.” I’d be interested in hearing from others here who have experienced breakthroughs in their playing.
Here’s the clip. I found it interesting that even Duved had a little muffed note near the end of the solo. He cracks a little smile when he does it.