Over a year ago I posted about evening practice sessions being problematic for my tone production, memory, and playing in general – I observed that for whatever reason my morning and early afternoon practice sessions are better. I think that since I wrote that post the daytime/nighttime disparity has evened out somewhat, but it certainly remains true that I sound better in the mornings than in the evenings. About the only reason I can come up with is that like most folks I’m a little tired at the end of the day, and fine motor control is harder the more tired the body is. It makes some sense, but it’s still frustrating.
Last night was a particularly problematic session, combining the regular issues of nighttime practice with a day-over-day 20 degree temperature drop in Chicago, which of course caused my A string to go completely haywire. I’ve been complaining about my A string for some time, and last night it was the worst yet. I actually pulled the string fully out of the peg twice and re-wound it. I was working on a theory that the spot at which the peg is wound up to full tension just coincidentally is a problem spot, so I thought perhaps if I made it so the peg lands in a different spot when it’s tuned up by pulling more of the string through the hole in the peg at the outset that might do the trick. It did not seem to do the trick. I did eventually get the string to stay in tune, but it probably took me 15 minutes, time full of frustration that I would far prefer to spend practicing.
In the spirit of taking action in conjunction with complaining, I just visited a music supplier site and ordered some peg drops that are supposed to help with slipping pegs. I chose them over a compound of the type Teacher has applied to my pegs once or twice because of the comments on the product, which directly address peg slippage; another compound I was looking at didn’t mention peg slippage. I’m hoping to get some results, but the drops probably won’t arrive for a week, so that’s a little disappointing. If the weather stays put for a couple of days that will surely help too.
If the drops don’t do the trick I’m going to pursue a fine tuner on the A string. Complaining is never becoming when there is action to be taken that can address the issue! I’ve “’learned” that lesson a couple of times over the years. Clearly not well enough.
Thanks for reading.