The director of the Pride of Arizona Marching Band, Jay Rees, often says: “You must find the groove. Apply that to every aspect of your life and you will be fine.”
After moving from Tucson, AZ back to Salt Lake City, UT, I have found that my playing and reed making are not grooving at optimum performance levels. Packing up a home, moving it almost 800 miles away, then getting settled is not the best recipe for maintaining a great performance ready skill level. Not to mention my playing endurance right now is about 12 minutes. Thinking about traveling the road back to playing at a high level, often makes me feel like this guy ––>
So, what do you do when you have had an extensive layoff from playing, and you need to “find the groove?” The answer is simple, do the things that got you there in the first place!
Focus on tone quality. Play scales and long tones. Find that sound that you love, and remember how to consistently replicate it. Next, I work on technique. Start slow with etudes or scale exercises that you are very familiar with, and build from a place of confidence.
Always be patient, and find joy in the journey back to your best musician self!
Okay, time to go find my groove!