Yesterday, at my lesson, I sat down in my chair and played the Just Desserts swing number. Usually, if I completely stink at something, my teacher will stop me--it's just too painful to let me continue--and he'll correct my mistakes. Then I start over and try for something better.
But this time he didn't stop me. I played the whole thing start to finish, feeling as if this time I was getting it right, like I was projecting the correct pulse. At the end, I put my horn back down on my leg and looked at him with raised eye-brows, waiting for a word of encouragement.
He said, "So, did you practice this with a metronome?"
Deflated, like a leaky balloon that slowly falls from the ceiling down the floor, floating aimlessly with no fuel and no hope for refilling, destined to shrivel into a plastic puddle only to be scooped up and tossed into the trash, party ended. Is that a melodramatic description? Probably. It's just that I had played the stupid thing with a metronome, several times. But without that external ticking, I miss beats here and there, so that after a couple lines beat one isn't beat one anymore.
So we played it and played it and played it until I saw some hope, a little boost to the balloon. I have made a commitment to myself--there will be no crying during horn lessons. But if I were a weaker soul, I would have dribbled a few tears over that one. I hate that.
On a brighter note, Teacher gave me a lecture on the evolution of music--pre classical to classical to romantic--I loved it--it made sense and helped with the Beethoven.