3 weeks is too long…

7 weeks down. 3 weeks to go til the audition. Can it be over now? I’m starting to get exhausted.

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And honestly, I don’t feel that optimistic about my abilities on most days. But maybe it has to do with the fact that I’m recording and critiquing myself every day. I have been trying to think more positively about it – I’ve been trying to write something positive about the recording as well as the normal ego-crushing negative comments. It’s interesting…I usually can point out a million things that are wrong with the performance of an excerpt, but when it comes to something good I can hardly come up with one thing on most days. I guess it’s true what they say – we are our own worst critics. *sigh*

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Anyway, I have one more week before I start my “taper” before the audition. For the last 7 weeks (will be 8 by the time phase 2 is over) I have been practicing 6 days a week, without fail.  As part of my “taper” I’m cutting it down to 5 days a week. I’m starting to realize how tired I’m getting, and I don’t want to feel like this when the time comes! I want to feel mentally fresh and ready to rock.

In non-audition news, it’s finally official! I got my written orders to the Pacific Fleet Band in Hawaii. If I don’t win the audition next month, I’ll be moving there in October. The audition came at a perfect time, actually. No matter what happens, my timetable for moving away from Norfolk will basically be the same. I’ll either be getting promoted to E6 and moving to DC, or I’ll be moving to paradise! Bye-bye Norfolk!

Lately I’ve been increasingly frustrated with my ol’ RH “R” mouthpiece. It just didn’t feel the same as it did – I’ve been using it for over five years now! I suspect that the table is a little warped – but I’m not an expert on mouthpieces so I’m not 100% sure. So, with the audition coming up I decided to do what I’ve been thinking about for awhile…ordering a couple new RH mouthpieces to try.

So I ordered another R, and one of the new G models. It’s only been a few days, and I’ve already decided to keep the G and send back the R. The G offers a lot more control (especially in the higher register), and that’s what I really need for the audition. It feels a little more “closed” than the R, and I need a little softer of a reed, but the sound is nearly identical (I verified by recording myself using the same reed). The main reason I got the R to try was that I wanted to compare a new R to my old one to see how different it was. There was a difference in feel, so I’m hoping that RH can reface my old one and return it to its former glory (or close to it).

So that’s the status of me right now. I’m very much looking forward to post-audition life, without any thoughts of excerpts, reeds, or mouthpieces. Or clarinet. For awhile, anyway…

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