Thursday, November 30, 2006

End of November synopsis

(a personal record):

  • Reading
    More than half way through Alejo Carpentier's "Music in Cuba". Will be followed by "Cuban Miami" (and Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential").
  • Tutorial writing
    Planning the first Hip Isolation lesson. Hope to have two tutorials on hip isolation finished by the end of the year.
  • Song-writing
    Penning the inspiraciones for the fifth song (the last one to complete) of our suite right now. Then to work out the melodies and get it into the practice room.
  • Recording
    Polishing the two remaining basslines for our first phase of four songs. Then to lay down the hand percussion layers of Phase I. Begin recording the guide vocals to Phase II.
  • Playing
    Just three more songo variations to master on the tumbadores before I can move on to other rhythms and soloing strategies. Rehearse guitar montunos for our original songs and start developing guajeos on the tres for two of them.
  • Dancing
    Solidify timing as regards dancing on the upbeats (in between the beats). Focus on rumba guaguancó movement.
That should gobble up all of my spare time all the way through to the new year. Yuletide's looking pretty fine!

Loo Yen

Friday, November 24, 2006

In a Teaching State of Mind

Well that's another salsa tutorial done, which means I can post this much belated blog entry.

It's been pretty hard getting back into the teaching mindset; more specifically writing for a web-delivered tutorial because of its unique constraints and demands. I've just done two in a row: on lateral chest isolation and on circular movement of the torso which completes the upper-body level programme. Roll on to the hips next.

I'm only just feeling as if I'm into the swing of things again. And since efficiency is a big thing with me, I'll stick with the lesson writing for a good while to save having to shift mental gears. I've always maintained that I get as much out of doing this as those who use them, although there seems always to be a point in the process where I question that; usually when I'm struggling to articulate a tough concept.

So all in all, things are going well, and I'm looking forward to completing the body movement series over the next few months. I've nearly convinced myself that the 'Using Rhythm' tutorials deserve their own section, but there has to be more content to warrant that (and you know what that means).

Loo Yen Yeo