Happy Sunday everyone! Today we do a few more hand coordination drills and continue learning Ice Skater. Have fun! Kris Q/A, Errata/Suggestions, Thoughts Q - I have to tell you, reading the dots and playing those in time isn't so tough, but when it comes to listening and playing back....I don't think I've ever been so frustrated in my life. It's like I've completely forgotten what the first stroke was by the time they get to the last one. Maybe I'm concentrating too much on each individual stroke or something, but this is easily the hardest part of this practice for me. I thought the hand coordination drills would help me to focus less on striking and more on getting the correct hand to move at the right time, but I am really struggling with the call and response part of things. -- Matt A - Let me first say, the call and response is hard! Don't feel bad that it's a challenge. In fact, every time you have a glitch between what your brain expects to happen and what your hands actually do, your brain is improving this skill -- what I call "hand assignments". If you think about it, we're asking our brains to do something pretty complex: 1) Here is a rhythm with multiple tones... 2) Now send all the lower-tone sounds to the right hand and the other ones to the left... 3) Keep everything in time... 4) Listen for the next set and try and determine the tones... Hang in there - it's good for you! :) Here's another thing that can be helpful... If you're anything like me, in your daily life you're often tapping rhythms. I'm often playing along to music or hitting my lap as I remember a particular taiko piece. Use these five-second moments as an opportunity to practice hand assignments and *don't let yourself mix hands and sounds*. For example, if you're in your car grooving to rock song, you might instinctively be tapping the steering wheel with your left hand along with the kick drum, and your lap as the snare. Use this moment to be strict about assigning sounds to each hand, and don't let yourself switch the hand roles. We fudge this when we're goofing around and it confuses those connections a bit. Any time you can associate a hand with a particular sound, and try and get your brain to associate that hand with the right bits of the rhythm in your head, you'll be improving this basic, hand assignment skill.