Friday, September 06, 2013

49 keys and a hotel room...

After a week in transit, (three nights in Al Khobar dealing with admin, and then three nights becalmed in a "suite" at the hotel in Yanbu whilst waiting for a single room to become available) at last I got a room where I'm likely to be staying for several weeks whilst house hunting, and so got unpacked and got the keyboard out onto the writing desk.

The iPad was recharging, so I had a go at the Native Instruments software on the laptop. I couldn't get it to work, and it kept crashing - probably too much for this laptop's wee processor, and for my technical abilities.  So I downloaded some open source midi software.  It's less than 1mb, and it's ok but it's got a delay which made playing Lilliburlero feel really weird.  It's usable for scales though, so I spent some time with C major and G major. 

I might actually get a couple of benefits from using only the midi keyboard for a month or two. The keys are heavier on the fingers, and it really feels as if one's doing a work out, which should be a good thing if it improves finger strength and stamina.  And, there are five velocities, and you have to strike the key just so to get the one you want.  So playing a scale quite quickly it takes a lot of concentration to strike each note on the scale with the same velocity.  Focussing on that for a few weeks should be helpful, too.

I say, "a few weeks" but I don't know how long it's going to take to find good accommodation, what I've learned this week is that it's do-able but not straightforward, and it could take months to find the right place.  When I do get a place, I'll get a weighted 88 key digital piano.  I might have to go to Jeddah for that, (three or four hours drive, less than an hour on the plane). Or maybe something second hand closer to home.