Saturday, September 09, 2006

Music updates for this week

Ever since my double bass lessons have been scheduled on Thursdays, Thursdays mean double-dosage of music for me. In the afternoon, it would be double bass lesson. In the evening, it would be music theory lesson.

According to my music theory tutor, the practical and theoretical aspects of music are inter-related. I suppose I could trust his words. However, I have yet to learn to fully integrate the two aspects in one.

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Double bass lesson with MJ this week continued to work on vibrato and achieving inaudible bow changes. MJ said that the act of performing vibrato can be good for the muscles of the arms.

When we work on the Marcello's Sonata in g minor, the focus was on how to achieve a good sense of phrasing. Phrasing, MJ said, is most important. Good phrasing makes it easier for listeners to relate to the music. On the other hand, playing the right notes with poor phrasing makes a piece of music sound difficult to understand.

To demonstrate the difference between good phrasing versus bad phrasing, MJ played two versions of the double bass solo from the 3rd movement of Mahler's First Symphony. One of the versions has good phrasing; The other is poorly phrased. Indeed, with good phrasing, the solo passage makes musical sense.

I don't know why, but there seems so many things to assimilate from the lesson that my head felt heavy after the lessons.

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When I had music theory lesson in the evening, I was clearly feeling tired and mentally drained.

That evening, the music theory tutor checked the exercises that I have completed on the topic of modulation. Almost all of the exercises that I have attempted need to be reworked upon. What had seemed to be fairly easy actually proved more difficult than it seems. Other than being careless in a few of the exercises, I was also quite ignorant to the option of using this chord progression: Ib, V7c, I.

In addition, my tutor said that where possible, it is better to use the "Ib, Vc, I" chord progression rather than the "Ib viib, I" chord progression. I wonder if the former sounds nicer?

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It is Saturday today. I have just spent some time practising on the double bass.

About 15 minutes was spent on sight-reading. My attempts on sight-reading felt average, and mediocre. I was playing with a metronome clicking away. That has helped the tempo, but I was playing at a slow tempo of 40, and the performance directions indicated on the score reads Allegro. I can only coax myself: step-by-step, I will become more proficient in sight-reading.

In the attempts to learn strategies to improve on sight-reading, I've found these online resources:

-http://www.improveyourmusic.com/sight-reading-tips/
-http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Marble/9607/sight.htm
-http://perfectfifths.com/archives/2005/10/13/improving-your-sight-reading-skills

1 comment:

Simple American said...

Sends PY a virtual massage. Please lift up your heard and muse. I know you can do it.