Sunday, January 28, 2007

Week Four of 2007 on the doublebass

Week Four has appeared to be a comparatively less productive week where practising on the double bass is concerned. Anyway, I figured that I have still managed to reach my target set, i.e. practising on the double bass at least four days per week, at least 15 minutes on each of these four days.

22 Jan 2007, Mon: I can only be thankful that despite the increasing workload and declining state of health, I can still find about 40 minutes to play on the double bass on Monday.

23 Jan 2007, Tue: Practised from 10.40 p.m. to 11.05 p.m. I realised that my thumb seemed to feel tensed, and decided that I have to consult my tutor on the matter so that I can play the double bass with a more relaxed and natural posture.

I did not practise very intensely, but I did managed to play the following:
fourth movement of Marcello's Sonata in G major, selected section of the second movement of the same sonata.

I had played through the third movement of Marcello's Sonata in G major, and I actually like the sound of the double bass playing this movement with a practice mute on it.

24 Jan 2007, Wed: If you would consider playing the double bass during my double bass sectional and the orchestra rehearsal to be a form of practice, then I could count whatever playing I have done on Wednesday.

For the one-hour double bass sectional, we worked on the fourth and last movement of Beethoven's 6th symphony. I especially found the fourth movement to be most challenging. It looks like I have to set aside more time to practise it. I love sectional with my orchestra's double bass tutor, GM, for it was enriching and intensive.

For the orchestra rehearsal, we continued to work on the fourth and last movement of Beethoven's 6th symphony. Technically speaking, I did not play on the double bass for the full 2.5 hours of the rehearsal. That day, about close to half of the time was spent waiting while the conductor rehearsed certain sections played by other instruments. I wonder if I would be right to say that being an orchestra player trains one's sense of discipline and patience?

By the way, the NUS Symphony Orchestra will be staging a public concert at the University Cultural Centre. Check this link for more information. I have a number of discounted tickets (i.e. $9 each, after discounts) with me and I am waiting for people to order those from me.

25 Jan 2007, Thu: I had double bass lesson with my tutor, MJ, from about 6.20 p.m. I felt pleased that my rendition of the third movement of Marcello's Sonata in G major sounded much better after we had worked on it for close to half-an-hour. We also worked on the second movement of the same sonata.

MJ shared some insights on how to reduced the strain and pressure felt by the thumb. He said I could consider using sandpaper to rub against the neck of my double bass for quite a bit of time. He claimed that many double bass makers aren't double bass players themselves. As such, while the neck of the double bass may look good, the neck isn't most effective for playing, especially the faster passages.

I would believe MJ. The double bass which I use in the orchestra (affectionately known as "my boyfriend") has his neck shaved off of its varnish, and it is comparately much easier on my thumb when I play on "my boyfriend" than my own instrument (affectionately known as "my husband"). Now, where on Earth do I find sandpaper?

MJ also recommended that when playing any sonata, while the different movements of that sonata should be different in tempo and somewhat different in character. The colour of the sound should transit well between the different movements and should remain about the same. This is so that all the different movements of the sonata could clearly sound like they are part of one single sonata when they are played one after another. I like this recommendation. I remember listening to one sonata but rather than it sounding like one sonata, it sounded like four separate movements each from different sonatas. I would want the different movements of the sonata that I play to sound like one single sonata.

**
On Friday and Saturday, I was feeling too tired to practise. I hope that Week Five of 2007 would be a more productive week where practising on the double bass is concern.

3 comments:

eastcoastlife said...

You want sandpaper? I have. leftover from my painting job.
You can buy this at any shop that sells paints, for walls or furniture.

Simple American said...

You'll do fine. Just find your passion and you will practice. :)

oceanskies79 said...

Eastcoastlife: Thanks for the offer. I am now contemplating if I should get a professional Luthier to get the job done for me. I think I should be able to get the sandpaper at a shop nearby my office.

SA: Thanks. :)