Sunday, October 12, 2008

Week 41 of year 2008 on the double bass

5 Oct 2008, Sun: I briefly read the first movement from Schumann's First Symphony. Afterwhich, I worked through the selected passages from the second movement of Dittersdorf's Second Concerto for Double Bass and the first movement from Dragonetti's Concerto in A major simply to exercise the fingers and the right hand. Practising on the double bass has made me feel high.

6 Oct 2008, Mon: I practised selected passages from Pachelbel's Canon in D arranged for the double bass. It is quite a challenging piece to play for me, on the double bass. More practice would be needed to make it sound satisfactory.

8 Oct 2008, Wed: After much rest at home, I headed for double bass sectional at the university. Double bass sectional with GM is always something to look forward to. During sectionals, the section worked on the first movement of Schumann's First Symphony. GM went an extra mile to explain how to approach Schumann's music, and how being attentive in listening is important to make up for Schumann's general lack in orchestration. Sectional was enriching.

For the orchestra rehearsal, we worked on Smetana's Die Moldau and Schumann's First Symphony. The sounds produced were inspiring. It brought me to realise that at the end of the day, it is the quality of the sound produced that matters in music-making.

9 Oct 2008, Thu: After four weeks of break from double bass lesson with my tutor, MJ, I looked forward to the lesson. MJ gave me a bow made by the Master bow-maker, Z. Prochownik, and I tried using it to play the first movement of Dragonetti's Concerto in A major and the second movement of Dittersdorf's Second Concerto for Double Bass. The bow has good balance, and I could effortlessly draw the bow across the strings. The usually difficult passages became so much easier to play for the right-hand when I used the bow by Z. Prochownik.

I also tried comparing by using my own bow. I realised that my right-hand was relaxed and primed to play when I used the bow by Z. Prochownik. The difference was quite noticeable when compared against how my right-hand would feel with my own bow, which is a China-made copy. I realised that my right-hand was actually comparatively more tensed when using my own bow, and the change from playing one string to another required more effort on my own bow.

The bow by Z. Prochownik produced a clean and clear sound. Even the harmonics sound clearer and cleaner on this bow, than my own bow.

Probably the only thing I would prefer is that it is less bend. Then again, I read that the more bend bows by Z. Prochownik are usually meant for playing solo music, which is what I would be playing for the DipABRSM exams.

I have been asked if I would like to consider the bow by Z. Prochownik. It cost close to CAD$2000. To buy or not to. If I buy, I would have to wait for a longer time before I could save enough to buy a better double bass for myself.

11 Oct 2008, Sat: I had planned to practise. Physical discomforts led me to decide to take a break from practising today. Anyway, at least I have practised on four of the days during the 41th week of year 2008.


mistipurple said...

the bow costs even more than some second hand pianos. *faints*
but of cos, it makes sense, being of excellent quality.

oceanskies79 said...

Misti: Thanks for your comment. Sometimes I wish making purchase-related decision isn't that hard.

Actually, I realise I could live without the bow even though there would be a nagging feeling initially to wish to have a better bow.