Sunday, November 23, 2008

Week 47 of year 2008 on the double bass

16 Nov 2008, Sun: I started with playing the G major scale so as to improve right-hand technique. I felt it would be more helpful to have a tutor guiding me along to help me have a better appreciation of what constitutes good right-hand technique. On my own, I could not fully determine if the tone of my playing has achieved a full and warm sound. Having an experienced ear beside me may help me gradually acquire the skills to perceive and judge the quality of the sound of my playing.

I later worked on Faure's Apres Un Reve with the metronome. I may need to work a few bars with my tutor. On my own, I felt I have yet the skills to overcome the technical challenges of securing a good appreciation of what constitutes a good vibrato and a full-sounding slow bow.

17 Nov 2008, Mon: Close to 11 p.m. I started practising Pachelbel's Canon in D major scored for the double bass quartet by Daivd Heyes. I worked on it using the metronome. The focus was to improve my intonation and to secure a steady rhythm. Hopefully, one day, I could master this pretty difficult work and play it for my friends who love this piece of work.

Playing Pachelbel's Canon in D seemed to give me a lot of positive vibes when I play it on the double bass. First of all, the double bass is a huge instrument, and so when it vibrates when I play on it, it vibrates in a significant way. Secondly, an instrument will give out positive energy when its player play it with love and care. Alright, I am rambling away. The thing is I am thankful to be able to play the double bass!

19 Nov 2008, Wed: Double bass lesson was rescheduled to Wednesday for the week. I went to double bass lesson feeling so tired from the work day but it was pleasant to realise how the vibrations from the double bass could recharge me from within.

I started the lesson playing scales. I hope to do more of such so as to improve my techniques. After which, I played Faure's Apres Un Reve. MJ shared with me the steps that I would need to consider when I practise so as to eventually work towards achieving the kind of sound that I want. I started learning about how I could convey the emotions that I wish to convey through the sounds of my playing on the double bass. May my playing move the audience one day. He showed me how I could achieve the emotion of "missing (longing for) something" with the use of the left-hand and right-hand technique and a vibrato at the right speed. I was moved by the sounds created.

Ah! The vibrations from the double bass has made me sing from within.

20 Nov 2008, Thu: When I was listening to the radio station 92.4 FM, I heard Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony, and was attracted to its interesting bassline. I could not help but play excerpts of this symphony when I got home. Strangely, while I was feeling very tired from the work day, after warming up on the double bass, the vibrations from the double bass simply got me energised. I love those vibrations and the sounds from the double bass.

Afterwhich, I practised Faure's Apres Un Reve so that I could gradually achieve the sounds that I have in mind.

22 Nov 2008, Sat: I spent some time reading through the basso continuo parts of Antonio Vivalid's Winter from his Four Seasons. Out of sheer curiosity and fun, I sight-read the violin solo part of the second movement of Winter and played the parts on the double bass. It proved a challenge to play well at sight. Furthermore, I was transposing from treble clef to bass clef. Anyway, I managed somehow, though not so ideal.

I continued to practise Faure's Apres Un Reve, and for a few selected bars, I practised till I was satisfied with my interpretation. Playing the double bass proved to be recharging.

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