Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It is coming

In a few days time, I will be sitting for the ABRSM practical exams (double bass).

How strange my human mind could be. While it is feeling that a pass can be attainable, one part of it is feeling uncertain of how things may turn out that very day. Perhaps in the process of playing music, one gets to face one's psychological fears? When one becomes successful in facing these fears, while feelings of uncertainty may still lurk, these feelings no longer affect one?

The following are what I have identified as my fears for the approaching exams, and in the brackets next to these, I shall attempt to write down ways for me to overcome these:

  • The running notes in the 2nd movement of Marcello's sonata in g minor. (Stay calm and be steady with my tempo and play the quavers and the rests to full value. Those running notes are achievable, I just have to make sure I don't rush.)
  • Playing the diminished sevenths and the dominant sevenths scales. (Practice, to help the fingers remember the fingerings. Also, to play these scales on the piano again. This will help my ears be more aware of how these scales should sound.)
  • Worried whether the strings of the double bass may give way. (I hope this doesn't happen because that will be a very rare case. At the most, I have a spare set of strings, and I shall bring it along.)
  • Aural test. (This requires more practice, and I don't know whether I have enough time to cover everything. I shall just try to do whatever I can reasonably do. I am thinking of the possibility of taking up aural lessons for a short while, at a later stage.)
  • Being given challenging sight-reading pieces. (It is still more practice. But I guess the kind of sight-reading pieces that I get will be beyond my control. Practise a bit more.)
  • That I might get a stage fright trying to adjust to the conditions in the exams studio. (It may help that I try to get some warm-up on my instrument beforehand. I shall ask the examiner if I could play the scales and arpeggio section first, followed by my programme. Some reassurance and encouragement would help too.)
  • That I may sound too technical and not musical on that day. (My tutor has helped me quite a bit on ways to play musically. I have practised quite a fair bit, and I guess I have to learn to trust that the rest will take care of themselves. Sometimes, being too careful may lead one to sound too technical as well.)
Meantime, I shall hope that on that day, I will just play and enjoy the music, and not let the psychological fears affect me. I think I have to learn to have greater faith in myself?


mistipurple said...

imagine that you're playing with your orchestra at the concert hall. and you will do just fine!
aural? few days left. better look into it.
for piano exams, they normally start with scales and arpegios. not sure about double bass exams.
one more thing, wear appropriately, like you're going for your performance. that will give a better impression. please greet the examiner also. this will make him/her happy!

oceanskies79 said...

Hi Misti:

Thanks for coming by.

I have been working on the aural components. I think I should pass sight-singing, listening to music with understanding, and singing the bassline from memory.

I may still need help to identify the cadences (I usually can tell the last two chords, but needed longer time to figure out the third and fourth chords from the last. Will continue to work on aural tomorrow.

Would a black short-sleeves shirt and trousers do?

Ya. I shall remember to greet the examiner "Good afternoon".

mistipurple said...

yes, black sounds formal and good. also white on black. or white white. i like black on black myself. :)

sometimes the name is pasted on the door. if it is not too stressful to remember, you can greet him by name. that will be good too.

i know you will not feel too cold and have stage fright because you are always performing on stage. and your audience has been much bigger and you played for an international audience with a solo piece too! so, this is your forte. go get the examiner.. "roarrrr...."

pinkie said...

misti is right... go get the examiner, he is just one of your audience... just take it easy as if you are performing on stage....