Sunday, November 26, 2006

Making time for the double bass

I realised that I have to learn to make time to practise on the double bass. There is no short-cut to learning to play a musical instrument. It is simply practice and good practice. A good tutor helps to guide one in learning the instrument in greater depth, but at the end of the day, it is practice and listening that helps.

The challenge of being an adult learner is that there are often competing demands in one's life, so the time to practise never seems easily available. Apart from setting aside time to practise, I realised that it is far more important to set aside some time for one to rest a bit (after work and all other commitments) and to recharge. This is necessary so that one doesn't have to practise one's instrument feeling awfully drained and tired from the day.

I don't know about other adult learners, but I find it more productive to practise on the double bass when I am not feeling too tired, and when I am able to focus my attention.

I shall give myself a pat on the shoulder for making an-hour-and-a-half to practise on the double bass tonight. Much of the time was spent practising Dragonetti's Solo in e minor. I have managed to work out the fingerings for the first movement, but the greater challenge was to get the rhythm right. Even more challenging was to play the music, not the notes.

Later in the night, I also practised a particular section from the second movement, and it was an even greater challenge to get the rhythms. The section requires one to play semiquavers and then switch to triplets. I was playing in a very slow tempo of 18 beats per minute just to get the rhythms in my mind. The tempo direction actually marks Allegro on the score.

Whatever it is, at least I have accomplished something tonight. I hope I would not be too tired to practise tomorrow after work.


Marc said...

Yup! Gotta keep practising. Rock stars were never made overnight either. They put in serious hours to play their instruments as well. How I wish I can put aside an hour and a half everyday just like you. Count yourself lucky. Keep it up and mastery will be at your fingertips

Simple American said...

I wish my daughter was more devoted. She is so musical. Sometimes it seems like a waste. Haiz...