Saturday, April 07, 2007

Week 14 of year 2007 on the double bass

1 Apr 2007, Sun: My favourite Luthier has got my bow rehaired within less than a day. Since I have my bow back, I could practise in the night! Though my practice session wasn't long, it was at least 15 minutes.

I managed to play the 1st, 2nd and 4th movement of Marcello's Sonata in G major. I realised I am now trying to get used to my rehaired-bow. It looks like I have to practise more often so as to season my rehaired-bow.

Perhaps I was eager to try out my new bow, I also had the inspiration to play almost three-quarters of Faure's Sicilienne from memory. I hope I can memorise all my programme for the DipABRSM exams by Aug 2007.

4 Apr 2007, Wed: I am liking the rehaired bow more and more. It somehow felt smooth to play on the double bass using the rehaired bow. However, I felt the sounds produced using the rehaired bow did not sound as bright and resonating as my bow before the rehair. Was all these perceptions merely psychological? I don't know.

Whatever it is, I have managed to play all four movements of Marcello's Sonata in G major against the metronome. After that, I played the entire Faure's Sicilienne. It felt indeed smooth using the rehaired bow.

To end the night of practice, which went close to one hour, I played Keyper's Romance and Rondo.

Somehow, the vibrations and sounds of the double bass soothes me a little.

5 Apr 2007, Thu: I had double bass lesson on this day. I played Marcello's Sonata in G major, Faure's Sicilienne and Keyper's Romance and Rondo all in one single lesson. I felt that I could improve on my rendition. My playing needs to be more consistent.

My tutor, MJ, pointed to me that I have misunderstood the rhythms for one section of Faure's Sicilienne and so I have to unlearn things, and learn the right rhythms. In addition, it also looks like I have to put aside time to practise vibrato on the double bass so as to bring out the sound that I would like to achieve for Faure's Sicilienne.

I would still need more work on the third movement of Marcello's Sonata in G major. I would like it to sound like a movement with depth and introspection, and to do that, I need to be more focused in my playing.

As for Keyper's Romance and Rondo, my tutor commented that I must learn not to work my fingers too hard to play those semiquavers-passages. I need to learn to believe that I can take things easy and still play those fairly challenging passages. My tutor also asked that I play the Rondo movement of Keyper's Romance and Rondo at a slower tempo and focus on clarity and precision of the playing. That is quite a sound advice.

6 Apr 2007, Fri: Good Friday, a public holiday, fell on this day. In the late morning and the early afternoon, I spent time practising Marcello's Sonata in G major and Keyper's Romance and Rondo against the metronome. I felt glad that I have time to practise.

7 Apr 2007, Sat: I decided to play something that I have yet to play for the entire week for I fear making myself feel bored from an overdose of Marcello's Sonata in G major even though I quite like that sonata.

I have spent at least 40 minutes playing through the entire Pachelbel's Canon, transcribed to G major, scored for a double bass quartet, arranged by David Heyes. It certainly sounds much brighter to play Pachelbel's Canon in the G major version than in D major on the double bass. I realised that I prefer the clarity of the sounds produced when this work is being played in the key of G major.

Some of the passages were much more difficult to play in G major, but I suppose more practice would help. On the other hand, several passages became slightly easier to play in G major than in D major. I suppose I lose some, I gain some.

To help me remember where are the more challenging passages that I would need to work on for future practice sessions, I have used a pencil to mark out them out. I look forward to polish up on my rendition of the G major version of Pachelbel's Canon.

Yeah! I have achieved my set targets for week 14 of year 2007.

1 comment:

Simple American said...

It's so interesting. As a drummer I would never think about the difference a rehaired bow might make. Even though there are differences that arise with drums too, when one changes to a new skin or sticks. The way the heads are tightened or stuffing a pillow inside.