Sunday, 1 November 2009

Into the music

Here it is - my lovely cello.

Rehearsal for the choir yesterday. I've nailed the bass part for Vivaldi, Mozart and the Dvorak. They aren't difficult by any means, what is difficult is learning to play in ensemble and get the dynamics of the music happening. My sheet music is covered in marks and little 'notes to self' about how loudly or softly to play, up bows, down bows, attack on the string and little pairs of glasses drawn to indicate that I should look up from the music to look at the conductor.

Getting the bowing right is the most difficult. We have to sit so close together that if you get your bowing out of sync, you could end up with your neighbor's bow up your nose.

I'm one of those annoying people that can pick up most things and do a fairly slap up job of mastering it fairly quicky, but this! Arghh! It is the first time in my life I've come up against something that I can't do. It will take me the rest of the life I have left to master this sucker.

Still, beacause I can't play the bass part by ear I've been forced to finally learn to read music. I am now able to instantaneously recognise C,G,D and A on the bass cleff and match them to the open stings of my instrument! The other notes still are a bit of a mystery though. I still have to write the finger numbers above the notes.

I wish I was 6 yrs old and had a parent to nag me to practice.

Perhaps Flinthart or Nat might consider adopting me.


  1. "Pick up most things..." Ah ha. Now that's because playing an instrument is a physical activity rather than an intellectual one. And like any physical activity you get results with frequent regular practice. 20 minutes every day. That's all. Just 20 minutes. But EVERY day. Three hours all at once? Useless! Think of it as gymnastics of the fingers (and arms).

    I know I know! You are NOT 6 and I am not your parent but.... I couldn't help myself...

    It looks like a very beautiful cello.

  2. Or you could just bow in the opposite direction and stand out from the crowd.

    That has its merits too.

  3. The bit about getting the bow up your neighbours nose made me laugh out loud. I'm just passing through from poum! screamish's blog - I love chickens too. I shall investigate further.

  4. i was teaching english and had a student who was a cellist, and needed instant english to teach a masterclass in i asked her to give me a beginner's lesson, in english...she brought a cello in and i was surprised at how physically difficult it was. Muscles in strange places were aching afterwards...

  5. Yes indeed. The middle of my back takes the worst punishment, though I suspect it has something to do with my already crap posture.
    It is a challenge just to hold the bloody thing correctly.