Thursday, February 23, 2006
Unfortunately, my new cello won't be shipped till Monday - it's finally ready, but they were worried about it being left in a cold UPS warehouse somewhere over the weekend, so they wanted to wait till Monday to send it out. Reluctantly, I had to agree. I asked them to put some parchment on the bridges under the D and A strings. They also put some on the spare bridge, and they'll put a few extra in the case. They'll also put a basic care kit (micro fibre cleaning cloth for daily cleanup and some polish for biweekly cleaning - with a tee shirt). Also several dampits, which they'll wet just before shipping. I added a Boss chromatic tuner for $30. It turns out I get a 10% discount on the cello itself since I'm buying an "outfit" - bow and case. That's almost $500. Im considering calling them back tomorrow and using that $500 to upgrade the case from a Bobelock to a Bam Hightech (I'd have to chip in a few extra bucks). It's made with ABS and weighs five pounds less, and is more durable. IF they have one and IF the Ruggiere design fits... Although it's only been a week, it seems like forever since I first talked to them. Now another long week...
The plastic sleeves I put on the A and D strings at the bridge on the rented plywood scratchbox worked great! The strings sounded so much more open and clear! I used an exacto knife to trim the little plastic sleeves down to the width of the bridge, then I retuned it. I never did find the site where I'd first run across that idea. Consequently, my playing sounded so much better today. I don't know how this would fly with the pros, but hey, it worked for me as a temporary fix. I'll cut them off before I return it to the violin store.
I played a completely different "program" today. All the same stuff, but in a different order. It was interesting to vary the routine. I put more time into different pieces and sections of pieces. At the end, I spent almost an hour just working on the last four pieces - playing the difficult parts over and over, slowly, until I felt like they were beginning to flow smoother.
It is a challenge to do the half dozen sections where I have to stop the bow in mid-stroke, change the note (and string) and then restart the bow in the same direction. Also, on the Bach piece I have to bow the same note twice on one bow stroke, stopping just for an instance between them. These really aren't technically difficult in themselves, but it's a new action for me and I just need to work on them. I sure would like to be able to show my teacher that I've at least gotten some control of these particular strokes. I also found myself bowing crisper dotted notes - especially with Suzuki's "eighth-eighth-quarter" and "quarter-eighth-eighth" rhythms.
Tomorrow we sign the papers forour land.