Friday, April 27, 2007

Learning a new instrument

Having started learning the cello a couple of weeks back, I now realised what a good decision it has been.

Not only has it brought the joy of hearing your playing sound better and better (how can it possibly get any worse at this point, right? :P ) with each practice, as well as benefiting (finally!) from a trained teacher (yeah, it's been almost 2 decades since I've last attended any music lessons properly); I have also gained something else - a realisation of what some of my guitar students at NUS & SMU must be experiencing.

This is an invaluable new experience to me, as after years of playing the classical guitar, I've come to a stage where it somtimes befuddles me how someone cannot understand or execute something seemingly SOOO basic to me.

For instance, i asked them to play appoyando (rest stroke) with alternating i-m fingers, while watching their wrist to make sure if doesnt 'collapse' and maintain the appropriate angle of attack on the strings.
This, some were able to do well, while others struggle...

And when I asked them to do a simple C-major scale (1 octave only, mind you!) using the above-mentioned right hand technique, all the bad habits reappear: using i-finger repeatedly; some resort to free-stroke; while others breakdown half-way through the scale.

I used to wonder why it is so difficult. But not anymore.

I guess a human brain can only do so many things at one time. And if you want to focus on ONE thing, it usually means you lose focus on something else. This i've experienced for myself during the last week(s) of cello lessons.

When my teacher asked me to read a VERY simple score, i tried desparately to read while maintaining the correct bowing technique. It was so tough! Of course, the fact that the cello has totally different string tunings (A-D-G-C) and the score was written in Bass clef didnt help...

But it really has been fun so far, and my only little concern is i may neglect my guitar practice - something i'm trying to prevent by bringing out both instruments everytime i practice, so that when my right hand tires after 15min of bowing, i pick up the guitar and practice (where usually my left hand tires more frequently).

Music is life, man!


Anonymous ingengyp said...

How nice to be learning a new instrument. Enjoy...
Hihi... :)

9:29 PM  
Blogger 北海道的大黑熊 said...

Hi yp, nice to hear from ya too! :)

4:23 PM  

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