do-re-mi

This will sound silly to some of the advanced music-y types out there, but to my pleasure, I was finally able to complete a full scale today on the bass, with no uncomfortable gaps between bowing, no squeaks, no pops, no falling wrists, or cramping elbows. Though I've played music in some form or another almost my entire life, it never fails to amaze me how tough it is to pick up a new instrument and play well. I used to just expect it to happen. I'd select my new instrument, sign myself up for lessons, and expect that within a week or two, I'd be proficient in some element of playing it. Not so with strings. They're tough cookies, hard to break down. Stubborn in their squeakiness.

When I first picked up the violin, which was over 5 years ago now (where has the time gone), I was easily frustrated and often disappointed. It was so easy to turn away from the cat-screeching-on-fence-post torture that it was for those first few months and plunk myself back at the keys of the piano. If instruments have a comfort food, the piano is surely it for me. Even now, it's not easily beat, despite living across town from the one closest at hand.

Stringed instruments are frustrating to me because there are so many elements involved. Reading sheet music is like reading books - it comes fairly natural to me. This can be both a blessing and a curse. Great when I want to just sit down in from of some ivories and play, but torture when my head is skipping along, merrily singing the tune and my hands are fumbling with bowing technique and proper fingering.

So, tonight, in some ways, was my moment of victory. My one, though brief, moment where in the back of my head, all you could hear was a "gotcha, strings" as my head and my hands and my bass all did the same thing for once.

A scale seems like small potatoes, but right now, it's as if I've gone past the first hurdle.