venerdì 26 gennaio 2018

I'm up.

I got up at 6am this morning. Probably because I'd had enough sleep. Not many people are saying that around the Nuova Lazio area because it is presently very hot, but I have a heat pump. A heat pump also works as a cold pump. Last night our house was at 16 degrees. I slept like a baby. I didn't even wake for my 2am bottle (old Dean Martin joke).

Music practice is going well so far this year. I'm well ahead of my hour a day target that I always aim for. An hour a day doesn't sound like much, and it isn't, but every time you miss a day it gets harder to keep on track with that target. 
As you know, I practise three instruments - guitar, violin and double bass. It is certainly easier if a person only practises one instrument but, for me, three instruments is just the way it is. I guess I have an order of importance - double bass, then violin, then guitar - but this doesn't mean that the double bass always gets the most practice. In fact, so far this year, the guitar has had the most. It just depends what I'm working on.

At present, on the guitar, I'm working on what is called the rest stroke style of picking. This approach is used by gypsy jazz players and it gives you a lot of volume. A pick can go down and up
(over / through the string). The rest stroke is used on the down pick - the pick comes to rest on the string below the one you are picking. The up pick is a free stroke (it finishes up in the air).
There is a singer whom I back from time to time. She sings a few jazz standards. When it comes time for me to solo I'm on my own. This entails nice bold single note runs and plenty of chords dropped in. The gypsy jazz picking style works very well in this instance. My guitar, which is not the type used by gypsy jazz players, has a similar type of tone to a gypsy jazz guitar. So this type of picking seems to really suit it.

Django - the master.
I'll leave it there this morning. Keep cool out there.

giovedì 25 gennaio 2018

It's too darn hot.

I've seen this clip before on Richard's Bass Bag.*


It certainly is right for a day like today!

Well, it's a time of change in our little blogging scene. The Bass Bagging Hexagram is as busy as ever and occasionally people visit The Cuumudgeon Old Boys' Brigade. Robert seems to have all but fizzled out in his blogging endeavours. The last time I saw it, his blog was called 'Z' and had no posts.

Do not fear, dear readers, our BBH posts will keep you very stimulated.

* the original bass bagging site

mercoledì 24 gennaio 2018

Slow practice.

I've been working on this piece on my double bass.


This chap does a good job. There's a lot to be learnt in this tune and it requires a lot of slow repetitive practice.

Well, I guess I'd better get back and practise a bit more.

lunedì 22 gennaio 2018

What's this?

A four sided star looks a bit silly.

This five sided one is a bit over used.

Hey! Whats this?



sabato 20 gennaio 2018

Play Bach.

I was looking for a bit of a challenge yesterday. I actually faced two challenges.
The first thing I did was to walk over Nuova Lazio hill, but you can read about that on Richard's Bass Bag.*
The other thing I did was to restart looking at the praeludium from Bach's first cello suite.

first page

This piece sits well on the violoncello, as does the transposed version on the violin. It is a little bugger to play on the double bass for two reasons:
  • It doesn't sit so well on an instrument tuned in 4ths and
  • You have to play it up an octave to get into the cello range.
I think that this is probably the hardest piece I've tried to play. I learnt another movement from this suite but, in the back of my mind, I knew that the real challenge was the praeludium. There are two passages that I simply don't know how to play. They seem to require a super human left hand. I've decided to crack this nut.
It won't be easy, that's for damn sure.

* the original bass bagging site

giovedì 4 gennaio 2018


So excited to be part of BASS BAG BLOGS - a new initiative of Richard's Bass Bag* that is going to really make blogging exciting!

Our symbol says it all.
We've been given a mandate to write about whatever we like - total freedom!
Those detectives among you will notice that we've resorted to our original slogan...

the blog that's not too bad.

At RBB3 we like to throw a bit of tongue in cheek at you.

* the original bass bagging site

sabato 16 dicembre 2017

Now my brother Robert speaks for me?

He writes...

Richard's proof of evolution.
This is how it happened.
Richard says.
"One day I was walking up the hill through the big pine trees that now have been mostly removed when I noticed shells in the cutting.
How did shells get so high I wondered.
I took a sample with me and put it on the desk next to my computer in the room near the old garage that now houses a set of drums and forgot about it mostly".
Here we briefly digress to a time when the faults of the pacific and  tasman plates collided pushing the hills to their present position.
Richard didn't know this so concluded the shell fish had climbed the mountain and become terrestrial creatures and humans evolved from them.

Robert has written complete and utter shit that I never said.

What Robert has written on his blog.
Why did the set of drums get a mention?


Well, there you go.