Curb jumping and too-loud instruments

Yep. Shin-denting, curb-jumping, call it what you will. I have officially reached the stage with “Bethena” where I am making a new breed of mistakes. I tell myself this is a sign of progress … and it is … but it’s an annoying one.

Now, I just have to keep the commitment I made to letting go of it next weekend and writing. *sigh*

Did a little frobbing of the viola this weekend as well. Had some nice discoveries, too. I still wish it came with headphones. I know that the electrics do, and I have been coveting a lefty viola-scale Stingray for some time, but I am nowhere near where I need to be to merit one of those. One does not move forward to an electric instrument before building a solid foundation on an acoustic. I can’t recall who it was said it, but one of the particularly gifted rock guitarists once said that starting on an acoustic taught him more about playing an electric than he ever would have learned the other way around. Acoustic stringed instruments are simply more temperamental and sensitive than their electric cousins. Your window of acceptable operation is much narrower. Far better to work on that.

But for now, it is frustrating for me to keep the mute on (I refuse to remove it) and have my C string sound like a sandy rubber band. And who knows what it’s doing to my bowing. If I had headphones like I do on the piano, I would be able to do this far, far more. Currently, even at night, I do not play the viola. Since I can’t do so silently, I retain it for the weekends … so I play two days a week.

Happily, I have plenty of things to do to fill up the weeknights, but it is very annoying to have that blasted device sit there fallow for five days every week.

Piano Advantages: excellent digital reproductions of acoustics, headphones, enormous range and dynamic sensitivity, forgiving, plays gobs of notes at once, incredible musical depth
Piano Disadvantages: just plain enormous, tempered

Viola Advantages: sounds gorgeous when properly played, untempered, portable
Viola Disadvantages: narrow range and dynamic sensitivity, no inlays, persnickety, plays one note at a time unless you’re Yuri freaking Bashmet

Oh, well.

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