I know you don’t come here for cello related stuff, cool videos or cellos in the news (or maybe you do, how cool would that be) You come here because I promised the story of a grown-up learning to play an instrument that most smart people start playing before they’re old enough to be afraid of failing.
One of the ways it sucks being a grown-up beginner is that you are sometimes called upon to do grown up stuff (like look for a job or take care of a parent) that -hopefully – and 8 year old virtuoso would never have to do. Anyway the long and the short of it is thus – by way of explanation, not apology – a short couple of weeks on and off again (holiday travel, weddings not mine, etc…) turned into a long couple of months in which I was physically separated from CC much of the time. I had to put my lessons on hold and my practice in the freezer in a heavy duty ziploc bag. WTF, FML, etc, ad nauseum, ad infinitum…
I was hoping to keep you entertained/distracted/amused enough not to wonder where the hell my practice updates had gone until, well, I was ready to pick up my cello again and rejoin the orchestra.
Now, here I am.
This week, I tuned Cecelia after six weeks of letting it all hang out. The good news is, I can still tune, and I remember what “in tune” sounds like enough to know that I still hate the sound of my tuned A. The bad news is that even that nasal, whiny little biatch sounds dull and as my new cello-blog friend Les puts it “flubby.” Oh yeah, according to Kaia at my last lesson it was time for new strings. I guess two months off doesn’t change that. Good thing I got that gift card for Christmas. I’m a fan of Jargars on the A and D but not super happy with the G&C Jargs. Any recommendations on something that sounds a little less…i dunno…chipper?
I also worked through scales up to F major, and man are my left fingertips happy. Insert sarcasm font here.
And because I am, if nothing else, a glutton for punishment, I ran through Scarborough Fair. As of the end of the year, it had pretty much become my stand by warm up piece: a good way to gauge what the heck was up for the day (kinda like that first downward dog in a vinyasa class) before deciding on a practice goal.
Oh. My. Dear. Baby. Jebus.
It almost brought me to tears. It was slow, halting, painful. I’ve lost all the nuance I had developed. I poured myself a glass of wine. Drank said glass of wine and went right back to it.*
TBF came home and eyed the empty cello case, full music stand, and tightened bow. “You’re back.”
Damn right I am.
*P.S. I am in no way advocating CUI (Celling Under the Influence) but on certain occasions (like when it’s “drink a glass of wine or throw your cello out the window” time) I’d say there’s a certain medicinal quality that comes into play.