Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I'm scared to practice because I'm afraid I'll get discouraged again, but if I don't practice, then I will be creating more discouragement because I will not improve.  So I need to have courage and just try.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Today practice was discouraging.  I keep tackling stuff that's too hard for me, maybe?  I should spend more time playing stuff that I can play and getting my muscles strong, maybe.  I am having a hard time with this one phrase of my new solo where I'm supposed to slur something that seem impossible to slur.  This is where a teacher might be helpful.  But Ming found a metronome, and I played my solo with it, too slow, and that was good.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

singing to myself

Yesterday I had wasn't feeling well and didn't practice.  Today I was feeling better, and I got finished practicing just now.  I had a good practice.  I played another recognizable tune that I got off the internet.  It was fun. 

And I worked on a very simple solo.  I almost got it down, actually.  That's how simple it is.  I have the piano part so the bassoon music is small on the top.  But I want to take it to my friend who plays piano and play it with her.  The rhythm is actually a little tricky.  I had to pat my thigh and sing it to myself.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

good again

Practice this morning was good again.  I played some Weissenborn that's supposed to be legato but I'm playing it with the notes separated.  I just wanted some different music, but I don't know if I'm ready for legato.  I'll try tomorrow.

I played someone nice's free arrangement of a little Bach, a minuet.  Just the first ten bars or so.  It was fun to play something recognizable.

I'm having trouble with a couple high notes I'm trying.  My left thumb doesn't want to find the correct key.  I stop and look down.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Practice this morning was good.  My left arm doesn't hurt anymore.  I played four scales--F major, B flat major, C major, and G major.  And I played a little of a chromatic scale, starting low.  I'm moving through the first few pages of the Weissenborn.  I tinkered with some solos and didn't get very far at all.  I need to learn the fingerings of more high notes.  I was telling Ming how it's easier to have someone show me than puzzling over the symbols.  So again I'm lamenting my lack of teacher.

And I resist tenor clef.  One day I will have to relearn it, but I never had a good grasp on it to begin with!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


This morning I practiced again.  I don't feel the sense of elation I felt yesterday, realizing how much I remembered.  I just feel the sense that I have a long road ahead of me.  It's a good road, but lonely to trudge on my own.  Wish I had a teacher.  Wish I didn't worry about bothering neighbors.

My left arm aches, some muscles I'm not used to using.  My mouth feels good, though.  The open F where only the whisper key is pressed, hard to keep that in tune.  I mean, I'm sure I'm out of tune a lot, but that note seems so vulnerable. 

Monday, January 7, 2013


This morning I practiced.  It was my first time in more than...16 years or something like that.  I'm amazed at what I remember.  I played some Weissenborn and my favorite scale.  I did remember that scale. 

I puzzled over a fingering chart I found on the internet. 

I need more scales to play because I don't remember them.  And I wish to apologize to my neighbors, but I don't know if I will.  

The smell of cork grease, the sound of spit in the bocal, the feeling of doing something different and meaningful and good with my body.  The sound of making sound.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


When I was a kid, I learned to read music in third grade.  We played black plastic recorders at music, which I think was once a week.  It wasn't in our regular classroom, and I remember how happy I felt to make the trek across school.  Maybe it was actually two or three times a week.  I just know I liked it.

So treble clef is second nature to me.  I played clarinet too.  Most recently I played tin whistle. 

And I played bassoon for six years, but today when I was looking at a fingering chart online, it was chilling for me to realize how I didn't know the names of the notes. 

Then I remembered All Cars Eat Gas / All Cows Eat Grass which helped.  And my old favorite scale, F major, I looked at the fingerings, and maybe I can do it. 


Yesterday I picked up a bassoon for rent.  Today I need to find, in all the unopened boxes, my old sheet music and bassoon books as well as two old reeds. I also have a metal folding music stand somewhere.

I played bassoon in jr high and high school as well as my first year of university. As a youth, I played in Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, a college band, my high school bands...  I had a teacher, and I don't think I'll have one this time around.  I think I'll be on my own.  Not sure how that will work out.

The world feels full of possibilities, but I'm also afraid.  The rental costs a pretty penny.  But I think it's important to try things.