Posted by: Chelsea Novak | November 28, 2005

My Left Hand

This weekend I was overcome with the need to play my double bass again. There are still several elements of it that need to be fixed, but I decided to get crafty and see what I could do in the way of interim solutions. It needs a new bridge, as the old one is very warped from high-tension strings and a new endpin, another high-tension string casualty. And as I have secured a benefactor (aka Mum) I will go and get them fixed as soon as possible.

You see, my makeshift craftiness can’t fix the problem I have whereby my E string isn’t high enough off the fingerboard. So it rattles and buzzes, creating very un-E string like noises. Which is a shame because the E string is the BEST string on a double bass. That said, I still have 3 other strings I can play around with.

So I tuned them up today, put a ton of rosin on my bow and started playing. Oh bliss and oh joy it was nice. That warm low tone filled every cell in my body. Holding it while I played felt like the most natural thing I’ve ever done. It was great. It didn’t sound great. Oh heavens no. There’s no way you can pick up an instrument after a 5 year absence and even touch any of your former glory.

However, all was not lost. While I wasn’t amazing, I still knew what I was doing and I feel fully confident that I can get it back. That is, after the searing pain in my left hand goes away. If you’ve ever had your hand pulled apart horizontally by the index finger and the pinky you have an idea of what I’m feeling. Apparently if you don’t use certain muscles for 5 years they get a little hostile when you catapult them back into action. I honestly haven’t felt pain like this in my hand since I started 18 years ago.

But I will not be deterred. I got back into running, I taught the muscles in my knees how to behave this year, so why should my hand be any different. And just like I love my time running, I can’t wait to get back to playing music.

Today’s play-a-long song: “L’elephant” by Saint-Seans



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