Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fruit ...

...from the garden this evening. It's not the first I've picked of either, but it's the most I've picked at once so far. There is still quite a goodly amount of fruit on the vine ripening. Quite exciting, isn't it!?

The past two days have been spent largely travelling across the state in one direction or another to have work done on my cello... I am now at the point of learning what's called "thumb positions" which is where the left hand goes so far up the neck of the instrument that the thumb has to come around and rest (and play) on the strings. These are the really high notes. My cello is an inexpensive, though nice (it has a solid soundboard instead of plywood) beginning instrument, but it's strings have always sat a bit high off the fret board and that makes it difficult to learn these new positions. (Excuses, excuses, eh?)

After consulting with my teacher last week we decided I should have a luthier lower the height of the bridge. One outfit, with whom I had a phone conversation before heading out 50 minutes in one direction, refused to do the work for some assinine reason (I'll never understand businesses that turn away work, honestly) having to do with store policy. My opinion is that they have gotten too big, impersonal, and rigid. Quite a frustrating afternoon yesterday, but not entirely wasted. In an effort to appease my peevishness after that most unpleasant experience, I stopped at a nursery and discovered they sold architectural stones 2"-4" in 50 lb. bags. Perfect for my labyrinth. I bought 5 bags which covered the distance I had so far dug. It'll probably take another 15 or 20 bags to finish but they are reasonably priced.

This afternoon I ventured east and south an hour-and-a-half to a different luthier and the difference was night and day compared to yesterday's fiasco. I spent a lovely half hour chatting with the luthier while he worked on the bridge, lowering it by more than 1/8" and also thinning it because he deemed it was too thick. He also discovered that my A string was in fact a D string that had been stretched up to an A! That excessive tension could not have been good and probably explains why I've always been displeased with the tone of it! He replaced it with a proper A string.

My cello is like a new instrument this evening. Joy all around!

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