jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
[personal profile] jazzfish
Last week I finally put in my order for a custom carbon-fiber viola from Germany. Paid extra for a "hybrid" model, which comes with an electric pickup built in, and to have it dyed a dark dark green color. I went with 'carbon-fiber' and 'hybrid' on the grounds that I don't know exactly what I intend to do with it, but I'm more likely to do goofy things than to play in an orchestra. The hybrid model makes it easier for me to turn out to be the next Zoƫ Keating or John Cale, and carbon-fiber travels better and holds up better in varying weather & humidity than wood.

So, excitement! Also nerves. This is literally more money than I've spent on any single thing other than my second car, and that includes my first car.

[The "costs more than my car" metric is one I started using when [personal profile] uilos and I were browsing in a furniture store in Rockville that was supposedly having a huge Going Out Of Business Sale. Their prices were ... not commensurate with what I think of as Going Out Of Business, much less Sale. At one point we passed under a giant crystal chandelier with a low-five-figure price tag, and I realised that the people who buy this sort of thing are, to quote Fitzgerald, very different from you and me. ("Yes. They have more money." --E. Hemingway)]

I've also ordered a decent case. It is bright blue, and looks like a tiny cello hard case, complete with wheels. It's being shipped to my parents because the seller wouldn't ship it internationally, and from there to here. Hopefully it will get here not too much later than the instrument itself. Also, hopefully the viola will fit into the case. The thing about violas is that there is no standard size viola, unlike for the violin or cello. It's just sort of "for best sound, make it as big as you can handle."

My actual playing continues to improve, I suppose. Fixing my posture fixes a bit of the bow bounce, and relaxing my hand fixes some more of it. I am now at the point where I have to take the various techniques I've been learning and apply them to music, which is of course harder than just doing them individually. I have some faith that I'll get there. Eventually. In the meantime I run through a lot of left-hand exercises, because I'm relatively good at those.



Other news, noted mostly so I'll have a record of it: E has been mildly ill for the past week, and I have a sneaking suspicion it's getting to me as well. I've had a stuffy nose since about Thursday. As of today I have the sore throat of sinus drain. Bleh.

Also, a week ago last Friday I started having pain in my right foot when I stand on it. I'm blaming this on having done something weird to my hip and having that affect the nerve running down to the foot. Stretching seems to help, as does staying off it. The trouble with staying off it is that it means I can't use my office, since my desk requires standing.

If the foot isn't better by later this week I'll look into seeing a doctor, I guess. I ought to find one of those anyway.

Date: 2015-02-11 02:09 am (UTC)
thanate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thanate
Ooh! There will be pictures when it gets here, yes?

I must now go remind myself that I'd rather spend that much money on a nice big back porch, which I haven't got one of already. Ahem.

Hope the foot sorts itself out. (I just had a week plus of ankle hurting followed by a bad cold, none of which is helping my pretenses of exercise.)

Date: 2015-02-11 12:29 am (UTC)
ckd: small blue foam shark (Default)
From: [personal profile] ckd
I have a hard time pricing things by comparison to my car purchases, never having owned one. :-) "More expensive than the most expensive computer I ever bought" is a bit low compared to anything but a cheap-ish used car, even though I was buying computers in the days when a good one could hit the high 4 figures....

OTOH, comparing to my most expensive purchase, namely my house...that's a tough threshold to hit even if you count the original purchase price and not the "buy out the spouse's half during the divorce" price. (The latter was more than 2x the former, meaning that the half being bought out still cost more than the house itself had 14 years previously.)

Date: 2015-02-11 08:28 pm (UTC)
mneme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mneme
Based on the my research, I'm guessing it's around the price of my carbon fiber harp. Maybe a little less (maybe).

My 16.5 viola is pretty much exactly as big as I can handle (maybe bigger; I still haven't figured out how to make it more comfortable on my shoulder, and should probably get a pad for it, but there's not really space for a shoulder rest). While there's no standard size viola, there certainly are sizes; you want a viola case to match your viola, methinks. It's wood, mind--I'm not going to spring for a much nicer violin or viola unless I find myself getting enough better than the current fiddles are holding me back (better strings? Absolutely).

You...should probably find a doctor, yes. Regular tune-ups are a good method to make it less likely that your body will develop more serious problems.

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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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