Monday, April 30, 2007

Bows and memory

Still trying out new bows and still struggling with memory. Last night, after about an hour and a half of practicing, mostly unsuccessfully trying to memorize a couple of pieces, I was putting away my cello, and suddenly realized that I should try comparing my inexpensive "loaner bow" (my regular bow is in for repairs) to the more expensive bows. With the loaner bow I was easily able to play both pieces from memory. I love this loaner bow (what the shop calls a "better rental bow," a wooden bow that is provided with the higher quality cello rentals).

My teacher says a bow cannot improve memory, that I played better with the inexpensive bow because I had just been practicing for an hour and a half, or that, with the loaner bow, I wasn't putting 90 percent of my energies into listening, but rather reserving some of my energies for memory. Could be. But I plan to buy the loaner and use as a backup bow. It has a nice loud, resonant sound. The more expensive bow is capable of a clearer tone, but I think the loaner bow will be great for fiddling: loud is good, in a sea of fiddles and banjos, and inexpensive is good, when you are playing outside.

I am going to keep trying out bows. I liked one of the three, but am not ready to make a decision yet.

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