Last night was the sixth and final session for my "Beginning Big Band" class. After the class, the band went out together for beer and dinner at the Los Gatos Brewery. We all enjoyed the beer, snacks and conversation. Several people complimented me on my bass playing, and that was nice. The lovely lady band leader gave me a big hug. The guitar player tried to recruit me for another local big band. I told him I would gladly consider it.
My biggest challenge in playing upright bass is the arthritis in my right shoulder and shoulder blade. I must continue exercising with weights to overcome it. My desire to be a serious bassist is also my greatest incentive to get and stay in shape.
Now that I don't have my weekly class meeting as a practice incentive, I must find new incentives, e.g. a new class, a new band. I will think on it.
What I take away from this classroom experience: (1) a much greater ability to read notes (2) an improving knowledge of the bass neck, and better intonation; (3) practical experience in the maintenance and transporting of my large double bass.
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