I Got a Bass Lift

Have you ever had somebody give you a compliment that you totally didn’t expect? Say, for example, you went to get a haircut, and the lady chopped way too much of your hair off because the last person didn’t tip her. You think your new ‘do’ looks like an angry lawn mower attacked it, but, maybe an attractive coworker thought it was sexy, and she told you so. Unexpected, but it gave you a lift, right?

That’s pretty much how I felt walking out of a lesson that I had Saturday with Lyric Opera of Chicago bassist, Greg Sarchet. My teacher, who is a colleague of Greg’s in Lyric, made the suggestion that I go and take a lesson with him. I’d heard about Greg from both of my previous teachers, and jumped at the chance to go and play my audition repertoire for him. This was the perfect chance to work on controlling my nerves while playing in front of someone, and also to get some excellent advice from a seasoned player and pedagogue.

Greg proved to be an extremely gracious and encouraging teacher. He made me feel totally comfortable, and because of this, most of what I played flowed out quite naturally. He didn’t really have anything negative to say about my playing; he simply gave me a number of musical suggestions, and physical ones, in regard to breathing while playing.

In fact, he even gave me a few compliments in regards to areas of my playing that I had overlooked. I think sometimes, as players, we get way too focused on what we’re doing wrong, and we forget to give ourselves a pat on the back for the things we do right. At one point, his wife came into the room, and Greg said to her,

“He’s got a bunch of Andy-isms. He doesn’t play out of tune.”

Ever tried really hard to not look too pleased with yourself? Yeah. It’s hard when you get compliments like that.

The lesson went as well as I could have possibly hoped for, and I’m all the better for it, what with my Roosevelt and Depaul auditions in the next 2 weeks.

I’m not worried. All Is Well.


~ by benjamin86 on January 20, 2008.

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