A. I am very new to the violin and am unsure if my preferred string is the Kishine Sutra, the string that has an extra flat. But I am definitely considering this option because the extra flat (kishine) can increase the feel of the windings at the start of an instrument that is relatively new to me. Some of my other instruments were made in Germany where the strings are very old and feel really thin and rough with less power, which I find to be very difficult to play. I did test some European strings and the Kishine string was the best for me.
Q. How long does it take to learn to play a bass?
A. Like many bass players it takes a lot of practice and effort to build a skill and confidence. When I first started playing a bass, I learned the first notes of the bass in just over a year and then quickly picked up my technique. At that point I really had nothing to compare myself to, so I thought that I would improve only when I went to my first concert, which took ten months and two years later. I made a big mistake in letting that take so long.
Q. What instruments can I learn on top of the bass? I am currently studying for my BFA in music composition – is there any particular instrument that will be useful for that?
A. Any bass that has nice strings or features (eg basses, harps, etc) and a good sound (eg good sustain and tuning) are good on its own. You can use it as a beginner’s instrument for about a year or two and then go to the more advanced instruments but those are the only ones I use now.
Q. Who has influenced you more and how?
A. My brother has helped a lot along the way but I guess the biggest influence was my dad who had a strong musical talent. He played almost every instrument except bass. I remember he had a bass that did not work well (just as many now have a ‘noisy’ bass, a good quality instrument). I would also like to acknowledge what I consider my brother, his wife and my guitar teacher.
Q. Are there any other instruments that you like to learn?
A. I have a good memory for violin and want to explore more. I have a piano, too!
Q. What else can you teach me? I have some music theory questions for you!
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